Brazil march into Olympic final

Brazil's march towards their first Olympic title continued at Old Trafford as they beat South Korea 3-0 to book a final showdown with Mexico.

Last Updated: 07/08/12 at 22:12 Post Comment

Damiao: Celebrates one of his goals

Damiao: Celebrates one of his goals

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South Korea produced a gutsy performance and were unlucky not to be given at least one penalty as a first-half Romulo effort and Leandro Damiao's brace sunk the Asian side.

Great Britain's conquerors lack the creativity Brazil are capable of around the penalty area and once the South Americans got into their stride, there was no holding them back.

It keeps the overwhelming favourites on track for another major international honour with a squad it is envisaged will become the bedrock of their 2014 World Cup campaign on home soil.

And having extended a remarkable record of scoring three times in all five matches so far, with Leandro Damiao top of charts with six, it is hard to see them being stopped at Wembley on Saturday.

With Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini and FIFA president Sepp Blatter amongst the interested spectators, Brazil took quite a while to get going, by which time they could easily have been a goal, and a man down.

Alex Sandro turned away Kim Hyunsung's far-post header, Thiago Silva booted Ji Dongwon's effort to safety and the Korean striker also whistled a long-range shot narrowly over.

It was the middle of those three chances that should have triggered a dismissal in addition to a penalty as Juan Jesus kicked Ji in the head with a woefully high tackle.

Inexplicably, Czech referee Pavel Kralovec decided there had been no infringement.

Within minutes, a very noisy five-piece Brazilian band made their entrance to liven the whole occasion up and from that moment, the favourites were irresistible.

South Korea goalkeeper Lee Bumyoung twice failed to hold fierce strikes from Leandro Damiao before star duo Neymar and Oscar combined to set up Romulo, who drilled a low shot through a weak attempt to save.

Snapped up for £6million by Spartak Moscow last month, the 21-year-old was one of the few Brazilians on display who could not be of interest to Mancini.

The same is true of Oscar, whose performances in this tournament must have Chelsea fans licking their lips.

Damiao is available though. Tottenham are the ones being linked with the 23-year-old.

He took his opportunity cleanly enough too after Marcelo had failed to turn home Neymar's cut-back.

Damiao had another soon afterwards, his fourth in two games, with Neymar again the architect, the ball breaking to the striker after Oscar's initial effort had been deflected.

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S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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