Brazil defeats Germany in penalties, wins first Olympic soccer gold
In the gold medal match of the Olympic men’s soccer tournament, Brazil and Germany played to a 1-1 draw through 120 minutes with Brazil coming out on top in penalties to win gold.
Germany had the first scoring chance of the match in the 11th minute as Julian Brandt hit a curling shot that deflected off the crossbar. It was the first of three times that Germany hit the crossbar in the first half.
Following Brandt’s shot Brazil put consistent pressure on Germany’s defense, drawing foul after foul.
In the 27th minute, Neymar drew a foul about 25 yards out from goal. Neymar took the ensuing free kick and beat German goalkeeper Timo Horn with a pinpoint strike that hit off the bottom of the crossbar and bounced in.
Germany came back a few minutes later and nearly equalized twice off free kicks. First, Serge Gnabry whipped in a cross that was flicked off the crossbar and out of play. Then, it was Sven Bender who got on the end of a free kick, but sent his header off the woodwork.
Germany found its equalizer in the 59th minute when Maximilian Meyer slotted his first-time shot into the back of the net. It was the first goal that Brazil has allowed at the 2016 Olympics.
Each side had its chances in the remainder of regulation, but neither could find a breakthrough as the match went into extra time.
In the first session of extra time Brazil was the aggressor, but it was Germany with the best opportunity. On a counter attack, Germany’s Brandt got on the end of a looping pass, but could not put his ambitious volley on goal.
Brazil’s Felipe Anderson had the lone scoring chance of the second session of extra time, but he could not capitalize as the teams went into a penalty shootout.
In the penalty shootout each team scored its first four attempts. Then, Germany’s Nils Petersen missed his team’s fifth penalty kick to give Neymar a chance to win his team the gold medal. Neymar buried his penalty shot to clinch the victory for Brazil.
With the win, Brazil clinches its first Olympic soccer gold medal in history. Brazil now has eight Olympic soccer medals between its men's and women's teams, the most of any nation.