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Played
August 7, 2012 7:45 PM BST
Old Trafford — Manchester
Referee:‬ P. Kralovec‎
 
38′ Rômulo
 
 
 
Top of the Match
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To Be Announced Shortly
Oscar
Oscar
Brazil Under 23
Flop of the Match
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To Be Announced Shortly

Brazil 3-0 South Korea: Leandro Damiao at the double as impressive Selecao cruise into Olympics final

The Internacional striker took his tally to a tournament-leading six as he and Romulo ensured victory for Mano Menezes' side and move them one step away from a maiden gold medal

By Jay Jaffa

Olympics Games, Korea v Brazil, Romulo
Getty Images
Brazil booked their place in the Olympic final with a comfortable 3-0 win over South Korea courtesy of goals from Romulo and a double from Leandro Damiao at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

Mano Menezes' side started slowly but found their stride to put an end to South Korea's 18-game unbeaten run, lining up a place in Saturday's final against Mexico, who overcame Japan 3-1 earlier in the day.

Both sides made changes to their quarter-final line-ups as Brazil recalled Alex Sandro for Hulk and South Korea were forced to replace the injured Jung Sung-Ryong and Kim Chang-Soo with Lee Beom-Young and Oh Jae-Seok.

Despite playing 120 minutes in the quarter-final against Team GB, South Korea began the game far stronger than Brazil creating a number of early chances that served as a wake up call to the tournament favourites.

After a gentle opening 10 minutes, a short South Korean corner led to a neat piece of footwork and backpost cross that saw Kim Hyun-Sung rise to seemingly head into an empty net. Only the presence of Ji Dong-Won and an inadvertent block kept the scores level.

THIAGO SILVER
3/1 Brazil are 3/1 with Sportingbet to lose to Mexico in the Olympic men's football gold medal match
The Sunderland striker was the lead protagonist in the opening stages, creating another chance for Kim as he clipped a diagonal ball to the backpost. His strike partner rose above the 19-year-old goalkeeper Gabriel and forced the ball back across the box for the onrushing Ji but he was denied by clearance more suited to martial arts than football – averting danger and fortunately avoiding conceding a penalty.

Brazil eventually buzzed into life and forced Beom-Young into a series of saves beginning with Damiao's low left-footed drive from the edge of the box that was just diverted to safety.

Seconds later a weak back-pass forced Beom-Young from his goal and into a sliding tackle on Damiao on the edge of the box. Though the block was firm, the rebound fell to Sandro but South Korea were relieved to see his tame first-time chip easily cleared off the line.

Romulo continued to build the pressure further with a precise curling effort that Beom-Young pawed into the path of Damiao, but the 23-year-old's cross-shot found neither the goal or a team-mate.

For all Beom-Young's good work, it was undone on the 38th minute as Menezes' side took the lead.

Sandro robbed South Korea of possession on the halfway line and Neymar picked up the loose ball, immediately shifting it inside to Oscar. The new £25 million Chelsea signing carried the ball to the edge of the box before sliding a neat pass to the overlapping Romulo who struck his shot low and under the keeper at his near-post.

It was a touch cruel on South Korea, who had been the better side for the first 20 minutes but Brazil struck at a crucial time and took a 1-0 lead into the break.

Hong Myong-Bo's team emerged for the second-half displaying the same positive ethos that caused the Selecao problems in the first period and they were extremely unlucky not to be awarded a penalty as Kim Bo-Kyung was tripped by Sandro in the box as he ran to collect a through ball.

But the early rally was quelled by Brazil as Marcelo galloped forward from left-back to link up with Neymar. The much-vaunted striker played a one-two on the edge of the box, before hitting the byline and cutting the ball back for the waiting Damiao who made no mistake from 15 yards, smashing the ball back across goal to double Brazil's lead.

And it took just five more minutes for Damiao to find his second of the game as good work from Neymar and Oscar saw an attempted pass to the Santos striker deflect into his path.

The Internacional forward who has been heavily linked with a move to Tottenham, reacted sharply to toe-poke the ball into Beom-Young's bottom right-hand corner from roughly 12 yards.

Hulk and Alexandre Pato were introduced for the final 15 minutes and Brazil relaxed, switching to the showboating style synonymous with the national team.

But it was Neymar who continued to exude the flamboyant nature that has made him such a watchable figure. His run in the 90th minute down the left flank and into the box included step-overs, a sudden stop and a beautifully flighted cross that was just misread by Oscar, preventing Brazil making it four. And that was how the game stayed.

South Korea will look back at this tournament with pride but ultimately they came across a team, that when in the mood, have too much attacking potency to contain.

The final scoreline ensured Brazil maintained their record of netting three goals in every Olympic game and will certainly ensure they retain their tag as favourites to win a maiden gold medal.


Brazil Under 23

59
Gabriel
Goalkeeper
2.50
2
Rafael
Defender
2.50
4
Thiago Silva
Defender
3.00
5
Juan Jesus
Defender
83′
2.50
12
Marcelo
Defender
76′
3.00
-
Alex Sandro
Defender
3.00
30
Sandro
Midfielder
3.00
-
Rômulo
Midfielder
38′
3.50
11
Oscar
Midfielder
38′
3.50
9
4.50
11
Neymar
Striker
57′
4.00

South Korea Under 23

2.00
18
Beom-Young Lee
Goalkeeper
2.00
22
Jae-Seok Oh
Defender
2.50
-
2.00
22
2.00
2
2.50
4
Sung-Yong Ki
Midfielder
2.00
13
Bo-Kyung Kim
Midfielder
3.00
-
Tae-Hee Nam
Midfielder
2.50
13
Koo Ja-Cheol
Midfielder
59′
3.00
10
3.00
17

Substitutes

1
Neto
Goalkeeper
 - 
3
Bruno Uvini
Defender
83′
2.00
-
Danilo
Defender
 - 
-
Lucas
Midfielder
 - 
8
Ganso
Midfielder
2.50
29
Hulk
Striker
76′
 - 
9
2.50

Substitutes

 - 
-
 - 
27
 - 
-
Ki-Hee Kim
Midfielder
2.00
8
Sung-Dong Baek
Midfielder
77′
 - 
15
Jong-Woo Park
Midfielder
2.00
22
Woo-Young Jung
Midfielder
59′
2.00
10

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
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Results
Semi Finals
Times In BST
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Leandro Damião Leandro Damião
Striker
Santos
6 0
Moussa Konaté Moussa Konaté
Striker
Genoa
5 0
O. Peralta O. Peralta
Striker
Santos Laguna
4 0
Giovani dos Santos Giovani dos Santos
Striker
Villarreal
3 1
Neymar Neymar
Striker
Barcelona
3 1