With the football tournament of the Olympics 2012 stares at its final battle, Goal.com looks at four sub plots that might decide the winner of the Gold medal...The football tournament in the Olympics 2012 has reached its zenith and the teams of Mexico and Brazil will make for a titanic final. Though the football in Olympics does not harvest a viewership like the World Cup or Euros, Saturday's clash will be a bumper in terms of excitement with the global audience surveying each move of every player on the Wembley turf.
Brazil has at all times had the most celebrated football team. However, the top prize at the Olympics remains the only one to conquer from a tourney officially sanctioned by FIFA. Mexico on the other hand is already guaranteed a medal for the first time in the competition. The joust is expected to be spirited between two countries that chew over football in its respective cultures and Goal.com looks at the chief sub plots that might decide the outcome for the Gold medal.
|NEYMAR VS. MEXICO'S RIGHT FLANK|
|Neymar will hold the key to Brazil's success
As the tournament has progressed, Neymar, the 20 year old prodigy, has managed to plague the opposition stronghold with improved performances every time. Not only has he registered three goals to his own credit, but has also ministered copious others. Honestly, it is the entire team and not just the right flank that might martyr from his trickery, power, pace and vision.
The Mexican right flank might see the fusion of full back Israel Jimenez and winger Javier Aquino. Jimenez throughout the tournament has held the portfolio of an attacking fullback. The viperous looking combination between the two more than often ended in vapour and both would be hoping that they are not caught in possession against Marcelo who has been a sensation at left back so far.
To contain Neymar the Mexicans need to win a tactical battle. Neymar is generally seen collecting the ball from a little ahead of the half-line and would end his dribble once he reaches the penalty area. If Jimenez or Aquino or both together stop him early then the Mexicans will have a good chance of playing with flair themselves. Jimenez might just provide consistent cover at the back as Neymar’s is rarely seen tracking back into his own half and for his swiftness he remains the focal point of every counter attack.
Obviously, stopping Neymar alone doesn’t guarantee them a win against a formidable and young Brazilian strike force, but should Jimenez and Aquino come out on top then considerable pressure would be relieved off the shoulders of the Mexican centre-backs.
|MARCO FABIAN VS BRAZILIAN CENTRE BACKS
|Fabian would have to step up his game following the injury to Dos Santos
At the start of the tournament Marco Fabian was tipped to score more goals than his colleague Giovani dos Santos. Giovani who suffered a muscle injury is ruled out from the final clash already. However, Fabian would have to augment his performances from the group stages, but the elimination stage polished a new life into him and he can be credited as the architect for their ostentatious finish against Senegal and Japan.
Fabian has played as an attacking midfielder and striker in the tournament and his potential can torment Brazilian centre backs, Juan and Thiago Silva. The tournament has also shown everyone that the Brazilian defense can be susceptible to lightening strikes and the centre-backs in particular would be both erudite yet wary of that fact.
Fabian should know that it will still not be easy to breach the defense line of Brazil which will be with two old hands. His partnership with Oribe Peralta would need to enroot patiently and show no sense of urgency. If they can take cues from the two goals that Egypt and Honduras pulled back against the South Americans, then we can be treated to an enthralling end.
|LEANDRO DAMIAO VS MEXICAN CENTRE BACKS
|Damiao is the leading goal scorer in the competition and the biggest threat to Mexican hearts
Leandro Damiao’s six goals in the competition speak for themselves. His time on the pitch has been less than Neymar’s but the impact has been magnifying. His goals come after he finds little pockets of space to score from. If you get the ball to him, he can get the team to score.
The young centre backs of Mexico, Darvin Chavez and Hiram Mier, need to ensure that they quickly close down Damiao and track his every move. They would need to exhibit the best tricks up their sleeves as any mistake could put the game to bed.
|BATTLE OF THE MIDFIELD
|Salcido will look to stop Brazil's fluidity
It is widely believed that the team with dominion in the midfield wins matches and the final clash will not be in oblivion to that admission.
Mexico in their game against Japan deployed a 4-2-3-1 formation and the veteran Carlos Salcido spearheaded the defensive midfield department. His failure to close down Japan’s Yuki Otsu in time put the Mexicans behind. Fortunately for Salcido, the goal was scored early on and the Mexicans had plenty of time to hit back. After the slip-up, Salcido put up a decent show and hardly allowed the Japanese to get past him.
The Mexicans are not expected to come up with a change in strategy. The young Jorge Enriquez will continue to play as a deputy to Salcido and for them tapping Oscar and Romulo will be the key. Both the teams will try to handicap each other’s fluidity.
To construe the outcome of the match we need to wait for the actual result. But what is certain is the game will be an epic battle between two American teams that have earned their right to fight for a medal which has dodged them thus.
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