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Mexico beats Brazil for men’s Olympic gold

OribePeralta (Getty)

Brazil came into the 2012 Olympics as the favorite to win gold, and they were expected to overwhelm Mexico when the teams met on Saturday in the Olympic final.

Mexico had other plans, and needed less than a minute to show that they weren't going to be content with Olympic silver.

Santos Laguna striker Oribe Peralta scored a goal in the first minute before adding a second-half header goal to help Mexico jump out to a 2-0 lead. Brazil struggled to deal with Mexico's movement and energy, and could have been down even more of a pair of Marco Fabian chances didn't miss narrowly. A late Hulk goal spoiled he shutout, but it wasn't enough to keep Mexico from posting a 2-1 Olympic final victory at Wembley Stadium.

The victory gave Mexico their first Olympic soccer gold medal.

Brazil never was able to flash the attacking qualities expected of a squad stacked with top young talent. Chelsea signing Oscar struggled mightily while Neymar was unable to take over the game against a tough Mexican defense.

The loss kept Brazil from winning their first Olympic gold, and reports suggest the loss could cost Brazilian national team coach Mano Menezes his job.

The Olympic gold caps an impressive run for Mexican youth national teams. The Under-20 team finished third at the Under-20 World Cup while Mexico's Under-17 team won the most recent Under-17 World Cup.

What did you think of the match? Impressed with Mexico's performance? Disappointed by Brazil? Which players impressed you the most?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Hey dude (no pun intended),

    Are you “the type of Mexican fan who would never give an ounce of credit to the U.S. for anything?”

    I’ve checked the website and I can’t seem to find any comments from you giving the U.S. credit for beating Mexico last night.

    What gives, dude??

  2. We are hosting an exchange student from Brazil. He wants to play club soccer and I told him how much it would cost to play. He looked at me funny and said “you have to pay to play soccer”? In Brazil, if you’re good enough you play for free. If your not you just don’t play. There’s the problem.

  3. Also, I have no idea who this “Mike r” you mentioned is (and I haven’t read the 800+ comments before mine, my apologies), so it would also be an inaccurate statement to blindly group the two of us together as “the [same] type of USA fans who would never give an ounce of credit to Mexico for anything.”

    In fact, and I naturally can’t speak for “Mike r” here, but I would certainly give Mexico “credit” for the “ounce” of product that I recently received. They definitely have my +1 in that market.

  4. +1 to “Dude” on both accounts. As an American soccer fan, however, you have to understand the deep seeded rivalry between the two nations (I highly doubt you would ever see any Mexican National Team player congratulating the U.S. on any similar win), as well as the impact of past conduct by Mexican National teams when playing against the U.S. (dirty play, diving, time wasting, flagrant fouls on U.S players, Mexican coaches getting into physical altercations w/ U.S. players, etc.) that serves as the motivation for U.S. fans & players alike not liking Mexico or presumably not wanting to ever give them “credit.”

    I would, however, give more than “an ounce of credit” to many Mexican players who have become great players over the years (Dos Santos, Marquez, Salcido, Carlos Vela, Hernandez, Guardado), just not when they’re playing the U.S. . . .

    Regardless, my initial post simply pointed out that the article’s original comment (“Brazil struggled to deal with Mexico’s movement and energy”) was simply not on point given the nature of the game, highlighted by both the possession and shots on goal statistics. Absent a quantifiable measure like those metrics, one is simply left to argue from their on point of view that the game went one way or the other. Statistics, like the ones that I mentioned, are the only means in which one can tell the true story of a game (outside of one’s personal opinion), evidenced by their widespread use in evaluating every sport in the world.

    And as “fortunate” so aptly put it, Mexico “were clutch when they needed to be.” They didn’t dominate possession, they didn’t dominate offensively, they didn’t really dominate at all (albeit their defense holding firm). They “were clutch when they needed to be.” It was one of those matches where one team (Brazil) clearly outplayed the other, failed to capitalize on their chances, failed to put together that final pass in the offensive third, was held at bay by the packed defense of their opponent (Mexico), and their opponent (Mexico) capitalized on the few chances they did have. Soccer is a game that is won and lost by the score, yes, but to say a blanketed statement that the game cannot be analyzed to point out that one team clearly dominated the other (but failed to capitalize, the other capitalizing on the few chances they did have) would be both inaccurate and unfair to the overall game itself.

    My initial comment will be rescinded and revised: Brazil failed to capitalize on their possession domination and greater number of chances that ultimately cost them the game, while Mexico packed their defense, held Brazil at bay, and capitalized on the few chances that they did have.

    That better, “dude”?

  5. And I would’ve loved to see Mikes response if the USA beat Brazil for the Gold, oh man he’d over the moon I bet. Btw don’t compare Mexico to Nigeria, they’re not the same. Definitely one of the biggest Mexico haters on this site.

  6. Brazil averaged up to 3 goals per game right before the final.

    Brazil did not beat Brazil. Mexico’s defense held firm and their offense, lead by Peralta and Fabian, were clutch when they needed to be.

    Real life is nothing like FIFA12.

  7. How exactly are the US and Mexico “even”?

    The US lost the GC final to Mexico because the opponents were better and scored four unanswered goals.

    There really is no rational argument in your favor here buddy.

  8. “Brazil struggled to deal with Mexico’s movement and energy”

    Did you watch the same game I did? Brazil clearly dominated possession, but simply couldn’t put it together in the final third. Official match statistics state that Brazil had 60% of the possession (Mexico 40%) and had 19 shots to Mexico’s 11.

    Mexico did not beat Brazil, Brazil beat Brazil. That, plus the incessant Mexican fouls that repeatedly stifled the Brazilian attack.

    Regardless, not looking forward to hearing about this from Mexican fans and writers for the next 10-15 years.

  9. Basically even? Before I even begin to point out how misguided that statement is, I’d like to hear your own reasoning for that.

  10. Jeff,

    First of all the Mexican team we will face in the Hex will be different from this team.

    The Olympic success is a great boost to Mexico overall, but it has no direct bearing on what will happen when we face them in qualifying. There is no reason to assume the US cannot beat Mexico twice or vice versa.

    At this time the senior teams of Mexico and the US are basically even, though the best way to figure out the odds before hand would be to go to Vegas and check the line on that. Since large sums of money are involved they actually research these things and they generally know better than even the people on SBI.

  11. What’s your argument for that? What have you seen in the performance of the US team in recent years to support what you’ve said?
    For example, in any other sport, how do you determine a favorite? Is it track record? Talented players? Isn’t it a plus to have the ability to “draft” top young players who are successful in competitions against teams of equal skill and talent, or even against teams that may be stronger on paper than they? Don’t you want to have players on your team who are accustomed to winning in their young careers? Would you prefer to draft a QB from an NCAA winning team, or a college in Puerto Rico? Wouldn’t you begin to look at university programs with a history of not just identifying top talent, but helping them to develop into elite athletes?
    Based on your comments, you’d prefer to disregard all of these things. Maybe that’s the rationale that led to the US tying with Guatemala.
    If Mexico does end up being second in the hex, it wouldn’t be behind the US. Maybe Honduras, but not the US.

  12. It has to do with the history of racist & hateful remarks from mexican media, federation, & their national team, always insulting any team or country.

  13. Opps What I meant to say is that United State were envy by the Mexican Federation about how USA keep the coaches for a long time process and how well USA work with the Youth System and they were envy. Now Mexico come to do something like what the USA used to do and that work with the Youth and keep a process going and look what they accomplish. That what I meant to say on my last post. But I still have hope on my USNMT.

  14. We have a group of kids coming up but is hard for them to play in the A team when they are not given the chances. Congratulation to Mexico for keeping a crop of players and a process, finally something the United State were know about and were envy not Mexico come to something like USA keep a process of player but somewhere this process broke down and it is time to bring that back USA, Klismann should make the USA a new Youth player with a mix of Veteran but that are a least in a good age to give us a least one or two world cup process. SO ONCE AGAIN CONGRAT to MEXICO

  15. Why hate Mexico for their excellence? They have a plan.
    We don’t

    They have a president with a vision
    We don’t

    They have a national staff that is clear in their plan for developing players…..
    and what we have is a joke

  16. Serious question-have you ever watched a youth soccer game at a relatively high level before? I know plenty of for-profit youth clubs that absolutely do make a windfall and try to win but not at the expense of development-this artificially forced dichotomy between development and winning just doesn’t exist beyond the lowest levels of youth development.

    For-profit clubs present an issue in that they restrict who can play, both by their limited geographic reach and in their prohibitive cost, but very few actually advocate ‘kick and run’ style of soccer.

  17. Great job El Tri. The first time you have ever won any significant world cup. Still a great accomplishment and it could have very well been 3 to 1.

  18. More smog now in LA or Houston, altitude is something else. Look ,Mexico won gold, it was awesome. If the US and it’s terribly under informed fans want to hate then go ahead. Meantime, ,Mexico will continue working on developing young players, while dentists all over the US continue to make a killing by fixing terribly gnashed teeth. Instead of complaining, use that anger/frustration/jealousy to make US soccer better, cause the region as a whole is coming up, and your team did not even qualify. Don’t let it get to the point that you don’t qualify for WC 14 before you see the light.

  19. TJ,

    Mexico has always had a larger pool of talented players than the US going back at least 20 years so this is nothing new.

    We always used to beat them not because we had better players but more because we had some sort of confidence edge. Actually, we just used to run them over and beat them up and eventually they wilted. Their senior players are tougher and smarter now than they used to be.

    Mexico deserves all the credit in the world but Olympic Gold does not necessarily translate into senior side success. Mexico has always been a respectable World Cup team but they have just as good a record in the competition as we do.

    Past Olympic gold winners:

    2008 Argentina
    2004 Argentina
    2000 Cameroon
    1996 Nigeria
    1992 Spain
    1988 Soviet Union

    See any World Cup contenders there? Argentina loaded those squads up with the likes of Messi and Tevez because they hadn’t been winning anything since the 1993 Copa America. And that Spanish side had little to do with the present one. They were pretty crappy until the present team emerged.

    We should always hope for Mexican success against anyone else but us since, in the World Cup we are unlikely to be seeded with them in the same group.

    And if we meet in the knockout rounds, it is great for both teams.

    Besides as competition for places on Mexico’s senior team heats up, it means it will be more likely that there will be dual citizens who will think it easier to make the US team.

    It’s all good.

  20. Brian,

    If GB and Spain had taken the tournament seriously, and they did not, they would have sent better players and spent more time getting organized.


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