Olympics-Soccer-Neymar hands Brazil precious football gold medal

Julian Brandt nearly silenced the crowd when he curled a shot from just outside the penalty box onto the Brazilian crossbar in the 11th minute, but Neymar gave the home side the lead midway through the first half with a typical moment of magic.

Germany and Sweden were playing in the gold-medal match for the first time.

Now ranked ninth by Federation Internationale de Football Association, the Brazilian national team has won every other major worldwide soccer competition, plus a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics and the bronze at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.

Neymar had an outstanding game, scoring a superb free-kick midway through the first half to give Brazil the lead.

Two years on from World Cup humiliation versus Germany, Neymar fired Brazil to Olympic gold with a shootout victory over the same nation.

While it doesn't completely erase the pain of the Mineirazo from 2014, fans can take pride in the fact that the Olympics were the only major title missing from Brazil's loaded trophy cabinet.

After the teams traded four tense goals both sides lining up arm in arm for each attempt, barely able to watch Brazilian goalkeeper Weverton stopped Nils Petersen's shot from the spot setting up Neymar, as if scripted.

Brazil had never won Olympic gold in its previous 12 appearances at the games.

'This is one of the best things that has happened in my life, ' Neymar said.

Goalkeeper Weverton was full of praise for Neymar, saying: "God has blessed me". Neymar made the crucial penalty kick that won the game for Brazil. But with both national teams facing up in the football final at the Rio #Olympics, it's going to be all about national pride for the Brazilians, and not "revenge" against the Germans for the shameful World Cup semifinal loss.

"I can't begin to describe [my feelings]". I just want to thank my teammates, my friends and my family, who have been by my side during the most hard moments.

Brazil finally took the lead through Neymar in the 27th minute who curled in a well taken 25-yard free-kick which hit the cross bar and went in. "It wasn't easy. I don't know what else to say, I'm just really happy".

After lacklustre scoreless draws against South Africa and Iraq, he was mocked by fans, some of who contrasted him unfavourably with Marta, who wears the number 10 for the Brazil women's team. Germany kept springing forward to try and score a third goal while struggling defensively to close out the win.

He pointed out that none of his players were involved in the World Cup semi-final - with the Olympic squads only able to feature three players aged older than 23.



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