Neymar paused, gathering his ideas as he stuttered in the direction of the ball, virtually grinding to a halt earlier than stroking his penalty kick excessive to the left of Germany’s goalkeeper Timo Horn.
As the web rippled, Brazil celebrated. It had gained Olympic soccer gold for the primary time in its historical past.
An evening of deafening noise and frantic play inside Rio’s iconic area led to triumph for the host nation, as a penalty shootout separated the edges after Saturday’s last completed 1-1 following additional time.
For Brazil, this was a cathartic success. This was a landmark victory over a rustic that had inflicted an humiliating 7-1 defeat on it two years in the past, within the semifinal of its personal World Cup.
Not this time.
If Brazilians have been anxious forward of this match, these anxieties have been expressed with raucous help.
Earlier than the nationwide anthems had been sung, the stadium reverberated to the sound of 1 man’s identify. “Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole, Ola, Neymar, Neymar” greeted the gamers as they took to the pitch.
Brazilians may even be forgiven for singing via the German anthem — an expression of extreme exuberance fairly than hostility, maybe.
They usually did not have to attend lengthy for Neymar to ship his first telling contribution.
Within the twenty sixth minute, the captain and No. 10 despatched an exquisite, looping free-kick past the despairing Horn to ignite a crowd who had arrived able to combust.
Brazil was buoyant, however its newfound confidence was fragile. Germany hit the crossbar 3 times within the first half, with Sven Bender seeing his header come agonizingly shut after 35 minutes.
The German males grew into their contest and grabbed a deserved equalizer simply earlier than the hour mark, as captain Max Meyer completed off a flowing transfer with a low shot from simply contained in the field.
Each groups pressed and probed because the contested drifted into additional time, however the exertions of that power-sapping opening hour had taken their toll after one other sticky night time in Rio.
After eight flawless kicks, Nils Petersen had the misfortune of seeing his shot saved by Weverton.
Up stepped Neymar, and the remaining is now Brazilian soccer historical past.
For the 24-yr-previous it served as a solution to critics who lamented his and Brazil’s type within the opening matches of this competitors, when it draw towards each South Africa and Iraq.
“This is among the greatest issues which have occurred in my life,” the Barcelona ahead stated. “That is it.”
Weverton was forged alongside Neymar within the position of hero together with his penalty save, however the goalkeeper was fast to reward the contribution of a better energy.
“God has blessed me,” he stated. “The gold is ours, however it belongs to God.
“I informed Neymar that God had given him a second probability. God loves Neymar like he loves all this workforce.”
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