Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Neymar back in charge of Brazil ahead of Olympic semifinals

Neymar back in charge of Brazil ahead of Olympic semifinals Neymar back in charge of Brazil ahead of Olympic semifinals
Preston Stone | 18 August, 2016, 01:25

The Barcelona star hounded defender Johnny Palacios to rob possession on the edge of the Honduras box and goalkeeper Luis Lopez's attempt to atone for his teammate's error only ricocheted the ball off Neymar's midriff and into an empty goal.

The decisive game will mark the debut of many of Brazil's youngsters at the famed venue, which is expected to be packed with almost 70,000 fans hopeful of seeing Brazil stay on track for its first soccer gold medal.

Honduras, seeking their first football medal in the Olympics, were inferior to a South Korea side that had 16 shots, compared to six for the Central American side, who got the only goal of the game after 59 minutes.

In the other semi-final, Germany will take on Nigeria.

Neymar opened the scoring before a Gabriel Jesus brace gave the host nation a three-goal advantage at the interval.

"It was awesome to just arrive in the stadium and watch a lovely goal", said Filipe Deliza, a 19 year-old law student from Rio at the packed Rio venue.

Neymar back in charge of Brazil ahead of Olympic semifinals
Neymar back in charge of Brazil ahead of Olympic semifinals

Just two wins away from finally ending its wait for Olympic gold, Brazil will hope to avoid becoming the biggest victim yet of Honduras' surprise run when the teams face off in the semifinals of the men's soccer competition at the famed Maracana on Wednesday. "Our goal is obviously to win the whole tournament".

New Manchester City recruit, Gabriel Jesus also scored twice before half-time and goals from Marquinhos, Luan and a Neymar penalty wrapped up a 6-0 semi-final rout of Honduras.

Korea will be devastated with the result after dominating nearly the entire match, creating more than twice as many chances as their opponents, but were made to pay for their inability to find the back of the net.

But Neymar and the rest of the squad picked up the pace just in time, beating Denmark 4-0 in the final group match and eliminating Colombia 2-0 in the quarterfinals.

The Hondurans played the ball backward on the kickoff only to have Neymar intercept the lazy pass.

Brazil's second pool win came after 0-0 draws with Iraq and South Africa, and a 4-0 victory over Denmark. The team won the bronze in 1996 and 2008.

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