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Late decision: Malcom leads Brazil to Olympic victory - Olympia

Late decision: Malcom leads Brazil to Olympic victory – Olympia

Malcom celebrates his goal in the decisive 2-1 win over Spain. © APA / afp / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT

Thanks to Joker Malcom, Brazil once again crowned itself with the Olympic football championship. Andre Jardin’s side beat Spain 2-1 (1-1, 1-0) after extra time in a very exciting match on Saturday.

Substitute Malcom of Zenit St Petersburg scored the crucial and vital goal in the 108th minute for South America, who had already won the title in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Matthews Cunha gave Brazil the lead in the second minute of first-half stoppage time. Spain equalized through Mikel Oyarzabal (61).

The Spaniards had their first chance to score after a quarter of an hour. Oyarzabal headed from the goal area with six yards, but Diego Carlos saved and barely stopped an own goal. For Brazil, Richarlison hit the outside nets from an acute angle (25).

Richarlison fires – Cunha takes the lead

Little came out of the match, but Brazil still had a great opportunity to take the lead: Spain goalkeeper Unai brought down Simon Kona and Australian referee Chris Peth from the penalty spot based on video images. However, Olympic top scorer Richarlison shot from over the gate (38). It was performing being better before the break. Captain Dani Alves kept the ball strong after Claudinho’s cross. Almost at the penalty kick, being more attentive than three Spaniards, he won well and finished the game in the right corner.

After changing sides, things continued quickly. First, Oyarzabal missed a good chance to equalize when fellow substitute Carlos Soler shot in front of the Brazilian goal. Then the two played together perfectly: Soler crossed to Oyarzabal and the striker scored a fine goal to equalize. Shortly before that, Simon had cleared the handicap against the self-contained Richarlison.

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Unlucky Spain – Malcolm becomes the last hero

In the latter stages of original time, Spain was closer to victory than its rivals. The ball fell twice on the Brazilian goal post. Brazil was fortunate to have the extra time. There, too, there was an initial wipeout for both teams, before it got more dangerous ten minutes later in the final third of the attack. But it was Brazil that put the most pressure on its opponents – and ultimately imposed the decisive goal. Malcom took advantage of Vallejo’s negligence and hit the ball 2-1 (108).

Spain attempted to rebel again, but any attempt by the Iberians was successfully repulsed. Ultimately, the Brazilians will defend their title after winning at home in Rio 2016.