A year after winning the Gold Cup and Under-17 World Cup, and just over two months after winning the Toulon Tournament, a warm-up for the Olympics, Mexico have captured another big international honor. Despite entering the 2012 Olympic final as underdogs against Brazil, they led the game for all but 28 seconds and put in a great performance in a 2-1 victory.
Oribe Peralta scored the opening goal and eventual game-winner just 29 seconds into the match, gifted to El Tri by Rafael da Silva. The Brazilian right back played a poor pass towards Sandro, who had the ball stolen from him by Javier Aquino before he even had a chance to control. Aquino's poke fell to Peralta, who pounced and finished clinically.
Brazil were terrible in the first half hour of the match and made an early tactical sub, bringing on Hulk. He was more effective than the man who started the match, Alex Sandro, but hardly produced anything notable in the match.
Mexico nearly doubled their lead in the 64th minute, when Marco Fabian was sent through on goal. Rafael did well to block his initial effort and force Fabian into a tougher shot, but the Chivas man pulled off some spectacular acrobatics with an overhead kick that nearly went in, but hit the crossbar and bounced clear.
El Tri continued to press forward instead of sitting on their lead and found a second goal with 15 minutes remaining in the game. Hector Herrera drew a foul on the edge of the penalty area from Marcelo, leading to the goal. Fabian set it up with a free kick and Peralta rose above the entire Brazilian defense, who didn't move, and powered a header into the back of the net.
The entire match was a struggle for Brazil, but in stoppage time, they decided to play and produced a dramatic close to the match. Hulk pulled a goal back for Brazil in the first minute of stoppage time, running onto a through ball and placing a great finish through the legs of Jose de Jesus Corona. With the final touch of the ball, Oscar had a chance to force extra time with a free header in the box, but couldn't get it down and hit the ball agonizingly over the bar.
Brazil entered the Olympics expected to capture gold for the first time in their history, and they'll be going home extremely disappointed. Mexico, on the other hand, would have been thrilled if they went home with bronze. Instead, they're Olympic champions for the first time in their history.
You can find our previous coverage of the final in our Mexico vs. Brazil, 2012 Olympics men's soccer final StoryStream.