Aug 11, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Mexico players celebrate after a goal by Oribe Peralta during the men's soccer gold medal match against Brazil in the 2012 London Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Brazil trailed from the first minute on, never able to catch Mexico and the brace they got from Oribe Peralta of Santos Laguna. CONCACAF sweeps the gold medals in the 2012 Olympic football tournaments, while Europe doesn't win one medal in Olympic football this year. Mexico's first ever gold medal in the Olympic tournament is a sign that North American soccer is on the rise, and may be the shape of things to come in future World Cups.
The opening goal came inside the first minute. Brazil on the kickoff was spaced to hold the ball, but an ill advised pass was toe poked away by Javier Aquino. Peralta squared up like he was going far post, then turned his hips to go near post beating an out of position Gabriel in goal for Brazil.
The score remained 1-0 going into halftime, and as it got closer and closer to a Mexico upset, Peralta was able to place a cap on the match with his second goal. His header in the 75' was well struck, and put Brazil into full panic mode.
Hulk, who came on for Brazil in a rare first half substitution, was able to notch one for Brazil in stoppage time, but it was too little too late. With Brazil trailing the entire match, the yellow shirts dominated possession and Mexico had to withstand a 90 minute barrage. Nineteen shots for Brazil, but an excellent Mexican defense was able to keep them to just four on frame.
Not only does the future of Mexican soccer look bright, but their Olympic team featured just one player who plies his trade in Europe. Giovani Dos Santos wasn't available for this afternoon's final as he was out with an injury. It's a good sign for soccer football in North America that Mexico was able to win a gold medal with Mexican League talent. MLS needs to get to that level in developing talent.
World Cup qualifying is going to see Mexico and the United States as favorites, as has become the norm in CONCACAF soccer, but it's not going to be a cakewalk. As far as the rest of the world is concerned, a CONCACAF team is going to win the World Cup soon. The rise of Mexico coincides with the rise of the region.