Mexico makes history, wins gold in men’s soccer

Published On August 11, 2012 | By Jill Saftel

The Mexican men’s soccer team made history Saturday when they defeated Games favorite Brazil to take home the Mexico’s first Olympic gold medal of the London Games. The 2-1 victory kicked off with a goal 28 seconds into the match off the foot of Mexico’s Oribe Peralta. He added a second goal just 15 minutes before the close of full time to finish off the Mexican fiesta at Wembley Stadium.

The fact that Mexico was able to hold Brazil to just one goal was quite an accomplishment considering the Brazilians had scored three goals in each of their five previous games.

But the bigger accomplishment for Mexico was the gold medal. The Olympic gold marks the first significant international soccer championship of any kind for Mexico. The win also adds some sting to the failure of the U.S. men’s soccer team, who did not qualify for the Olympics and had to watch from home as their rivals topped one of the best soccer nations in the world.

Brazil is stocked with players already playing for top European soccer clubs, and their big star, Neymar, is wildly popular and still playing in Brazil. On the other hand, Mexico had no players in the gold medal game who play in top soccer leagues.

While the win marked a turning point in Mexican soccer, with a bright future full of young talented players, the disappointment was obvious for Brazil. Many players wouldn’t look at their silver medals, and Neymar lay on the field for several minutes at the end of the match. Brazil has never won an Olympic gold medal in soccer.

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About The Author

Jill studies journalism at Northeastern University, covers Hockey East for College Hockey News and is the sports editor for The Huntington News. You can follow her on Twitter at @jillsaftel, just don't ask her to choose between hockey and baseball, it's impossible.