Aug 15, 2016

    Neymar comes alive as Brazil advance to s-final

    NEYMAR led Brazil into the semi-finals of the Olympics with his first goal of the competition to edge the third of a trilogy of grudge matches with Colombia in three years 2-0.

    The Barcelona star curled home an inch-perfect free-kick after just 12 minutes of Saturday's game.

    But he was lucky to escape with a yellow card for chopping down Andres Roa and provoking a brawl between the two teams before half-time.

    The hosts controlled their emotions better after the break. Luan sealed the win with a dipping effort from outside the box seven minutes from time.

    Brazil will face Honduras in Wednesday's semi-final in Rio after the Central Americans stunned South Korea 1-0, thanks to Alberth Elis' winner in Belo Horizonte.

    Germany, who beat Portugal 4-0, face Nigeria in the other semi-final after the Africans beat Denmark 2-0.

    Victory keeps Brazil's quest for a maiden football gold medal on track and the enticing possibility of a final against world champions Germany on Saturday, just two years after the Germans inflicted a 7-1 thrashing at the World Cup semi-finals.

    Eased by the relief of avoiding another embarrassing exit on home soil with a 4-0 win over Denmark on Wednesday to win Group A after back-to-back 0-0 draws with Iraq and South Africa, Brazil started brightly.

    "It was a tough game... to play against Colombia is never easy because they are a great team," said PSG defender Marquinhos.

    "This victory gives us a lot of strength for what is to come because Colombia were one of the stronger sides that could have got to the final."