Brazil’s dramatic win over Germany on Saturday marked the first gold medal for Brazil in men’s soccer. It was the ending that Brazil could only dream of. Neymar, the man that carried the weight of the Olympics host nation on his shoulder, stepped up in a penalty kick shootout and won a gold medal for his country.
After Neymar slotted his medal-winning effort home, he immediately burst into tears and fell to his knees. Neymar opened the scoring on a gorgeous free kick in the 27th minute that skidded off the underside of the crossbar.
But Brazil gifted Germany the chance that allowed Maximilian Meyer to equalize in 59th minute after two quick, sloppy giveaways in their own end. Both sides had plenty of quality chances to put the game away in regulation. After 90 minutes, the two sides were nearly even in shots, with Brazil having one more at 12-to-11.
The Olympics, where men’s soccer is treated as slightly more than a youth tournament, just isn’t nearly as important as a World Cup. Brazil’s men team has never won an Olympic gold medal, earning silver four years ago in London and twice before.