MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Brazil’s dream of winning an elusive Olympic soccer gold came a step closer to reality on Tuesday when they beat South Korea 3-0 in a one-sided semi-final at Old Trafford.
The victory sets them up for a title decider against Mexico at Wembley on Saturday after Mexico beat Japan 3-1 in the earlier semi-final in London.
Brazil, whose obsession with winning the Olympic gold is unmatched by few other countries, won with two second-half goals from Leandro Damiao, who is now the tournament’s top scorer with six goals, after a 38th minute opener from Romulo.
The pre-tournament favorites, who have been trying to win the Olympic title without success for 60 years, have now won all five games scoring three goals in each of them with a scoring tally of 15-5.
South Korea caused them some problems at the start and had an early claim for a penalty turned down when Juan Jesus’s foot clumsily connected with Ji Dong-won’s face in the six-yard box, but apart from a few chances from Ji, Korea never really threatened.
They now face Japan in what is likely to be a lively battle for the bronze medal in Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on Friday (4.45 p.m EDT) while Brazil will hope to fulfill their date with destiny against Mexico on Saturday (1400GMT).
Reporting by Mike Collett