Brazil's Leandro Damiao (L) celebrates with teammate Neymar after scoring a goal against South Korea during their men's semi-final soccer match at the London 2012 Olympic Games at Old Trafford in Manchester August 7, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/Nigel Roddis )
Marco Fabian (L) and Giovani Dos Santos of Mexico's soccer team warm up during a training session ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Cochrane Park in Newcastle, northern England, July 22, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/Nigel Roddis)
When Mexico and Brazil step on the field Saturday for the Gold Medal match, both squads will be battling for their first ever chance at Gold. For coming days, we will take a look at each squad in every area of the field to see which squad holds the edge.
Both teams are set to square off on Saturday August 11 at 10 a.m. EDT.
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Despite weakness at other positions, no one will argue with the plethora of talent both squads have up top. The question really comes down to which side will score more goals and win this battle of strikers.
Neymar, Leandro Damiao, Hulk are the big headliners for the Brazil. However, Alexandre Pato and Lucas are equally talented and ready to dominate in the same fashion. Brazil's offense and strikers really do not need introduction as Damiao's 6 goals and Neymar's three goals and two assists more than speak for themselves. While Hulk, Pato, and Lucas have yet to tally, they have made their prescence felt enough to give the other two the space to help Brazil put together an astonishing 15 goals in five games.
Key Player: Neymar. Damiao has all the goals, but Neymar is the man who has set him up on a number of occasions. The 20 year old wizard has also been inconsistent at times and held on to the ball longer than necessary. If he stays focused, then he is a force to be reckoned with. If he starts to lapse into the selfish game that comes from time to time, then Mexico might have a few counterattacks coming their way.
Giovanni Dos Santos, Marco Fabian, Oribe Peralta. That is just as potent a frontline. Dos Santos has been a rock up top for Mexico with three goals (including 2 game winners) and two assists. However, he is injured and will be indisposed for the final match. He would have come into the final match as the only striker on either squad to come this far in previous tournaments His absense leaves a gaping hole in the Mexico forward corp.
Fabian finally broke out with a goal against Japan and Peralta has a few well timed goals to give Mexico a balanced unit up top. Raul Jimenez has also proven himself capable in the tournament. They need to step up in Dos Santos' absense.
Key Player: Marco Fabian. Fabian has been quiet throughout the tournament with only one goal to show for his play. If he is at the level he was against Japan, then he may help tilt the match in Mexico's favor as Brazil's defense has proven clumsy at dealing with top notch strikers of Fabian's caliber. He has gotten progressively better, lending the possibility that he may have his shining moment on Saturday. Without Dos Santos in the final, he is the key to unlocking Brazil's defense.
Edge: Brazil. With Dos Santos, it would have been balanced. Without Dos Santos, Brazil is easily far superior up top.
Read on which side has the edge in goal HERE.
Read on which side has the edge on defense HERE.
Read on which side has the edge in the midfield HERE.
Read Why Brazil Wiil WIn HERE.
Read Why Mexico Will Win HERE.