Mexico's Marco Fabian celebrates after winning against Japan in their men's semi-final soccer match at Wembley Stadium in London at the London 2012 Olympic Games, August 7, 2012. REUTERS/Toru Hanai (BRITAIN - Tags: OLYMPICS SPORT SOCCER)
(Photo : Reuters/Toru Hanai)
Brazil's Neymar (top) celebrates with teammate and Oscar after scoring their second goal against Belarus during their men's Group C football match at the London 2012 Olympic Games at Old Trafford in Manchester July 29, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/Andrea Comas)
22 players will be on the pitch when Mexico and Brazil face off Saturday at 10 AM ETD for the Olympic Gold.
However two players will be major factors in deciding whether their team takes home gold or silver.
The best player on Brazil has at times been the most frustrating. He can have his way with any defender on the pitch and make dazzling plays, but his timing and reading of the play is inconsistent.
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In the New Zealand game the superstar ran around the turf creating opportunities for his teammates and himself, but was unable to finish shots into empty nets. One particularly memorable moment would be a perfect pass he received near the end of the match against New Zealand where he could have struck the ball with his left, but opted to use his right and ended up sailing it over the net. Had he controlled it with his left, he would have probably scored, but his lack of patience did him in.
But the inverse of this is also true as Neymar can hold onto the ball for too long only to see himself pass into a space that has long been abandoned by a teammate. He made a couple of those plays against Honduras he tried to challenge defenders all the way up the left, then do his trademark cut back and pass into the middle. Because he held on for too long, he misread the play and result was a giveaway.
His lack of maturity as a player was also seen against Honduras when he reverted to falling to the ground at every turn when he couldn't find space with which to operate.
Mexico will push him to the limit and challenge him at every turn forcing him to distribute the ball quickly or shoot quickly. He has all the talent to be the best player in the world (and sometimes he looks the part), but he will need to focus on his game and work it into a team concept, which is where he seems to be lacking somewhat.
Mexico: Marco Fabian
Fabian came into the tournament as one of the key stars for the Mexican side. The young striker has been serviceable throughout, but madly inconsistent and certainly not the game changing force many expected him to be.
He struggled in the group stage but started making himself noticeable with strong play against Senegal. Against Japan, the younger scored the game tying goal and set off on damaging the Japanese defense with his speed and skill.
Giovanni Dos Santos is will be not playing in the final due to injury, so Fabian must step up or Mexico's offense will be impotent. If he plays to his level, they can beat Brazil. If not, then Brazil's defense will have a field day with an ineffective Mexican offense.
Which team has the better midfield? Click HERE to Find out.
Which team has the better Strikers? Click HERE to Find out.
Read Why Mexico Will Win HERE.
Read Why Brazil Wiil WIn HERE.