Two of the big medal favorites will face off in Rio for the gold medal in men’s Olympic soccer. Germany outlasted Nigeria in a 2-0 win on Wednesday, and will advance to take on Brazil in the final.
Germany took an early lead in their semifinal, as Lukas Klostermann put them on top in the 9th minute with his first goal of the tournament. Serge Gnabry — the favorite for player of the tournament thus far — played Max Meyer in on goal with a great through ball, but Meyer opted to square instead of shoot. That turned out to be a great decision, as Klostermann scored a tap-in.
Nigeria’s fast counter-attack looked dangerous all match, but the great play of Germany’s central midfielders and central defenders kept them from generating great chances. While they were threatening up until they got into the box, they could only manage one shot on target.
With the Super Eagles desperately pushing numbers forward, Germany sealed the win in the 89th minute, with substitute Nils Peterson tapping in a cross from Davie Selke.
Though the two teams have few players in common, Brazilians see the gold medal match as an opportunity for a bit of redemption for Germany’s 7-1 win over the Selecao at the 2014 World Cup. The winner will also capture the gold medal for the first time in their history. Nigeria, meanwhile, will take on Honduras for the bronze medal.