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Rio 2016: Neymar leads Brazil into semis, Germany win

An early free-kick from superstar Neymar helped Brazil past Colombia and into the Rio 2016 men’s football semi-finals.

The Barcelona forward struck from range in the 12th minute before Luan netted in the second half of a 2-0 win in Sao Paulo on Saturday.

The hosts are under pressure to deliver gold at their home Olympics and Neymar’s effort helped them on their way.

Awaiting them in the last four are Honduras, who were fortunate to claim a 1-0 win over South Korea thanks to an Alberth Elis goal on the hour.

Germany continued their free-scoring form by thrashing Portugal 4-0 to set up a meeting with Nigeria.

Runners-up in 2008, Nigeria claimed a 2-0 win over Denmark, Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel opening the scoring.

 

HIGHLIGHT

Cometh the 12th minute, cometh the man. Neymar, needed to stand up by his nation, did just that with a 30-yard free-kick. The strike went through a dismal Colombian wall, giving goalkeeper Cristian Bonilla no chance.

 

PLAYER OF THE DAY

Julian Brandt was at the centre of everything good for Germany against Portugal. The Bayer Leverkusen man had three assists, setting up Serge Gnabry, Matthias Ginter and Philipp Max.

 

QUOTES

“I am not surprised. When we were in Atlanta we knew the team we had and we had a talented bunch of players. That’s why we just wanted to get to Brazil and kick-start our tournament,” – Mikel knew just what Nigeria were capable of.

“Today we played our most complete game, even though we had done good things in the second half against Mexico and Korea. But today we had our top performance,” – Germany coach Horst Hrubesch is pleased with his side’s improvement.

“Son has prepared for the Olympics and he tried his best. He is disappointed with the result but I want to talk to him and to cheer him up,” – South Korea coach Shin Tae-yong wants to speak to Son Heung-min after the Tottenham forward missed numerous chances.

 

WHAT’S NEXT?

A few days of rest before the women’s competition resumes on Tuesday with the semi-finals. Hosts Brazil take on Sweden, while Canada and Germany do battle.

Sun 14 Aug, 2016
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