SAO PAULO: Germany will face Brazil in the gold medal final at the Olymic men’s football tournament courtesy of a 2-0 win over Nigeria at the Arena Corinthians. Inevitably the match-up will bring back memories of the nations’ meeting at World Cup level in 2014 when the Germans won 7-1 in Belo Horizonte.
The outcome against Nigeria was in the balance almost all of the match since the Germans scored their second goal in only the dying minutes.
Left-back Lukas Klostermann was the unlikely goalscorer of the early first when he burst forward and tapped in an open goal from captain Maximilian Meyer’s low ninth-minute cross. The goal was Klostermann’s first at any level for the German national team.
Tactically, Germany were the stronger side in the first half. Nigeria were unable to break quickly enough when they had counter-attacking opportunities.
In the second half, Germany started on the front foot with Serge Gnabry continuing on with his positive form from the first half. He had one shot well saved by Nigeria keeper Emmanuel Daniel in the 58th minute for a corner.
Substitute Nils Petersen then made sure of Germany’s spot in Saturday’s final when he latched onto a low cross from forward Davie Selke in the 89th minute.
Germany are guaranteed their best-ever finish at the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament. The European champions’ best previous finish was a bronze medal at Seoul 1988. Nigeria will look to add to their history of medals at the tournament when they go for bronze against Honduras in Belo Horizonte on Saturday.