Seven to one. That’s all you need to say, and everyone in Brazil knows what you’re talking about. The hopes of the South American nation were crushed when Germany humiliated a shell-shocked Brazil by that score in the semifinals of soccer’s World Cup in 2014, and in Brazil no less.
Now there’s a rematch.
Brazil coasted to a 6-0 win Wednesday over Honduras in one semifinal, while Germany shutout Nigeria, 2-0, in the other, setting up a showdown in the Olympic gold medal game on Saturday.
Brazil took an instant lead when its star, Neymar, scored just 15 seconds into the game, the quickest goal in Olympic history. He fell awkwardly on the play and was taken off on a stretcher, but returned to the game several minutes later and appeared fine. He also scored Brazil’s final goal on a penalty kick.
Germany took the lead when Lukas Klostermann scored on a tap-in during the eighth minute. While Germany controlled the tempo for much of the game, Nigeria came close to tying it on several occasions. The Germans didn’t put the game away with their second goal until the 89th minute.
The Olympic final will be played in Rio’s iconic Maracana Stadium.
Here are more highlights from Wednesday:
American Ashton Eaton leads after decathlon’s day one
Though most Americans don’t know his name, Ashton Eaton won the unofficial title of “world greatest athlete” when he took gold in the decathlon in London four years ago and he’s now on the cusp of winning it for a second time.
Eaton, the world record holder in the two-day, 10-event competition, took the lead after the first two events, the 100 meters and the long jump, two of his strongest events.
His lead narrowed in the shot put and the high jump. But he finished with a strong 400 meters in 46.07.
Decathletes get points based on their time or mark in each event. Eaton’s score after the first day was 4,621. That’s a huge score, though a bit less than the 4,703 he had after day one when he broke his own world record a year ago.
Eaton had a comfortable, though not huge lead over Germany’s Kai Kazmirek, who was second with 4,500 points.
If Eaton wins, he’ll be the first back-to-back winner of the decathlon since Great Britain’s Daley Thompson took gold in 1980 and 1984.
You can see our profile of Eaton here.
Can anyone catch the Kenyans or the Jamaicans?
Four straight days, four straight golds.
Kenya’s Conseslus Kipruto won the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase with a blistering kick on the final lap, giving Kenya its fourth gold in distance running in as many days.
The Kenyans have long dominated this event, though American Evan Jager was a step ahead of Kipruto going into the final lap. But Kipruto sprinted away, taking a huge lead by the final straightway. He then slowed to a jog, waving to the crowd as if he was on a casual victory lap.
He still set an Olympic record of 8 minutes, 03:28 seconds. Jager, the first American to medal in the event since 1984, was exactly one second behind.
The Kenyans won the women’s marathon on Sunday, the men’s 800 on Monday and the women’s 1,500 on Tuesday. And they’re far from done.
In the sprints, Jamaicans are equally superb. Elaine Thompson, who won the 100 meters on Saturday, completed a sprint double by winning the 200 meters on Wednesday in a time of 21.78.
And Usain Bolt won his 200-meter semifinal in 19:78, exchanging playful smiles during the final stage of the race with one of his main competitors, Canada’s Andre de Grasse, who ran 19:80. Bolt won the 100 on Monday night.
Bolt will go for his second gold of these games, and eighth overall, in the 200 final on Thursday night.
“I’m ready, I’m happy, I’m here, I’m on track,” said a confident Bolt.
Calling Ryan Lochte
Brazilian police went to the athletes’ village on Wednesday looking for U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte, who said he was robbed at gunpoint on Sunday with three other U.S. swimmers.
However, Lochte has already returned to the U.S., his attorney Jeffrey M. Ostrow told NPR. He said Lochte gave a statement under oath to the police before he left.
The swimmer’s story has received widespread media attention and has proven somewhat embarrassing to Brazilian authorities who stepped up security in an attempt to prevent crime in and around Olympic venues.
There have been some media reports casting doubts on the accuracy of Lochte’s account. Video footage purports to show Lochte and the other swimmers returning to the athletes’ village around 7 a.m. Sunday and placing their watches and cell phones — items robbers presumably would have wanted — into baskets at the security checkpoint.
You can see our full story here.
Injured U.S. distance runner won’t be in 5,000 final
American Abbey D’Agostino captured the Olympic spirit when she encouraged New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin to get up and complete a heat of the the 5,000 meters on Tuesday after they got tangled up and fell.
Hamblin did manage to complete the race, but D’Agostino struggled to finish on a knee that was injured in the fall. Track officials said both women would be allowed to advance to the finals, and Hamblin will compete.
However, doctors said D’Agostino tore her ACL in the fall and won’t be able to run. D’Agostino said she had no regrets.
“Although my actions were instinctual at that moment, the only way I can and have rationalized it is that God prepared my heart to respond that way,” said D’Agostino, 24. “This whole time here, he’s made clear to me that my experience in Rio was going to be about more than my race performance — and as soon as Nikki got up I knew that was it.”