Brazil blanks Colombia, advances to men’s soccer semifinal

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After failing to score in group play Brazilian captain Neymar Jr. changed that Saturday night against Colombia, scoring on a free kick in the 12th minute to give the hosts a 1-0 lead. Brazil would control the action for much of the night at Corinthians Arena, with Luan’s goal in the 83rd minute sealing the 2-0 victory. After struggling in their first two matches 0-0 draws against South Africa and Iraq, Brazil has won their last two matches by a combined score of 6-0.

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With that, they’re off to the Maracan√£ where they’ll take on Honduras in the semifinals Wednesday. The two nations met in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Olympic tournament, with Brazil winning 3-2 on their way to the silver medal in London.

Honduras earned their spot in the semifinals with a 1-0 win over South Korea, with Alberth Elis’ goal in the 59th minute being the difference. For head coach Jorge Luis Pinto, this trip to the Olympic semis comes two years after he led Costa Rica to the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. South Korea had more possession of the ball and scoring opportunities, but they were unable to capitalize on any of those chances. And as a result, they won’t medal after taking bronze in London four years ago.

The other semifinal match pits Germany against Nigeria, with both posting impressive victories Saturday. A Serge Gnabry goal in first half stoppage time gave Germany a 1-0 lead on Portugal, and they would tack on three more goals in the second half to win 4-0. That result comes a year after Portugal whipped Germany 5-1 in the semifinals of the 2015 U-21 European Championships. As for Nigeria, they beat Denmark (which won the aforementioned U-21 Euros) 2-0 thanks to goals from Mikel John Obi and Aminu Umar.

Nigeria last won the Olympic gold medal in 1996, and Germany has yet to win gold as a unified nation (East Germany won in 1976).