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Mexico reach their first Olympic final

Mexico 3-1 Japan

Mexico reached their first Olympic final in their history after coming from behind to beat Japan 3-1 at Wembley Stadium.

Goals from Marco Fabian (pictured), Oribe Peralta and Javier Cortes gave the joyful fans a date with Brazil in the Olympic final on Saturday.

Japan did take the lead early on with a contender for goal of the tournament from Yuki Otsu, but they couldn't hold on and will now face Asian rivals South Korea for the bronze medal in the men's football tournament. 

Unbeaten in the competition so far, the Mexicans started as narrow favourites in what was always likely to be a closely competitive match.

However, they got an early shock in the 12th minute. 

Long range stunner

One of the leading stars of the Japanese team, Otsu, let the ball sit up from the edge of the area, controlled it beautifully, then hit a long range stunner on the half volley.

It was his third goal of these Olympic Games and one of the best moments of individual skill that we've seen in this tournament.

Luis Fernando Tena's team reacted well after this early blow and although slowly, started to gain a foothold in the game.

With half an hour played, Marco Fabian headed the favourites level. It was the first goal that Japan had conceded at the Olympic Games. 

The second half began with a lot of sparring but few clear-cut scoring chances. 

Peralta inspires Mexicans 

Otsu flashed an effort wide of the post, whilst at the other end Peralta forced Shuichi Gonda into a simple save.

Seconds later, Gonda threw the ball out to Takahiro Ohgiharan, who cheaply gave away possession to Peralta.

Peralta took full advantage of this gift and launched a terrific shot into the top corner of Gonda's net.

With the Asians pushing players forward in search of the equaliser, gaps began to appear in defence and that was exposed in stoppage time.

A lovely backheel from Peralta allowed substitute Cortes to drive a strike underneath Gonda and seal Mexico's place in the final.

The Mexicans have often been the bridesmaids in international football with their most successful campaign before this, being a run to the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup in their home country.

Now, they have a new generation of footballers to be idolised back home. 

By Alberto Lliteras - Follow me on Twitter @albertolliteras

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