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Mexico and Japan battle for medal chance

Wembley plays host to the first semi-final of the men's football tournament between Mexico and Japan at the 2012 Olympic Games.

For both teams this is a great opportunity to reach the final and have a chance of winning the gold medal.

This could be an even affair, especially as the Japanese have reached this stage unbeaten and had little trouble in dispatching Egypt in the quarter-finals.

Mexico had to deal with a Senegal comeback in the last eight, before overcoming the Africans in extra-time at the weekend, also at Wembley. 

Dos Santos looking sharp 

Mexico have a very threatening attacking line-up and the difference could be made by Giovani dos Santos. 

Dos Santos, who has been on the fringes at Tottenham Hotspur and often been shipped out on loan abroad, has energised the Mexicans, ever since he came off the bench to score two goals in the group game with Gabon.

He is looking sharp and has a few points to prove, not just to his international selection but his club future too. 

However, Mexico will be missing Hector Herrera, who is absent through suspension, after picking up a second caution in the tournament during the Senegal match.

Herrera scored the last goal in the 4-2 victory on Saturday.

Morale boost 

As far as the Asians are concerned, the shock 1-0 opening victory over Spain boosted morale, which has grown with every game since. 

Finding a chink in their traditional 4-2-3-1 formation is almost impossible and the Egyptians simply couldn't cope at Old Trafford in the quarter-finals.

Japan have a strong dynamic style of play and watch out for two stars in the captain, Maya Oshida and exceptional passer in midfield, Keigo Higashi.

In a friendly clash before the tournament Japan won 2-1 with little at stake, apart from pride and preparation for the main event.

This time everything is at stake. For the winner it is a chance to reach the final and be crowned Olympic champions. For the loser, it will feel like the end of the world.

The winner of this match will play the final at the weekend against either Brazil or South Korea.

By Alberto Lliteras - Follow me on Twitter @albertolliteras

Follow Total Football on Twitter: @TotalFootball12

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