Olympics football: Brazil coach upbeat despite Mexico shock

By Paul FletcherBBC Sport at Wembley
Mexico stun Brazil to win gold

Brazil coach Mano Menezes said his team's Olympic campaign remained a success despite failing to win gold.

Menezes's team were favourites to defeat Mexico in the final at Wembley, but lost 2-1 after a disappointing performance ended their hopes of winning the tournament for the first time.

"The balance of these Games is positive," said Menezes, who is also coach of the senior side.

"We will continue on our path to the next World Cup. We are very sorry not to have won gold but 2014 remains our goal."

Brazil will host the Fifa tournament in two years' time, and it is expected that a large number of the 18-man squad who competed in the Games will be involved.

Menezes brought a strong squad to the competition, including Santos forward Neymar, new Chelsea signing Oscar, AC Milan's Alexandre Pato and Leandro Damiao, who finished as the tournament's top scorer with six goals.

But they were undermined by some awful defending, including a mistake from Manchester United full-back Rafael as Mexico opened the scoring after just 32 seconds.

That goal came from Oribe Peralta and he was on the scoresheet again in the second half after he had been left completely unmarked inside the Brazil box.

Brazil pulled a late goal back though Hulk but their frustration was clear to see when Rafael squared up with team-mate Juan Jesus in the latter stages. During the lengthy medal ceremony at Wembley the Brazil players looked like they would rather be anywhere than stood on a podium.

"You can see from the look on my face what my feelings are, it is not difficult to assess," added Menezes afterwards. "I am very disappointed.

"We did excellent work throughout the championship and believed until the final match we had a very good chance of gold but it was not to be."

It was Brazil's third final in the men's football tournament at the Olympics after defeats in 1984 and 1988.

The Brazilians who lost at Wembley join the likes of Romario, Bebeto, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Roberto Carlos in failing to deliver victory at the Olympics.

Menezes and his team were under such pressure to succeed that he admitted earlier in the week that he had not really been able to enjoy the tournament, instead prioritising positive results above everything else.

He also said that if he was writing a script for a film that sealing victory at Wembley would be the perfect ending.

But it turned into a horror movie for Menezes, whose team were not only poor in defence but struggled to find the attacking rhythm that had seen them score three goals in each of their previous five matches at the Games.

When asked about his own future as coach the 50-year-old, who has been in charge of the senior team for 12 months, said: "Defeat in one match, just like victory, should not have a decisive influence.

"Had we won that would not have solved some of our problems either, lessons must be learned from every match, study must be made of decisions taken and the consequences thereof.

Mexico stun Brazil in first minute

"I think in terms of the maturing process for this team, this will not have a negative impact. Quite the opposite, defeat is part of the maturing process, so I think this group will continue on its path. It is all about lessons learned."

It was a completely different story for Mexico after arguably the most famous victory in the country's footballing history.

El Tricolor were without Giovani Dos Santos, who missed out with a hamstring injury, but they deserved their victory as they won their first gold in Olympic football and at the 2012 Games.

"It is a very important moment, a great moment for us," said coach Luis Fernando Tena. "Our football has improved considerably."

Mexico reached the quarter-final of the World Cup in 1970 and 1986, and Tena would not be drawn on how high the victory in the Games rated.

"It is a very difficult question to answer question," added Tena. "But it is a moment of great emotion and triumph. All I can tell you is we are extremely happy and satisfied, we have great young players.

"It is a great emotion for us and all our country, they will be parting on the streets of Mexico. It is very satisfying for a coach to see his players singing the national anthem with a gold medal around their necks."