The contrast could not have been greater as Mexico's jubilant coach
Luis Fernando Tena greeted the media punching the air in delight as
beaten opponent Mano Menezes was left looking like he could punch
Tena's young side had just beaten hot favourites Brazil 2-1 to win
their first Olympic soccer title, their first major international title
and their first gold in any sport at the London Games against Menezes's
team who limped away following another Olympic failure.
Tena, who is also assistant to national coach Jose Manuel de la
Torre, could hardly contain his emotions as he said: "This is a great
and emotional victory for our country.
"We have better players, more experienced players, a better selection
of young players. Our coaches are better trained and paid, which is
He added: "Our youngsters can look to the future more optimistically -
they have left behind the old complexes. They look towards the future
The victory is continuing a Mexican revival. They have now won the
2005 and 2011 World Under-17 Cups, some regional titles and reached the
semi-finals of last year's World Under-20 Cup.
Mexico certainly deserved victory too with two goals from Oribe
Peralta, the first after 28 seconds, the second a thumping header 15
minutes from time, with Brazil only responding in added time through
The defeat will be hard for Brazilians to stomach. The Olympic title
is the only major one they have never won and this team, with the likes
of Neymar, Oscar, Leandro Damiao, Sandro and Rafael, had won all five
matches scoring 15 times on the way to the final they were expected to
They particularly wanted to take a London gold as their arch-rivals
Argentina, Olympic champions in 2004 and 2008 had failed to qualify and
this was seen as the perfect opportunity to match them.
But as has happened so many times before in previous Games, Brazil
blew their chance. They now have three Olympic silvers after final
defeats in 1984 and 1988 and two bronze medals.
They took almost an hour to regroup after conceding in the first
minute and although they had the better chances in the second half, they
left it too late to find a goal.
Menezes, who is also the manager of the senior team and in charge of
the side that will host the World Cup finals in two years time, arrived
to talk to the media as if he was wearing a Mexican death mask.
"You can see from the look on my face what my feelings are," he said.
"I am very sad. We did some excellent work in the tournament but it
wasn't enough. We suffered an early goal which forced us to change our
"Of course that was due to a major individual mistake after 30
seconds, but then we had 89 and a half minutes to turn it around and we
didn't. We lost as a team."
The Olympic soccer tournament is essentially an Under-23 one with
each team allowed three over-age players and this side is likely to
provide the basis of Brazil's 2014 World Cup team.
Menezes added: "The World Cup remains our goal and I do not think
this defeat will have a negative impact on the maturing process towards
2014. We will learn from this defeat." (Reporting by Mike Collett;
editing by Michael Holden)