Wembley, London: The basics need to be right, and if you don’t get them so, then you’ve got to be ready to pay for the mistakes.
Two defending mistakes: one goal, and that too within the first 30 seconds.
Game nearly done, dusted and delivered!
And then, the second one on the 75th.
Out for their maiden gold medal, Brazil hopefully learnt the basics the hard way as they crashed to a shock, though not totally unexpected 2-0 defeat to Mexico in the final of the football competition of the London Olympics here on Saturday.
A first minute error from Manchester United’s Rafael saw the underdogs shock the five-time Fifa World Champions when Oribe Peralta latched in on a back pass from Rafael to fire home the opener.
And then two minutes after the hour, another instance of atrocious defending and Marco Fabian so very unlucky to have his lob hitting the framework.
And finally, the knockout punch from Peralta for his second on the evening to sink the wannabe champions.
But it was that early goal that was a real jolt. Brazil did not know what had hit them.
Brazil tried, and with the legendary Pele in the stands, they tried hard. They created the chances, pushed hard.
On the 20th minute, Chelsea’s new signing Oscar accepted inside the box and then shot straight into the waiting hands of Jose Corona on the Mexican goal.
And then again on three successive occasions came within a whiff: the first in the 37th minute, the second on the 44th and finally on the half-time whistle, all from the nippy Neymar.
But the Mexican defence stood tall and strong.
Brazil finally found a consolation goal through Hulk as the game entered extra-time. Too much, but a little too late. Brazil had to concede that Mexico was the better team.
Coming in with an incredible 15 goals – three in each of the five they played on their way to the final – Mexico had scant regard for anything Brazilian. And though they were bound to miss their injured top-scorer Giovani dos Santos – ironically the only player on foreign shores at Tottenham Hotspur - the Mexicans proved the form book wrong with that early goal.
And the crowed cheered on ‘Brazil’, ‘Brazil’…but that barely had any outcome on the final result.
Brazil had to settle for a third football silver medal (1984 and 1988 the previous two) along with two bronze medals (1996 and 2008), while Mexico came up with gold for the first time - their best being a fourth place way back in 1968 on home soil.
Mexico 2 Brazil 1!
Yet another big wait for the next four years for their next attempt on the one elusive honour missing from the Brazilian trophy cabinet.