Sergio Aguero scored two second-half goals in seven minutes Tuesday and later set up another to lead Argentina to a 3-0 win over rival Brazil and into its second straight Olympic final.
It was the first victory for Argentina against Brazil in three years. It hadn’t beaten Brazil since a 3-1 victory in a World Cup qualifier in June 2005.
“It’s not a score you see every day when Brazil and Argentina play,” Argentina coach Sergio Batista said. “Argentina had a great match, with intelligence and personality.”
The Argentine players huddled near midfield after the match and chanted to celebrate. The Argentines also did some celebrating inside the team’s bus as it was ready to leave the stadium, jumping around and singing together.
Brazil will have to wait at least another four years to try to win its first Olympic gold medal. It is the only significant title the five-time world champions have never won.
Both players displayed their uncanny skills, but Messi threatened the most and created dangerous scoring chances for Argentina. In his first Olympics, the midfielder set up Argentina’s second and third goals, while AC Milan’s Ronaldinho struck the post with a free kick as he tried to put Brazil back into the match.
“We played an even match with them, it was a hard game, as usual,” Brazil coach Dunga said. “But they got the first goal and that made things difficult.”
Brazil midfielder Lucas was sent off in the 81st after a foul from behind on Liverpool teammate Javier Mascherano. Substitute midfielder Thiago Neves was red-carded just three minutes later after another hard foul on Mascherano.
“It was Argentina’s best match in the Olympics so far,” Batista said. “It was a well-deserved result.”
“Now we will try to win the bronze,” Pato said. “It will still be an honor to win that medal.”