Mexico beats Japan to reach Olympic soccer final

Associated Press  |  Last updated August 07, 2012
Oribe Peralta scored with a swerving, long-range strike to help Mexico beat Japan 3-1 on Tuesday and secure a spot in the final of the men's Olympic soccer tournament. Mexico will play Saturday against the winner of the Brazil-South Korea semifinal. Mexico's previous best showing at the Olympics was at the 1968 Mexico City Games, when the team was beaten in the bronze-medal match 2-0 by Japan, also that nation's best finish. Yuki Otsu opened the scoring at the 12-minute mark for Japan on an impressive strike from near the top of the penalty box that caught the right-hand corner of the net. Marco Fabian headed in a corner for Mexico before halftime to equalize. Peralta scored at the 65-minute mark after winning the ball off of Japanese defender Takahiro Ohgihara, who lingered with it too long after keeper Shuichi Gonda had rolled it to him. Peralta ran with the ball briefly then shot high and to the left of Gonda to give Mexico the lead. Deep into extra time, Javier Cortes cut into the box from the right wing, beat a defender, then sent the ball through the legs of Gonda to cap the victory.
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