‘Monster’ Neymar leads Brazil to Olympic final

2016-08-19 00:54:02 GMT2016-08-19 08:54:02(Beijing Time) Agencies

Neymar scored twice, including the fastest goal in Olympic history, as Brazil set up a blockbuster revenge showdown with Germany for Olympic gold by thrashing Honduras 6-0 on Wednesday.

The sides will meet on ­Saturday at the Maracana just two years after Germany ­inflicted Brazil's heaviest defeat of all time in a 7-1 thrashing in the 2014 World Cup semifinals at the same stadium.

World champions Germany reached their first Olympic ­final as a unified nation as ­Lukas Klostermann and Nils Petersen netted in a 2-0 win over Nigeria in Sao Paulo.

Neymar had been much-criticized for lackluster displays in two 0-0 draws to start the tournament. But his transformation from the nation's ­whipping boy back to golden boy was capped by his determination to open the scoring after just 15 seconds.

"Neymar is a monster. He has the gift of playing football, he delights everyone with his talent," said Brazil coach Rogerio Micale.

The Barcelona star hounded defender Johnny Palacios to rob possession on the edge of the Honduras box and goalkeeper Luis Lopez's attempt to atone for his teammate's error only ricocheted the ball off Neymar's midriff and into an empty goal.

For a moment, Neymar's bravery looked like it may have come at a cost. He was stretchered off after being winded in the challenge.

Neymar missed the 7-1 ­humiliation as he suffered two broken vertebrae in his back at the end of a brutal World Cup quarterfinal win against ­Colombia.

However, there was no repeat as the 24-year-old was soon back terrorizing the Honduras defense. Bryan Acosta and ­Allans Vargas were booked for uncompromising attempts to stop Neymar.

Manchester City's new 27 million pound ($36 million) wonder kid Gabriel Jesus piled on the pain for Honduras with two more goals before the break.

Luan's lovely through ball was prodded past the helpless Lopez by Jesus for his second goal of the tournament on 26 minutes.

Nine minutes later, Neymar turned provider with a precise pass down the left that

Jesus burst onto before crashing the ball into the roof of the net.

PSG defender Marquinhos took advantage of some awful Honduras marking to make it 4-0 six minutes into the second half.

Fittingly, in their best performance of the tournament, Luan converted a fine team goal for Brazil's fifth as Gabriel Barbosa slipped in Felipe Anderson to cross low to the far post.

Neymar capped a fine display with his second of the ­afternoon from the penalty spot in stoppage time.

Germany will be hoping to recreate happy memories of Rio as they followed up beating Brazil to lift the World Cup at the Maracana with a 1-0 win over Lionel Messi's Argentina two years ago.

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