Mexico are headed to the final of the men's soccer tournament at the London 2012 Olympics and will capture their first ever medal in soccer following a 3-1 defeat of Japan at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday. Japan got off to a terrific start with an early goal, but Mexico were in control for most of the match and fought their way back. Oribe Peralta's second half goal, the eventual winner, was a spectacular strike into the top corner from 20 yards out.
Japan had not conceded a goal in any of their previous four matches, including a match against Spain. They got off to a brilliant start with an early goal, scored by their leading scorer at the tournament, Yuki Atsu. He set himself up with a great first touch and turn, then unleashed a brilliant drive past Jose de Jesus Corona to put Japan up 1-0.
El Tri would equalize to take a 1-1 draw into halftime. The goal came on a bit of poor defending, with the not particularly tall Marco Fabian winning a header on a corner kick to tie up the match. Giovani dos Santos provided the delivery, with Jorge Enriquez flicking the ball backwards on the near post corner to set up Fabian.
At halftime, dos Santos was replaced by striker Raul Jimenez. There's no indication yet about whether or not dos Santos has an injury, but even if he was unable to continue, it was a tactical sub by Luis Fernando Tena. Instead of bringing in an attacking midfielder, Tena brought in a 6'3" forward.
Peralta's winner came in the 65th minute, off of a terrible error by Takahiro Ogihara. He gave the ball away to Peralta in his own half, and Mexico's No. 9 produced a fantastic finish with a drive into the top corner from just outside the box, giving El Tri a 2-1 lead.
Japan never looked much like scoring for the rest of the match and couldn't produce dangerous opportunities going forward. Javier Cortes came on as a late substitute and put the icing on the cake with the finish on the end of a great team goal in stoppage time, sealing his team's win in style.
You can find previous coverage of this game and live coverage of Brazil vs. South Korea in our London 2012 Olympics, men's soccer semifinals StoryStream.