Neymar scored the winning penalty as hosts Brazil beat Germany 5-4 on penalties in Rio to win their first men’s Olympic football gold medal.
The match had finished 1-1 after extra-time, with Neymar having put Brazil ahead with a superb free kick in the 27th minute before Germany skipper Maximilian Meyer equalised with a fine strike just before the hour to force the extra period.
There were no goals in extra time so the game went to a shootout with Germany’s Nils Petersen the first to miss with their fifth spot kick. Neymar then stepped up to coolly fire home the title winner and send the capacity crowd wild.
Brazil had lost the Olympic final three times in 1984, 1988 and 2012 but have now won the only international title to elude them by beating a country who had humiliated them 7-1 in the World Cup semi-finals on home soil in 2014.
Germany hit the woodwork three times in the first half – through Julian Brandt’s 25-yard effort, a deflection off a Brazilian defender and Sven Bender’s header – before they scored a deserved equaliser shortly after the restart.
Bender passed to the overlapping Jeremy Toljan and he found the unmarked Meyer, who arrowed a low shot into the net.
Neither side could find a winner before the drama of the penalty shootout gave Brazil the gold.
Goalkeeper Weverton said: “The gold is ours, but it belongs to God. God loves Neymar like he loves all this team.”
Neymar added: “This is one of the best things that has happened in my life. That’s it.”
A unified Germany are now the only World Cup winners never to have won the Olympic gold medal.