Nonato shoots to score the goal over Argentina — Photo: Buda Mendes/Getty Images
Brazil has never lost a game in five Paralympic campaigns that earned it five gold medals.
The 5-a-side football debuted at the Paralympics in Athens 2004 and has always seen Brazil at the top of the podium. In Greece, the victory was over Argentina on penalties. In Beijing 2008, the title came over China, 2-1. The tri was guaranteed in London 2012 with a 2-0 victory over France. In Rio 2016, the opponent of the decision was Iran, duly beaten in the final by 1 to 0.
Nonato celebrates goal over Argentina — Photo: Buda Mendes/Getty Images
In the dispute for the bronze medal in Tokyo, Morocco – which had fallen to Brazil in the semifinals – beat China 4-0 and secured a place on the podium in the Japanese capital.
Brazil-Argentina in the Paralympics 5 football final — Photo: Buda Mendes/Getty Images
The first big scoring chance came just over a minute into the game. After being fouled, the Argentine Espinillo took it hard and demanded a great defense from Brazilian goalkeeper Luan. A minute later, the Argentines gave another submission, with Deldo, again stopped by Luan.
1st T: Luan saves on Espinillo’s kick – ARG 0 x 0 BRA
Brazil started to react when, with four minutes played, Paraná dribbled three opponents and went straight to the goal. He managed to kick, but a little chewed, but the cross shot caught the crossbar and came back into Lencina’s hands.
1st T: Paraná makes a nice move, cross kicks and hits the post- ARG 0 x 0 BRA
At this point in the first half, with almost ten minutes elapsed, the team seemed to feel more at ease after a nervous start.
Ricardinho in the Paralympics 5 football final — Photo: Buda Mendes/Getty Images
Despite this, the goal did not come out. The coaches started to promote substitutions to rotate the squads and maintain the intense level, but that didn’t translate into real chances and the first half ended 0-0.
1st T: Brazil asks for a diversion outside the Argentine goalkeeper’s area – ARG 0 x 0 BRA
On the way back from halftime, another influential character in football matches of 5: the rain came out. Not as strong as the semifinal against Morocco, but enough to change the dynamic compared to the first half.
The Argentines returned a little more backed and with strong marking over Ricardinho, the main Brazilian player.
But overall, the pace of the game cooled with the water. In the first ten minutes of the second half, there was no clear chance of a goal from both sides.
Only 11 minutes into the game came an opportunity. Nonato, who entered the final as the national top scorer in the Paralympics (five goals), lined up rivals until he came face-to-face with Lencina and delivered a beautiful left kick, which was slapped for a corner.
2nd T: After the sprint, Nonato shoots on goal and the Argentine goalkeeper stretches to deflect – ARG 0 x 0 BRA
Two minutes later, there was no escape. With 7min14s to the end, Nonato made a similar move, sewing through the middle, but this time the left kick came out more powerful, at mid height, and beat Lencina. It was the Brazilian’s sixth goal in the Games, the most important of them.
2nd T: Goal of Brazil! Nonato passes through two markers and shoots high – ARG 0 x 1 BRA
Argentina went forward and forced a great save from Luan with just over four minutes to go.
2nd T: Espinillo shoots from a distance, and Luan makes a great save – ARG 0 x 1 BRA
The second Brazilian goal almost came with two minutes to play, after a great move by Paraná, who kicked hard to defend the opposing goalkeeper.
Fortunately, it wasn’t needed. The team managed the result to win the Paralympic pentachampionship.
It’s penta! Brazil celebrates gold in 5-a-side football – Tokyo Paralympics