Brazil wins gold in men’s soccer at 2020 Paralympics

Paralympics: Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony
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Brazil has won the gold medal in men’s soccer at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2021. In the final game, which was played on Saturday, the Brazilians defeated Argentina 1-0 on a goal by midfielder Raimundo Mendes of Petrolina, Brazil, who scored the only goal of the game in the 33rd minute.

For Mendes, who is legally blind, it was his third career gold medal at the Paralympic Games. Mendes’s prior Paralympic gold medal came at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London and the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Five years ago, Brazil beat Iran 1-0 in the gold medal game on a game-winning goal by Ricardinho in the 12th minute, and nine years ago, Brazil beat France 2-0 in the gold medal game thanks to a French own goal, and a game-winning goal by Severino in the 22nd minute on a penalty.

Unlike soccer at the Olympic level, soccer at the Paralympic level is five players per side on the pitch at one time. It was a dominant performance by the Brazilians throughout the 2020 Paralympic men’s soccer tournament. Brazil won all three of their games in Group A. They defeated China 3-0 (thanks to two goals by Mendes), delivered a 4-0 win over Japan (two goals by Alves, and a game-winning goal by Mendes in the fifth minute), and beat France 4-0 on two goals each by Mendes and Soares. In the semifinal, Brazil beat Morocco 1-0 on an own goal by Berka. Morocco meanwhile beat China 4-0 to win Paralympic bronze thanks to four goals by Snisla.

In a remarkable statistic, Brazil has in fact won the gold medal at every single Paralympic Games. They also won the gold medal at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens by beating Argentina 3-2 in a penalty shootout in the final, and then beat China 2-1 in the gold medal final at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.

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