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Germany, Brazil advance to men’s soccer finals in Rio

Associated Press

SAO PAULO – Lukas Klosertmann and Nils Peterson scored to send Germany into the Olympic gold-medal match for the first time with a 2-0 semifinal victory over Nigeria on Wednesday.

The Germans will play Brazil on Saturday at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. The stadium was the site of the country’s World Cup victory in 2014, a few days after the German senior team embarrassed Brazil 7-1 in the semifinals.

Brazil defeated Honduras 6-0 earlier in the day at the Maracana to put the hosts in the final. Neymar scored a pair of goals.

“Is there anything more beautiful than playing an Olympic final at Maracana against Brazil? It is amazing, fabulous,” Germany coach Horst Hrubesch said.

Nigeria will face Honduras in the bronze-medal match on Saturday in Belo Horizonte.

Klostermann scored in the ninth minute off a cross from captain Maximillian Meyer, beating fallen Nigeria goalkeeper Emmanuel Daniel.

Nigeria’s Jon Obi Mikel had a good chance in the 31st minute but was off the mark. Mikel, who plays for Chelsea, is one of the three senior players that Nigeria added to the Olympic roster. The men’s tournament is played among under-23 teams.

Peterson charged in and directed Davie Selke’s cross into the far corner in the 89th minute. It was Peterson’s sixth goal of the tournament.

“We didn’t play well. We don’t deserve to be in the final,” Mikel said.

Nigeria’s Olympic run received attention when the team’s arrival in Brazil was delayed by a flight mix-up until just hours before their opening match.

Nigeria won gold at the 1996 Olympics with a 3-2 victory over Argentina, then won silver in 2008, falling to Argentina 1-0 in the final.

Germany is playing at the Olympics for the first time since 1998, when U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann was on the team. Germany has the competition’s best attack with 21 goals. It eliminated Portugal 4-0 in the quarterfinals.

The German women’s national team is also playing in the gold-medal match against Sweden on Friday, marking the first time a nation has had both its men and women in a soccer final at the same Olympics.

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