Sports Mole's brings you live commentary of the men's semi-finals at the 2012 Olympic Games.
By Matt Law, European Football Editor Filed: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 16:20 UK
Last Updated: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 23:13 UK
Good afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole's live commentary of the men's semi-finals at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Japan and the United States booked their spots in the women's final on Monday, but now the focus switches to the men as the tournament enters its latter stages.
We have both semi-final ties to bring you today, with the victors guaranteed at least a silver medal in the men's competition.
Meanwhile, the two losers will also have the chance to play for a bronze medal on Friday evening.
The first semi between Mexico and Japan will get underway at 5pm, while South Korea face Brazil at 7.45pm this evening.
Note that the live action begins at 5pm.
9.46pmRight, that's just about me for this evening. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the coverage and be sure to join us the remainder of the action in the coming week. Goodbye!
9.44pmThe tournament began just under two weeks ago with 16 teams searching for Olympic gold. Now we have just two remaining - with Mexico and Brazil both certain of at least a silver medal.
9.42pmOur full report of tonight's fascinating encounter can be found here.
9.40pmSo there we have it. As mentioned, Mexico and Brazil will clash at 7.45pm on Saturday. Meanwhile, the bronze medal match will take place on Friday evening.
9.38pmJapan and South Korea will clash in the bronze medal match on Friday.
9.38pmMexico and Brazil will clash in the Olympic final on Saturday.
9.36pmSo there we have it. Brazil set up an all-South American Olympic final following a comfortable 3-0 win over South Korea. It might have been different had Korea capitalised on their impressive start, but a first-half goal from Romulo handed Brazil the incentive. They improved as the match developed and two second-half goals from Damiao made sure of the victory.
8.58pm... however, Ki's effort is straight into the wall and Brazil clear the danger.
8.56pmReally good opportunity for Korea as Nam is felled by Marcelo just outside the box...
8.54pmIt does appear that Brazil are playing this match in second gear. It's nice and tidy, but they have not broken sweat thus far. You get the feeling that they could raise it if needed.
8.52pmGabriel is left hanging out with the washing as he comes to claim a cross. However, the danger is just cleared by Thiago Silva. Lively start from Korea.
8.52pmPenalty claim for South Korea as Kim is felled in the area by Rafael, but the referee waves play on. It looked a spot kick for me.
8.50pmChance for Korea early in the second period as Ki finds Ji in the area, but once more he strikes over the bar. He could have had a hat-trick thus far.
8.48pmSouth Korea get us underway. They are 45 minutes away from elimination.
8.46pmHere we go then. The players are emerging onto the pitch for the second half.
8.44pmJust a reminder that Mexico overcame Japan 2-1 in the first of the semi-finals earlier today. As it stands, we are heading for a South American final.
8.42pmBoth sets of substitutes are warming up ahead of the second half. Will we see any changes at the break?
8.40pmSaying that, Brazil have the likes of Lucas Moura and Hulk on the bench. Oh and Ganso - the �25m midfielder wanted by Arsenal, and AC Milan's Alexandre Pato. Not too bad I suppose.
8.38pmThey say that it's a sign of a good team to win without playing well - and Brazil are on their way to doing just that. But South Korea simply cannot be written off.
8.36pmBrazil have also had more shots on target - four - to Korea's two. Meanwhile, the only stat that matters sees Brazil lead at the interval.
8.34pmLet's take a look at some statistics from the opening half of football. South Korea have dominated possession with 58% of the ball. However, Brazil have had seven shots to Korea's five.
8.32pmSo there we have it. It's harsh on South Korea with Romulo's strike after 38 minutes handing Brazil the lead. The South Americans started sluggish with Korea impressing with their all-action style. However, Brazil matured as the half developed and they lead with 45 minutes played.
8.22pmBoth sides just exchanging possession as the half approaches its latter stages. Korea will certainly be the happier at the break.
8.20pmMoment of the match from Neymar as he produces a fantastic turn to evade Koo - before being fouled by the Korean. Meanwhile, Sandro denies Kim on the break with a smart challenge.
8.18pmAgain it breaks down for Brazil with Neymar's ball too long for Damiao. It does seem strange that Hulk is not playing. Have the South Americans underestimated Korea?
8.16pmSighter for Brazil as Romulo strikes from outside the box, but it was never really troubling Lee.
8.14pmWe haven't seen anything from Neymar thus far. Now I've said that, he will probably score a hat-trick in the second period. Sorry in advance South Korea.
8.12pmThe game has just settled in the past few minutes after a lively period for Brazil. Korea really fancy their chances here.
8.10pmIt appears that Brazil have finally got to grips with this match as they stroke the ball around in midfield. Have Korea missed their chance? 25 minutes played. 0-0.
8.08pmIt's just all Brazil at the moment as Damiao fires a low cross along the box, but it drifts out for a throw. Really entertaining match at Old Trafford.
8.06pmKorea have a problem here with Lee down, as their back-up goalkeeper Jung Sungr-yong is also injured. However, Lee seems ok to continue.
8.06pmSuddely it's all Brazil as Lee makes a horror clearance in the Korea goal, but Sandro's effort is cleared off the line by Hwang.
8.04pmChance! Best chance of the match for Brazil as Damiao advances into the box, but his strike is straight at Lee when he might have found Neymar. Better from the South Americans.
8.03pmFirst sign of a Brazilian attack as Damiao and Romulo combine in the Korea box, but Lee just palms the ball to safety.
8.01pmThe opener almost comes as Ji strikes from outside the box, but it just drifted high of the bar. Brazil are a mess at the moment.
8.01pmDid the players swap shirts before the match? Korea are the team with all the passing. Meanwhile, Brazil are chasing shadows. But you just get the feeling that Korea have to score while on top.
7.59pmMake no mistake, Korea have started this match as the better side. They come close once more as Kim finds Ji in the box, but Thiago Silva clears off the line. The Brazlian defence looks ever so shaky.
7.57pmChance! Wonderful oppurtunity for Korea to take the lead early on, but Kim fires over from inside the box aftet a mix-up in the Brazilian defence.
7.57pmAgain it's Ji who advances down the left for Korea, but Rafael makes the challenge. It just isn't quite happening for Brazil at the moment.
7.55pmJust a sighter for Korea as Kim searches out Ji in the box, but it's just too high for the Sunderland striker. Impressive start from the Asian outfit.
7.53pmKorea continue to impress with their ability on the ball. Meanwhile, they are frustrating the Brazilians with a series of fouls.
7.51pmNice and bright passing from Korea with Ji and Koo all involved, but Rafael mops up the danger on his home ground. No chances for either side in the early stages.
7.49pmRomulo demonstrates his defensive bite as he fells Ki Sung-yueng in the opposing half. Meanwhile, a host of early fouls has disrupted the flow thus far.
7.47pmBrazil have taken control of possession - as expected - in the early stages. I'm not sure that Korea will see much of it tonight.
7.45pmHere we go then. Brazil get us underway on this mild evening in Manchester.
7.43pmHandshakes and flags exchanged. It is almost time. Can Korea pull of a sensational shock?
7.41pmNow it's Brazil's turn. Nice and jolly this one. Although the players do not look very happy.
7.39pmNational anthem time. South Korea to go first. Always an intense experience.
7.37pmHere we go then. Both sets of players are emerging onto the pitch. Let's get this show on the road.
7.35pmIt doesn't look like there is a spare seat in the house as Old Trafford fills up ahead of kickoff. What an occasion we have upon us.
7.33pmKorea shocked Team GB in the previous round, although Stuart Pearce's side had more than one chance to win that match. Brazil will know they are in a game tonight, that's for certain.
7.31pmFor all the South Korean supporters out there. I haven't forgotten you I promise. They will line up in a 4-5-1 this evening, hence the omission of Park. Meanwhile, Ji will be given a role on the left of midfield.
7.29pmRight, back to this evening. We are little over 15 minutes away from kickoff at Old Trafford. It's Brazil 3-1 for me.
7.27pmWithout getting into a preview of the 2014 World Cup, the Brazilians must surely start as favourites, despite the success of Spain in recent years.
7.25pmThe likes of Neymar, Damiao and Oscar will be two years older, and brighter. Meanwhile, Marcelo - of course old at 24 - will have matured into the best left-back in the world.
7.23pmAside from Liverpool midfielder Lucas and Barcelona defender Dani Alves - this is just about the team that will line up in two years time. Scary?
7.21pmIt would also be fair to state that Brazil are preparing this exact team for the 2014 World Cup in their own stomping ground - and therefore the Olympics is benefiting them in more ways than one.
7.19pmBrazil also enter the match with a number of their forward players in form. Damiao has struck four goals, while the brilliant Neymar has three. �32m winger Lucas Moura and Alexandre Pato cannot even get in the team. We'll move on swiftly.
7.17pmThey had no such problems in overcoming Belarus and New Zealand, but they had a tougher than expected 3-2 win over Honduras in the previous round.
7.15pmMeanwhile, Brazil won all three group games to top Group C, but they were given a scare against Egypt. Two late strikes sent the African nation to within a goal of a point, but the South Americans hung on for the win.
7.13pmHowever, they remained unbeaten in qualifying - winning five and drawing three in an impressive showing.
7.11pmSouth Korea finished second in Group B to Mexico - who they could meet in the final - but they won just one match in three group games.
7.09pmWe touched on both teams' run to this stage earlier, but let's take a closer look at their performances thus far.
7.07pmHowever, there is a place for Sunderland striker Ji Dong-won following his goal against Team GB in the quarter-finals. The full team news can be found here.
7.05pmThe big news for Korea is their omission of Arsenal striker Park Chu-young, with Kim Hyun-sung given the lone striker role.
7.03pmInteresting selection for Brazil with Marcelo seemingly given a more advanced role. Meanwhile, Neymar and Leandro Damiao will lead the attack. Sandro has also recovered from a knock to line up in midfield.
7.01pmKorea: Lee; Oh, Yun, Kim, Hwang; Ki, Kim B, Ji D, Nam T, Koo J; Kim H
6.59pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS: Hulk drops out for Brazil with Alex Sandro coming into the team. Full news to follow.
6.57pmMeanwhile, our full report of the first of the semi-finals can be found here.
6.55pmSo: Mexico vs. Brazil/South Korea in the men's final of the Olympics. Who will join them?
6.53pmSo there we have it. Mexico advance to the final courtesy of a 3-1 win over Japan. Cortes added to goals from Fabian and Peralta in the final moments as the better team advanced. It just didn't quite happen for Japan this evening, but they still have the chance to play for bronze.
6.22pmJapan are struggling to get out of their own half at the moment, but when they do, it comes straight back. Nagai is incredibly isolated in attack.
6.20pmChance for Mexico to find a cross as Fabian is felled by Otsu, but Nagai gets highest to clear the danger.
6.18pmThe match has just gone ever so narrow, for both sides, in the past 10 minutes or so. However, Mexico look the most likely with 30 minutes remaining.
6.16pmFirst booking of the match goes to Sakai for a challenge on Fabian. Bit of an elbow thrown in to that one. Meanwhile, here comes the Mexican wave once more.
6.14pmNot the best of atmospheres inside Wembley truth be told. Let's hear some singing! Anyone know any Mexican or Japanese songs?
6.12pmGood possession from Mexico at the moment as they pass and probe around the Japan box. But their final ball just isn't quite happening. This one really good go either way.
6.10pmMexico respond with a couple of chances of their own, but Fabian's effort is deflected for a corner - which is cleared.
6.08pmSuddenly Japan spring into life as Yamaguchi and Nagai both have efforts in quick succession, but Salcido makes the block.
6.06pmJapan force their second corner of the match after tidy feet from Otsu, but Kiyotake's cross is headed away by Aquino.
6.04pmMexico appear to be going a lot more direct in the early stages of the second period with Jimenez the target. However, Japan already look brighter following the interval.
6.02pmJapan kick us off in the second half. Time to make yourself a hero.
6.01pmHere we go then. The players are just emerging onto the pitch for the second period. Meanwhile, change for Mexico at the break as Raul Jimenez replaces Dos Santos - strange one?!
5.59pmJust a reminder that the second semi-final between Brazil and South Korea will kickoff at 7.45pm. Stay with us, and you will not miss a kick.
5.57pmMeanwhile, our report of the opening half, courtesy of our very own Joe Fish, can be found here.
5.55pmDespite both sides obvious strength in defence, you can just see goals coming in the second period. But I'm sticking to my prediction of 2-1 to Japan.
5.53pmMexico have been bright in forward areas, although Dos Santos hasn't really influenced the match thus far. Meanwhile, Ostu's contribution for Japan was there for all to see.
5.51pmMexico also lead with shots on target 2-1. However, the only statistic that matters sees the two sides level at the interval.
5.49pmRight, let's take a look at some statistics from the opening half. Mexico have dominated possession with 61%, while they have had eight shots to Japan's four.
5.47pmSo there we have it. An extremely tight opening half ends with both teams level at 1-1. It was Otsu who handed Japan the lead with a fine strike after 12 minutes, but a Fabian header on the 30 minute mark levelled proceedings. It is so finely balanced ahead of the second period.
5.29pmChance! So nearly 1-1 as Dos Santos strikes an effort from inside the box, but it just bends past the post. Their best opening of the match.
5.27pmOtsu and Nagai continue to cause Mexico problems with their direct running. However, both sides are remaining compact with the 30 minute mark approaching.
5.25pmEverything is just too narrow for Mexico at the moment with Dos Santos and Peralta occupying the same advanced area. Meanwhile, Japan are showing their tidy ability on the ball.
5.23pmJust another sighter for Mexico as Fabian strikes an effort from outside the box, but Gonda is on hand to collect.
5.21pmSo nearly for Mexico as Dos Santos slips a wonderful ball towards Israel Jimenez, but Shuichi Gonda collects the danger.
5.19pmBit of a half-hearted Mexican wave in the stands at the moment. Come on guys, this game is actually good! Just another sighter for Japan as Keigo Higashi strikes from inside the box, but Salcido makes the block.
5.17pmMeanwhile, Japan are yet to concede in the tournament. Just incredible statistics. The pace of the match has certainly increased following the opener.
5.15pmIt is the first time that Mexico have fallen behind this summer. How will they respond? It just isn't quite happening for them in attack thus far.
5.13pmGood grief. That was some strike from Otsu. Meanwhile, Japan go forward searching for their second, but Salcido clears the danger.
5.12pmOh my word! Japan lead and it's a thumping effort from Otsu as he strikes it into the top corner from outside the box. Incredible.
5.12pmIt appears that Peralta and Fabian will play in and around Dos Santos in the Mexican attack this evening. Meanwhile, Peralta is also playing in an advanced area. Japan on the attack with 12 minutes on the clock.
5.10pmJust when you think that one team has taken control, the other creates a chance of their own. It was Marco Fabian who found a cross for Mexico, but Maya Yoshida produced a towering header to clear the danger.
5.08pmJapan are just starting to get a feel for the match as they pass and probe in the Mexican half, but Otsu's ball is just too long for Nagai.
5.06pmSuddenly the chances are coming for both sides as Hiroshi Kiyotake strikes from all of 30 yards, but Jose Corona pushes it around the post.
5.06pmAnother sighter for Mexico as Oribe Peralta hits it on the bounce inside the Japan half, but he fired high and wide when he might have done better.
5.04pmFirst real attempt of the match as Aquino strikes from outside the box, but it was always drifting wide of the post. Nice feel to the game in the early stages.
5.02pmBright early spell for Mexico as Javier Aquino attempts to race into the Japan half, but he is fouled by Yuki Otsu. Meanwhile, Dos Santos looks full of running early on.
5pmGianluca Rocchi blows his whistle and we are underway on this mild evening in London.
4.58pmHere we go then. Flags exchanged. One of these two sides is heading for an Olympic final. Is there a bigger honour?
4.56pmNow it's Japan's turn. They all look incredibly focused as the music blares into the stadium.
4.55pmSome dodgy singing in there that's for certain. Meanwhile, Carlos Salcido still looks like someone who has had his favourite toy taken.
4.55pmIt's national anthem time. Mexico to go first.
4.55pmPhew! Right, let's focus on our opening match between Mexico and Japan, with kickoff five minutes away.
4.53pmBrazil have also never won the tournament, although they have finished as runners-up twice in 1984 and 1988 and third in 1996 and 2008.
4.51pmThey topped Group C following wins over Egypt, Belarus and New Zealand. Meanwhile, they overcome Honduras 3-2 in the quarter-finals.
4.49pmMeanwhile, Brazil have scored 12 goals in four games thus far - becoming just the sixth side since 1968 to do so. However, they have conceded five goals in a less than impressive defensive performance.
4.47pmThey have reached the semi-final stage of the Olympics for the first time in nine attempts this summer, and could pull off one of the all-time shocks if they can secure the victory this evening.
4.47pmKorea advanced to this stage after finishing second in Group B behind Mexico. Meanwhile, they recorded a 5-4 penalty win over Team GB in the quarter-finals.
4.45pmMeanwhile, the second of the two semi-finals pits South Korea against Brazil at Old Trafford. Remarkably, Korea have won just one game at this year's Olympics inside 120 minutes - a 2-1 win over Switzerland.
4.43pmKensuke Nagai is certainly the one to watch for Japan having struck two goals thus far. Meanwhile, Giovani Dos Santos has three goals to his name for Mexico.
4.41pmThey did, however, win the 2010 Asian Games with a side very similar to their current Olympic squad. Meanwhile, it is 12 years since they made the quarter-finals of the Olympics - losing on penalties to the United States.
4.39pmJapan made their debut in the 1936 Olympic football tournament in Berlin - where they reached the quarter-finals - although they were beaten 8-0 by eventual winners Italy.
4.37pmThey faced their opponents today in the bronze medal match at the 1968 Olympics, with Japan winning 2-0 in Mexico City. Meanwhile, Japan also triumphed 2-1 when the pair met in a warm-up match prior to the tournament.
4.35pmIn terms of the history of both sides. Mexico made their Olympic football debut in 1928 - losing 7-1 to Spain in the first round - while they have never won an Olympic medal in the football, with this summer's semi the furthest they have reached.
4.33pmMeanwhile, Japan topped Group D following wins over Spain and Morocco, and a 0-0 draw with Honduras. They faced Egypt in the quarter-finals, and two goals in the final 10 minutes led them to a 3-0 win against the African nation.
4.31pmMexico advanced to this stage with a 4-2 victory over Senegal in the quarter-finals. Meanwhile, they topped Group B following wins over Gabon and Switzerland, and a 0-0 draw with fellow semi-finalists South Korea.
4.29pmSo, pretty much as expected in terms of both lineups. All the stars are there. What an evening of football we have ahead of us.
4.27pmAs mentioned, first up is the match between Mexico and Japan at Wembley Stadium. The team news is just filtering through.
4.27pmThe chance to play for a gold medal is at stake this evening, with the winners of the two semi-finals guaranteed at least a silver medal in this year's Olympics.
4.25pmHello all! What a wonderful tournament we have had thus far. Spain's elimination, Team GB's penalty exit to South Korea, and Brazil's excellence to name but a few. Meanwhile, what about the emergence of stars such as Moussa Konate, Jerry Bengtson and Mohamed Salah?