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Brazil makes Olympic soccer finals for the first time in 24 years

For the first time in 24 years, Brazil will be playing for Olympic soccer gold, going up against Mexico in Saturday's final match.
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MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 29: Marcelo of Brazil evades the challenge of Stanislav Dragun of Belarus during the Men's Football first round Group C Match between Brazil and Belarus on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Old Trafford on July 29, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Francis Bompard/Getty Images) (Francis Bompard/AFP/Getty Images)

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — For the first time in 24 years, Brazil will be playing for Olympic soccer gold, going up against Mexico in Saturday's final match.

The tournament favorites beat South Korea 3-0 in Tuesday's semi-finals, bringing their team one step closer to taking home the elusive gold medal, reported the Associated Press. They will take on Mexico, who defeated Japan 3-1 in their semi-final.

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"It's been a long time since we made it to this final and that shows how hard it is to get here," Brazil coach Mano Menezes said to the AP. "This group deserves a lot of credit and they know that we are closer to finally winning the gold."

According to CNN, Brazil has won the world champions five times and the South American championship eight times.

But Reuters reported that the soccer-obsessed country has yet to win gold at the Olympics after trying for the past 60 years. It came closest to the top spot in 1984 and 1988 when it won silver medals.

"The entire team had a huge effort to reach the final," Brazilian striker Leandro Damiao told the AP. "We are happy to have made it to the final and we are here to win the gold medal. We are Brazil, we are here for the gold."

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