Germany set up a mouthwatering men’s Olympic football final against hosts Brazil when they overcame Nigeria 2-0 in the second semifinal in Sao Paulo, hours after the home team routed Honduras 6-0 in the first semifinal at Rio’s Maracana Stadium on Wednesday.
The final on Saturday at the Maracana will be an under-23 repeat of the 2014 World Cup semi-final in which Germany destroyed their host by seven goals to one.
The Olympic soccer tournament is played by under-23 teams, with each side allowed three over-age players.
The Germans were less convincing in defeating the 1996 gold medal winners Nigeria.
Lukas Klostermann grabbed an early goal after nine minutes but Nigeria pushed hard for an equaliser and were unlucky not to get an equaliser on several occasions.
However, at the Maracana, Neymar, who missed that embarrassing semifinal against Germany due to injury, scored a brace, including the fastest goal in Olympic history to tune up for the big match. Gabriel Jesus got two more and Marquinhos and Luan added one each.
The home side, desperately seeking the only international title they have yet to win, got off to the perfect start with Neymaer scoring after just 15 seconds.
Honduras knocked the ball back from the kick-off, but Neymar caught Johnny Palacios in possession on the edge of the box and bravely challenged the keeper to bundle the ball into the net.
The goal got the famously fickle Brazil fans behind the home side and Gabriel Jesus doubled the score in 26 minutes. Luan freed the new Manchester City signing from the offside trap, and his assured finish went under the advancing keeper from 18 yards.
Neymar made it six when he calmly slotted home a penalty in the final minute after Luan was upended.
"The goal at the start helped us a lot and we knew it would be a scrappy game," said Rogerio Micale, Brazil's coach. "When you get a goal right at the start it's really a great help, it gives you the confidence to control the game in what was a very hot sun."