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Brazil target 3rd straight blind football gold
Published : 06 Sep 2012 19:47:23
Brazil are seeking to rubber-stamp their dominance of Paralympic blind five-a-side football title when they seek their third straight gold medal in Saturday's London 2012 final against France.
Brazil have never lost a Paralympic five-a-side match, having won the inaugural title in Athens 2004 and retained their crown at Beijing 2008.
And they made it through to the final at the Riverbank Arena thanks to a 1-0 win on penalties following a goalless draw with neighbours and rivals Argentina on Thursday.
Gabriel de Silva's spot-kick was enough to see Brazil through to the another final.
Brazil coach Ramon Pereira de Souza said: "Just because we have won the gold two times before does not mean this time should be any less important. This next final is more important because it is more difficult to defend the title of being gold medallists.
"The final should be a very tough and heated match."
France beat Spain 2-0 in their semi-final, captain Frederic Villeroux's double taking them through.
Villeroux, who shrugged off an ankle injury that had him on crutches the day before the match, scored in each half, the second late on as Spain pushed for an equaliser.
"We've come here to win," the skipper said.
"We'll take it to another level against Brazil. We have the best group of people in this team -- we're a strong unit."
Brazil and France played out a goalless draw in the opening match of the tournament.
France coach Toussaint Akpweh added: "It's our first time in the final, and I said the other day that we're capable of scoring in open play -- and now we have.
"We want the gold medal."