The Brazilian men’s football team will compete for the gold medal at the Pan American Games in Santiago-2023 after beating Mexico 1-0, last Wednesday, 1st, in a tough duel for the semifinals, in Viña del Mar. The opponent of the decision will be the hosts Chile, the same as Brazil’s last victory. At the 1987 Indianapolis Pan, Brazil climbed to the top of the podium after beating the Chilean team 2-0, with goals from Washington (Assis’ duo in Fluminense’s “couple 20”), and Evair, then at Guarani, who years later he would become an idol of Palmeiras.
That team full of young people, led by Carlos Alberto Silva, also had other athletes who would make history in national football, such as Taffarel, Ricardo Rocha and Valdo. In its edition of December 31, 1987, PLACAR narrated the “cried medal”, in a report written by Marcelo Duarte.
The years were different and football at the Pan-American Championship had more prestige than it does today. Even so, it was also known that the title would not add much to Brazilian football, which had already been without the World Cup for 17 years, but it had important weight for coach Carlos Alberto Silva. “If this title doesn’t add much to the Brazilian CV, at least it can give more peace of mind to the coach who won three of the four international competitions he competed in”, pointed out the article.
In addition to the 2-0 over Chile in the decision, the campaign featured a battle previously. In the semi-final, just like this year, the opponent was Mexico and the 1-0 victory came out of a game “like karate”, as Marcelo Duarte pointed out.
“To reach the final, Brazil faced a real battle the previous Tuesday, against Mexico, which featured eight veterans from the last World Cup. This is because FIFA allows teams from Africa or Concacaf, considered weaker, to use any player in the Pan or Olympics. On the field, Brazilians and Mexicans played so violently that they seemed to be fighting for a karate medal or something similar. The cauldron exploded at the end of the first half, when Mexico’s captain, Quirarte, deliberately kicked the ball into Brazil’s bench. An argument then began that spread to the narrow corridor that leads to the changing rooms. Then the players turned into true gladiators”, wrote the report about the start of a widespread fight.
The decision for gold also had this “crying” tone, punctuated by the report. Even with names that would later become historic, the team was unable to score in normal time and the final had to be decided during extra time. That’s how Washington, João Paulo’s replacement, scored the first. The conquest was nailed down by Evair’s feet, killing any chance of a Chilean reaction.