There’s a silver lining for Mikel Oyarzabal.
The 24-year-old Spanish footballer leveled the score in the men’s gold medal match between Spain and Brazil, 1-1, at the 2020 Tokyo Games, but La Roja ultimately had to settle for silver.
Coach Luis de la Fuente’s team went into the game undefeated in the competition, although they went to extra time in both their quarterfinal and semifinal ties.
Brazil had Everton’s Richarlison to call upon, the competition’s top scorer with five goals, as well as Dani Alves, who – at 38 – was looking to win the 44th title of his storied career.
Brazil had an excellent chance to take the lead early when they earned a penalty kick after Unai Simon clattered Matheus Cunha. Richarlison stepped up to the plate, but blazed his effort high and wide. The selecao got their breakthrough soon after, however, with Cunha finishing superbly after Alves teed him up artfully, before Mikel Oyarzabal, assisted by Carlos Soler, got Spain back on level terms with an absolutely stunning volley to force extra time.
What a volley by Mikel Oyarzabal! Emphatic finish for Spain's equalising goal v Brazil 🇪🇸⚽️ pic.twitter.com/O2Ni7p7fG8
— James Nalton (@JDNalton) August 7, 2021
Malcolm emerged as the hero for Brazil, though, as he raced free and slotted home past the heroic Unai Simon to clinch the gold medal for the South American nation.
Brazil would edge past Spain 2-1 to win its second-straight Olympic title.
They also become just the fifth team in Olympics history to win consecutive titles in men’s soccer.
It’s the third silver for Spain after being the runner-up at the 1920 Antwerp Games and the 2000 Sydney Games.
Spain’s lone Olympic gold came at the 1992 Barcelona Games.