Germany take women's title after beating Sweden 2-1

Despite the drama of extra-time and penalties, the duo clearly left an impact on Neymar who sought them out during his victory lap.

Schalke talent and German captain Max Meyer later equalised for Germany after the interval, a well worked team goal.

Saturday's gold medal match offered a shot at redemption and proved the defining moment of the hosts' Games, with Neymar, ruled out of 2014's meeting through injury, scoring the decisive penalty as Germany were overcome 5-4 in the shootout that followed an intense 1-1 draw at the magnificent Maracana.

"This is something completely new, so this is definitely a new summit for German women's football", said Germany coach Silvia Neid, who is retiring after the Olympics.

"Brazil could have won (gold) medals in everything but if it hadn't been in football then nothing would have counted", said jubilant fan Leila Lopes da Silva, to summarise the mood of a jubilant nation.

The victory immediately went some way to repairing the damage done two years before against the same opposition - the night of their 7-1 World Cup semi-final humiliation.

Brazil had lost three Olympic finals, including four years ago in London, when it was upset by Mexico 2-1 with a team that also included Neymar and other talented players. At one match, fans cheered her by chanting "Better Than Neymar".

In front of the biggest crowd of Rio's Games, including nine-time Jamaican gold medallist Usain Bolt, Neymar's brilliant free-kick handed Brazil a first-half lead.

Some were already asking whether Neymar's name should be added to the list of Brazil's greats, joining the Pele, Zico and "the phenomenon" Ronaldo.

"This was really a hard situation for us", coach Rogerio Micale said afterwards. "It was the Olympics but we needed to respond to the Brazilian people and we did that, we won".

Germany started confidently, and in the 11th minute Julian Brandt bent a long shot from outside the box that struck the crossbar.

It had to be 2016, the year when South America hosts its first ever Olympics that the Canarinhos settled accounts with history and took home the first Olympic gold ever.

Neymar eschewed the Copa America to focus on the Rio Games.

"I can't begin to describe them [my feelings]", he said.

Prosecutors in both Spain and Brazil have come after he and his father on charges of tax fraud. Neymar comes up to the line focused knowing he can win the game.

Half of Americans wary of travel to US Zika zones
Fabio Borini: Sunderland striker out for three months with groin injury