It hasn't been easy, but Brazil are just a win away from reaching the final of the men's football event of the Rio 2016 Olympics. After a stuttering start to the tournament, Brazil have hit the right notes when needed most to lock this semifinal matchup against Honduras at the Maracana on Wednesday.
A win will keep Brazil at the most iconic of stadiums to play in the gold medal match, and move them ever closer to that elusive Olympic title. Brazil might have won world titles left, right and centre, but the Olympic gold medal is something that has eluded them so far.
Brazil started their Rio 2016 Olympic campaign on a far from impressive note, failing to register a single goal in their first two matches, and that too, not exactly against fearful opposition. However, against Denmark, they finally found those scoring boots, with Gabriel Barbosa, Gabriel Jesus and Luan scoring, before their captain Neymar came to the fore in the 2-0 quarterfinal win over Colombia.
Honduras were not a team that most would have tipped to make it to the semifinals, so Brazil, whose women's team suffered semifinal heartbreak against Sweden, should fancy their chances against the Central Americans, provided they do not marry their semifinal performance with complacency.
They will be up against a determined Honduras side, desperate to pick up the win which would guarantee them a medal, with Neymar and co. tasked with beating a goalkeeper, who has been in outstanding form.
Honduras had Luis "Buba" Lopez to thank for their 1-0 win over South Korea after the goalkeeper made some brilliant saves to push his team through to the semifinals. The Brazil forwards will need to produce pinpoint accuracy if they are to hit the back of the net in this semifinal encounter.
"Every player is important, but we have to be thankful to Buba," Honduras manager Jorge Luis Pinto told reporters. "He was special (against South Korea), extraordinary, and I told him so. Part of this is his. With a great goalkeeper we can do great things."
Lopez was plain ridiculous in a 17-minute spell between 38th and 55th minutes of the quarterfinal, producing save after save much to the despair and disbelief of the Koreans, and having done so well in a knockout match, the 22-year-old goalkeeper will be keen to emulate his performance in the semifinal against the hosts as well.
"He's a top-class keeper without a doubt," Johnny Palacios, the Honduras defender, who was thankful for the goalkeeper saving the team time and again, told FIFA's official website. "He saved us and I hope he can keep doing so, for the good of the whole country.
"We all thanked him in the dressing room and told him to keep playing like that and we'd do our bit too."
If Honduras keep that never-say-die spirit, a massive upset could be in order; however, if Brazil play like they are capable of, this match should end up going their way.
Where to Watch Live
Brazil vs Honduras is set to begin at 1 p.m. local time (9.30 p.m. IST, 5 p.m. BST). Live Streaming and TV information is below.
India: Star Sports 4/HD4. Live Streaming: Hotstar.
Brazil: TV: Fox Sports 1, SporTV, Globo and ESPN. Live Streaming: ESPN Play Latin America.
Honduras: TV: Claro Sports. Live Streaming: Fox Play.
UK: TV: BBC Red Button. Live Streaming: BBC iPlayer.
Middle East and North Africa: TV: Bein Sports Arabia. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.