The winners of Groups B and D successfully negotiated their quarter-final clashes to set up a semi-final showdown at Wembley Stadium. Mexico needed extra time to beat Senegal, while Japan’s 3-0 win over ten-man Egypt was far more routine.
This is the first semi-final at the Olympic Football Tournaments between a team from Asia and a representative from North, Central American and the Caribbean and it would take a brave person to predict the winner.
Five days before the start of the Olympic Football Tournament, Japan and Mexico played a friendly match to help them prepare for London 2012. Now, five days before the final, both teams meet again in a match which means far more than mere match fitness.
Mexico and Japan meet on Tuesday to decide who will take home a guaranteed silver medal and also have a shot at the gold. It is almost too close to call. Japan may be slight favourites heading into the game, having yet to concede in the competition so far. They will also be slightly fresher, as Mexico’s last match with Senegal endured for 120 gruelling minutes.
These two sides contested the bronze medal match at the 1968 Olympic Football Tournament, which Japan won thanks to a brace by Kunishige Kamamoto and the Blue Samurai also ran out 2-1 winners in the recent meeting, but Mexico are more than capable of turning history around.
8 - If he plays, Jose Corona will become the Mexico player with the most appearances at the Olympic Football Tournament. To date, he is tied on seven matches with Albino Morales who played in the 1964 and 1968 editions. Corona also played three matches at Athens 2004.
"We know that Japan are a team that play good football. They are strong and organised and also dynamic. They play with order and they play controlled football. I also watched them in their previous games and they are very strong. But my team are all in very good spirits and everybody is improving, both in terms of quality and also mentally. My message to them before kick-off will be to enjoy it. This is a great experience in a sacred stadium. They should take advantage and grasp the opportunity,” Luis Fernando Tena, Mexico coach.
"I promised Norio Sasaki when the draw was made in April that we would be here at Wembley together, and I'm very pleased I was able to keep that promise. Two years ago we had a similar situation at the Asian Games, where both (Japanese) teams won their tournaments, so we are hoping to repeat the same thing. It has been great to spend some time together in the Olympic Village. The relationship between the two teams is really good, we motivate each other,” Takashi Sekizuka, Japan coach.