Gabriel Martinelli scored an emphatic penalty to help Brazil reach the final of the Olympics in a shootout with Mexico on Tuesday.

Gabriel Martinelli with Brazil (Photo via Martinelli on Twitter)
Gabriel Martinelli with Brazil (Photo via Martinelli on Twitter)

Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli was only a late call-up to the Brazil Olympic Squad, so it was somewhat inevitable that he wouldn’t be a starter at the tournament. However, he made his biggest impact yet in Tuesday’s semi-final against Mexico.

Having previously made substitute appearances against the Ivory Coast and Saudi Arabia, Martinelli came on against Mexico with 23 minutes of normal time left to go.

Brazil pushed for a winning goal, but Mexico stood firm and wasted as much time as possible to get to penalties. That turned out to be a mistake.

After Dani Alves converted his effort and Eduardo Aguirre saw his saved, Martinelli stepped up to take Brazil’s second penalty.

Many Arsenal fans are probably still feeling scarred by some other penalties this summer, but they needn’t have worried about this one. Martinelli powered his shot into the side of the net beyond the reach of Guillermo Ochoa and Brazil ended up winning 4-1.

Martinelli will now prepare for potential participation in the Olympic final, set to take place on August 7th. At the time of writing, Japan and Spain are still contesting the other semi-final.