LONDON — Mexico's hopes of upsetting Brazil in the Olympic men's final on Saturday have suffered a major blow after Tottenham striker Giovani dos Santos was ruled out with a muscle injury.
Dos Santos missed the second half of Mexico's semi-final win over Japan on Monday after suffering the problem and has been unable to recover for the gold medal showdown at Wembley.
"Giovani will not be able to play," Mexico coach Luis Fernando Tena confirmed on Friday. "The injury is not that serious but it does not allow him to play.
"He is sad, he had dreams of playing in this game. His injury will take two weeks to heal.
"On Monday he will show up at his club and start his rehabilitation."
Dos Santos had scored three times for Mexico during their run to a first Olympic men's final and Tena conceded the forward was devastated by the news.
"He is at his best right now and nobody saw the injury coming," Tena said.
It is painful for him and the players but we are a strong team and can easily overcome adversity."
Tena does at least have several options to replace dos Santos, with Miguel Ponce, Javier Cortes, Raul Jimenez and Hector Herrera all in contention.
"You will find out an hour before the match," he said. "We have thought about it and come to a decision and prepared. But I would rather put some mystery into this thing."
"Ponce is one of the options. There are other good options as well, like Cortes, Jimenez and Herrera. We have four options."
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