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Japan-South Korea might be a better game than Mexico-Brazil

Olympics Day 11 - Men's Football S/F - Match 29 - Mexico v Japan

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 07: Yuki Otsu of Japan scores the first goal as Jose Corona of Mexico fails to save during the Men’s Football Semi Final match between Mexico and Japan, on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium on August 7, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

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Everyone’s talking about Brazil-Mexico (for good reason) on the men’s side of the Olympic tournament, but allow us to submit another thought: Japan-Korea is actually a better matchup.

Why?

Because these teams have history. The Wall Street Journal explains in a story today: “While relations between Japan and South Korea have grown friendly in recent decades, when it comes to sports, they remain best of enemies. An intense rivalry developed as the two neighbors became rising powers first in baseball, then in soccer. The rivalry is particularly fierce in baseball, boiling over when Japan beat South Korea in the finals of the World Baseball Classic in 2009.”

Sure, it’s just the Olympics, but rivalries are rivalries and wins are wins. All we’re saying is don’t sleep on the bronze-medal match.