Brazil moved into the final of the Olympic Games with what turned into a comfortable 3-0 victory over South Korea at Old Trafford.
Romulo put the Selecao in front prior to half time, before tournament top scorer Leandro Damiao added two goals to give the scoreline a decisive edge in the second period.
Although Brazil's undoubted quality ultimately proved decisive, South Korea started the match the brighter and had every right to feel aggrieved after having two strong penalty claims turned down. Hong Myung-Bo will doubtless feel that his side also paid the price late on for the 120 minutes that they endured to beat hosts Great Britain just three days ago.
Brazil came into the contest as strong favorites having scored three goals in each of their matches to reach the semifinal. But having also conceded five times, coach Mano Menezes moved to make his side more robust. Alex Sandro came into the side in place of Hulk to strengthen up the center of midfield alongside Romulo and Sandro.
Belying their underdog status it was South Korea that began the match in control. And they might well have had something to show for their early endeavors too.
Sunderland striker Ji Dong-Won was heavily involved as he lofted a ball toward Kim Hyun-Sung who managed to head the ball bravely back across goal under pressure from Gabriel and as Ji ran on to try and head the ball into the empty net, Juan Jesus reached out a boot in desperation taking Ji down to the turf. The danger involved in the tackle that left Ji needing treatment meant that South Korea can consider themselves unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty.
The imminent threat seemed to spring Brazil into life.
At the other end Leandro Damiao threatened for the first time as he sprinted onto Marcelo's early through ball, but turning back onto his right foot could only manage a tame shot straight at Lee Bum-Young.
South Korea almost handed their opponents the opening goal just minutes later. Defender Oh Jae-Suk played a slack back pass to leave his side in all kinds of trouble and Lee rushed from his goal to perform a vital tackle on Damiao on edge of the box. The ball fell kindly and the ball falls to who tries to chip into the net, but Kim had wisely ran back had cleared off the line.
The pressure immediately continued for Brazil in a rousing spell midway through the first period.
Alex Sandro curled a fine strike from 25 yards that Lee stretched to push to his left and from the rebound Damiao drilled the ball low across the face of goal, but no-one in yellow was on hand to turn the ball into the net.
They would have to wait, but Brazil's increased impetus both on and off the ball finally told in the 38th minute.
Neymar and Sandro pressured to win the ball back on the halfway line and set up Oscar to effortlessly drift forward before slipping it to Romulo in space to his right, who side-footed the ball first time low past Lee at his near post. It was a delightful passage from Brazil, and Oscar in particular, but Lee will be bitterly disappointed to allow the shot to slip under his foot.
While Brazil were now in command, South Korea had a glimmer of an opening just before half time as Ji shot over the bar following some hesitant Brazilian defending on the edge of the box.
Ji missed in similar circumstances just after the break as he chested down a header back across goal but struck the half-volley on his left foot high into the stands.
Then, for the second time in the match, South Korea were ruing the referee's failure to award a penalty. Kim Bok-Young looked to get on the end of a through ball but was taken out by Sandro as he came across. With no contact made with the ball it should have been a straightforward decision for Czech official Pavel Kralovec.
The decision would prove crucial as Brazil quickly took the game away from their opponents.
Marcelo poked the ball through to Neymar down the left of the box and from the byline the 20-year-old sensation cut it back toward Marcelo who completely missed his kick, but thankfully Damiao was on hand to side-foot low with purpose into the corner.
Damiao displayed his scoring instincts once more to put the result beyond doubt in the 64th minute.
Neymar was heavily involved as he drifted across the edge of the area looking to threaten before laying it off to Oscar. The one-two was thwarted but the ball deflected into the path of Oscar's former Internacional teammate Damiao who, with little back lift, poked the ball into the corner past Lee.
The remaining minutes played out with little incident as Brazil got set to play for their first gold medal, against Mexico on Saturday.