Brazil have moved one step closer to ending their long wait for an Olympic gold football medal after captain Neymar inspired their men's U23 team to qualify for Saturday night's final with a thumping 6-0 defeat of combative Honduras at the world-famous Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

The Barcelona star wasted preciously little time in putting his team ahead, registering the quickest goal in Olympic history after just 14 seconds.

Exciting 19-year-old forward Gabriel Jesus, who joined Manchester City in a £27m ($35.2m) deal earlier this month before being loaned back to former club Palmeiras, then notched twice before half-time to end all hopes of an unlikely Honduran comeback.

Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos and Gremio's Luan added further gloss to the scoreline after the interval and Neymar, who was subjected to frequent rough treatment and even left the pitch on a stretcher before returning shortly afterwards, bagged a brace from the penalty spot in second-half stoppage time.

Neymar is under pressure to finally deliver an Olympic football gold medal to Brazil VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images

The Selecao, victorious over Colombia at the quarter-final stage, will face either Germany or Nigeria in Saturday night's final. The losers of that latter tie will fight Honduras for third-place in Belo Horizonte.

A football gold holds extra significance for soccer-mad Brazil, who have never previously managed to claim more than silver. Their women's team, led by the legendary figure of five-time Fifa World Player of the Year Marta, can seal bronze with a win over Canada in Sao Paolo on Friday after suffering a surprise semi-final penalty shootout loss to Sweden.