Olympic Soccer: Round Up of Match day 1

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This event has 16 national teams made up of a squad of U23 players with three exceptions; some stars include Pedri, Richarlison and Asensio

Group A

Mexico (4) v France (1)

Mexico has been known for producing great, solid young sides along with their accomplished goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa. France included some moderate stars in their line-up but they lacked any cohesion as a squad.

The second half lit up the affair with Vega and Cordova grabbing two goals after neat team moves.

French captain, Andre-Pierre Gignac thought he got his team back into it by scoring a penalty on 69 minutes.

Instead, Mexico substitutes, Antuna and Aguirre, brought some class by scoring two fantastic goals to seal the game at 4-1.

 

Japan (1) v South Africa (0)

Home team Japan’s hopes rested on the young shoulders of Real Madrid’s Takefusa Kubo, with old players like Maya Yoshida. South Africa brought mostly players from their home league as one of the tournaments major underdogs.

Star Kubo did end up getting the opening goal after 70 mins, assisted by Tanaka. This turned out to be the winning goal as the Japanese held out for a 1-0 win.

 

Group B

New Zealand (1) v South Korea (0)

New Zealand brought a relatively unknown squad along with Premier League stalwarts, Chris Wood and Winston Reid. South Korea decided to bring a home-grown side with only three players from outside of Asia.

The South Koreans, playing in neighbouring Japan were favourites for this game but New Zealand took the lead through striker Wood.

With only the one shot on target in the whole game, the All Whites managed to hold out for the remaining 20 minutes for a 1-0 win.

 

Honduras (0) v Romania (1)

None of the Honduras players would be house hold named but the country is known for its teamwork and tenacity. This is Romanian football’s first Olympics in nearly 50 years and they hoped to be a surprise package.

An Olivia own goal gave Romania the lead just before halftime. The game remained tense with Romania holding out for a valuable win.

 

Group C

Egypt (0) v Spain (0)

Spain came into this competition as one of the favourite, bringing many of the players who played at Euro 2020. Egypt, on the other hand, were demoralised due to their star Mohamed Salah not being allowed to travel because of his club Liverpool.

The Egyptians defended valiantly throughout the game, giving Spanish forwards, Olmo and Oyarzabal little time and space.

Egypt was able to shut down any play causing a very dull game but giving them a point from this stalemate.

 

Argentina (0) v Australia (2)

Argentina last won the Olympics in 2008 and 2004 but this year their squad is weaker and more home based. Australia also took a team of mainly unknowns, looking to make an unexpected shock.

Wales opened the scoring for Australia after 14 minutes. Things got worse for Argentina as defender Ortega received a second yellow card before halftime.

Tilio tamped the unexpected win for Australia with a goal in the 90th minute, winning the game 2-0.

 

Group D

Ivory Coast (2) v Saudi Arabia (1)

Ivory Coast last qualified in 2008, now; with Man United’s Eric Bailly and Amad they had high hopes for the competition. Saudi Arabia brought some of their players that attended the 2018 World Cup hoping to cause an upset in their group.

The Saudi Arabians started badly with defender Amri conceding an own goal but star Al-Dawsari levelled the game for them five minutes later.

AC Milan’s Franck Kessie found the winner for Ivory Coast as they left with three points in a 2-1 win.

 

Brazil (4) v Germany (2)

This was to be a repeat of the 1-1 2016 Olympic final where Brazil came out on top.

Everton’s Richarlison capitalised on poor German defending three times in the first half an hour but Goalkeeper Muller brought some pride back by saving a penalty on halftime from Matheus Cunha.

Amiri was a shining light for Germany and he got a goal back from a volley after 57 minutes. All German hope seemed be extinguished five minutes later after captain Maximilian Arnold was sent off for a second yellow but Ache got a second goal back in the 83rd minute.

Veteran captain Dani Alves and his team finished the game off after a Paulinho thunderbolt in the last minute of play to win 4-2.

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