Matchday two in football Olympic games 2020 saw an interesting overturn for the favourites. The 2012 gold medal winner, Mexico, which put an impressive display at the opener, was beaten by the host Japan, while France, Germany and Argentina revived their hope after thumping their opponents to keep their hope for progressing to the next stage alive.
The host’s important victory over Mexico on the weekend was once again decided by Take Kubo’s superb form. The Real Madrid youngster who spent their two seasons in La Liga on loan in Mallorca, Villareal and Getafe was once again the key figure of the match as he scored an opener and made a move in the six-yard box leading to a penalty, which Ritsu Doan converted successfully to extend their lead at the first half. El Sombrero were knocking on the doors after the concession but Hajime Moriyasu’s side’s solid defence prevented them from scoring till five minutes before the final whistle through Roberto Alvarado’s free kick. Although Japan has won twice, they have not sealed one place to the quarter final yet as a big loss from France in the next fixture could turn their days bleak, especially if Mexico can dismantle South Africa in a big score. Thus, Take Kubo and Co should remain focused for the next game.
Japan vs Mexico 2-1
Goals: Take Kubo (6), Ritsu Doan (11 p); Roberto Alvarado (85)
Japan: Kosei Tani – Maya Yoshida, Ko Itakura, Hiroki Sakai, Y Nakayama – Ao Tanaka, Wataru Endo – Ritsu Doan (Kaoru Mitoma 79), Take Kubo, Yuki Soma (Daizen Maeda 65) – Daichi Hayashi (Ayase Ueda 79)
Mexico: Guillermo Ochoa – C J Montes, E Aguirre (Vladimir Lorona 43) J Vasquez, J Sanchez – C Rodriguez (Jose Esquivel 57), Francisco Cordova, Luis Romo - Diego Lainez (Carlos Antuna 66), Ernesto Vega (Roberto Alvarado 67) Henry Martin
In the meantime, Les Blues had to struggle till the last minute to pick up a narrow 4-3 win in a thriller against South Africa. Thanks to Andre Gignac’s hattrick which helped them equalise the score sheet three times as Bafana Bafana took the lead three times too through Kobamelo Kodisang, Evidence Makgopa and Teboho Mokoena. France’s winning goal eventually came on 90th minute as Montpellier man Teji Savanier found the back of the net. Meanwhile, Germany also bounced back in a thrilling encounter against Saudi Arabia. Stefan Kuntz’s side secured a necessary 3-2 win on Sunday. Nadiem Amiri and Ragnar Ache added their tally in the tournament here. Yet, the Arabian side managed to put them back on level terms through Sami Al-Najiel’s brace. Felix Uduokhai finally tucked away the ball through his header. Germany would be facing off Ivory Coast, which could hold Brasil in a goalless draw last weekend, in a decisive game this week for one spot at the quarter final. Last but not least, the two-time gold medal winner, Argentina sealed a 1-0 win over Egypt. Lens defender Facundo Medina netted the only goal of the game. All teams will be contested for the last game of group stage next Wednesday.