Tokyo Olympics soccer scores: Mexico stun France; Richarlison scores hat trick in Brazil win vs. Germany
Men’s Olympic soccer is underway at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the opening round of fixtures produced some surprising results with France and Germany both suffering heavy defeats. The French were outdone by Mexico in Group A while the Germans could not pull off a recovery against Brazil in a six-goal Group D thriller.
Host nation Japan registered an opening victory while Australia beat Argentina and Egypt stood firm to deny Spain in Group C. There were also wins for New Zealand and Romania in Group B in an intriguing opening day of matches.
Let’s catch up with the opening round scores and takeaways.
Olympic soccer scores
Japan 1, South Africa 0
Mexico 4, France 1
New Zealand 1, South Korea 0
Romania 1, Honduras 0
Australia 2, Argentina 0
Egypt 0, Spain 0
Ivory coast 2, Saudi Arabia 1
Brazil 4, Germany 2
Group A: Floundering France
The big result of the day was Mexico’s 4-1 mauling of France with Alexis Vega and Sebastian Cordova putting El Tri into a two-goal lead before Les Bleus pulled one back through Andre-Pierre Gignac — a star for Mexican club team Tigres — from the penalty spot.
Uriel Antuna and Eduardo Aguirre’s late efforts completed the rout for Jaime Lozano’s men in Tokyo, leaving the French shellshocked ahead of their matchup with South Africa in Saitama. There is little margin for error now and the performance was hardly encouraging as France looked every bit a team that had been assembled with far from first-choice candidates after the French Football Federation’s embarrassing struggle to hand out call-ups.
Elsewhere, Takefusa Kubo’s goal after 71 minutes gave the Japanese a win to celebrate despite the absence of supporters at Tokyo Stadium.
Group D: Barnstorming Brazil
After yesterday’s excitement in the goal-filled women’s games, it was Brazil’s turn to go crazy in Yokohama with Richarlison bagging a hat trick inside the opening 30 minutes before Germany attempted to mount a recovery.
Nadiem Amiri and then Ragnar Ache brought it to 3-2 with just over five minutes remaining but the Brazilians extended their lead through Paulinho at the death and came away with an important 4-2 win before facing Ivory Coast and Saudi Arabia before the end of the group stage.
The Ivorians ran out triumphant against the Saudis with Franck Kessie grabbing the winner at International Stadium Yokohama to go second in the group with the South Americans now looking likely to win it having already faced Germany.
Group C: Australia down Argentina
Another surprise result was Australia’s 2-0 success against the Argentines which now makes qualification a bit tougher as Spain’s draw with Egypt keeps things interesting in this pool which La Rojita had been favorites to top.
Lachlan Wales and Marco Tilio did the damage for the Aussies in Sapporo while the Spanish could not find a way past Egypt and lost Oscar Mingueza as well as Dani Ceballos to first-half injuries as Luis de la Fuente’s squad depth was already tested.
Spain face Australia next with Argentina last up in the group in what could be a potentially decisive encounter for both nations.
Group B: New Zealand, Romania win
Arguably not as exciting as Group A and D’s action, the OlyWhites and Tricolorii Mici both still opened with 1-0 victories respectively as Chris Wood hit the only goal of the game against South Korea and an Elvin Oliva own goal settled things against Honduras.
Both New Zealand and Romania do not meet until the final round of games, and both will be keen to secure their knockout phase berths in advance in the next round of games in Kashima before their Sapporo showdown.