Tokyo Olympics Football: Comfortable wins for Brazil & Spain, through to semifinals – Brazil football team sans Neymar reached the semifinals of Tokyo Olympics while Pedri and Dani Olmo starrer Spain also advanced to the last 4. In the quarterfinals, Brazil beat Egypt 1-0 while Spain thrashed Ivory Coast 5-2. Hosts Japan and Mexico also booked their semifinal berths.
In the semifinals, Brazil will take on Mexico while Spain will face Japan on August 3.
Tokyo Olympics Quarterfinal: Brazil 1-0 Egypt
The gold medalist on home soil in 2016, Brazil continued their title defence with a 1-0 victory over Egypt. Matheus Cunha’s low strike in the 37th minute made all the difference. Egypt without Mohammed Salah and top players from the Premier League lacked the edge.
Tokyo Olympics Football: QF: Spain 5-2 Ivory Coast
Spain, the last European side to win a men’s soccer gold in 1992, survived a scare against Ivory Coast after Rafa Mir came off the bench to fire a stunning hat-trick in the closing stages at Miyagi Stadium.
— Oluwashina Okeleji (@oluwashina) July 31, 2021
Winger Max Gradel appeared to have secured Ivory Coast’s place in the final four when he made it 2-1 with a stoppage-time strike, only for Mir to score almost immediately at the other end to force extra time.
Ivory Coast’s fate was sealed when defender Eric Bailly, who scored their opening goal inside 10 minutes, turned from hero to villain as he conceded a penalty with a bizarre handball inside the box.
Mikel Oyarzabal slotted the ball home from the spot in the 98th minute before Mir added two more goals past an exhausted Ivory Coast defence to put the result beyond doubt.
The victory ensured Spain’s first appearance in the semi-finals since claiming silver at the 2000 Sydney Games.
Tokyo Olympics Football: QF: Mexico 6-3 South Korea
Mexico thrashed South Korea 6-3 in a nine-goal thriller. After Mexico took a 2-0 lead inside the 30 minutes, South Korea came back to level the scoreline. But a sublime second-half ensured Mexico made it to the semifinals. They will face Brazil in the semifinals.
Tokyo Olympics Football: QF: Japan (4) 0-0 (2) New Zealand
Japan made it to the semifinals after pipping New Zealand in the shootout. Both sides failed to sneak past the opponent goalkeepers in the regulation time and it was taken to the tie-breaker where hosts Japan managed to beat New Zealand 4-2 on penalties. They will face Spain in the semifinals.