Defending Olympic champions Brazil managed a stunning hat-trick from young Richarlison in 30 minutes to beat Germany 4-2 in their first Group D men’s soccer match at the International Stadium on a matchday. of upheaval in Tokyo.
France’s campaign got off to a disastrous start earlier today when they were beaten 4-1 by Mexico while Argentina suffered a shock 2-0 loss to Australia.
A young team from Brazil found their rhythm early on and could have stitched the game together given the number of chances they created for themselves, but Germany scored twice in the second half, despite a drop to 10 men in the 63rd minute.
Richarlison led home on the second attempt in the seventh minute and led Brazil to a 2-0 lead before completing their hat trick with a nice strike in the 30th minute with the German defense in chaos.
Nadiem Amiri pulled one off for Germany after the break and although Max Arnold was sent off in the 63rd minute, a header from Ragnar Ache gave Brazil unexpected nervousness in the finals. However, as Germany pushed forward, Brazil caught them at the break in stoppage time, with Paulinho completing a counterattack with a push to the top corner.
Sylvain Ripoll’s France, in search of a first Olympic medal since gold in 1984, collapsed in the second half when Alexis Vega, Sebastian Cordova, Uriel Antuna and Erick Aguirre found the net for Mexico in Tokyo stadium.
“The first thing we need to do now is to digest this disappointment,” said Ripoll. “We only have two days. There’s no time to lose.”
In their first Olympic campaign since Beijing 2008, Australia took a surprise lead over two-time gold medal-winning Argentina in 14 minutes when winger Lachlan Wales scored from close range.
Argentina’s problems escalated at the end of the first half when left-back Francisco Ortega was sent off after two quick-fire yellow cards – the second for a shot at Australian Riley McGree.
The South American side never quite recovered from the setback, with substitute Marco Tilio adding a second for the Olyroos in the 80th minute to seal a memorable victory.
Spain, the last European men’s team to win gold in the Barcelona home competition in 1992, also stuttered in their opener as they dominated possession but created few opportunities in a stalemate virgin with Egypt in Sapporo.
Along with the youngster of the Euro 2020 tournament Pedri, Spain had five other players who were in the senior squad’s race to the Euro 2020 semi-finals this month.
They came closest to the goal when Dani Ceballos hit the post half an hour before Real Madrid playmaker joined full-back Oscar Mingueza on the guidelines with injuries at the end of the first half time.
Unlike the women’s tournament featuring all senior players, men’s teams are generally limited to the Under 23s, with three older players allowed per team.
The football (men and women) and softball competitions began on Wednesday before the opening ceremony on Friday morning. Four other disciplines – archery, horse riding, rowing and shooting will start from Friday.
New Zealand 1 South Korea 0
Ivory Coast 2 Saudi Arabia 1