The story appears on

Page A16

July 23, 2021

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Sports » Soccer

France, Argentina lose openers

France’s bid for men’s Olympic glory got off to a nightmare start with a 4-1 defeat by Mexico yesterday, while a strong Spain side stuttered to a goalless stalemate with Egypt.

Sylvain Ripoll’s France is looking for a first Olympic medal since winning gold in 1984, but collapsed in the second half at Tokyo Stadium. “We’re obviously disappointed with the result but also with the balance of our play,” said Ripoll.

“To compete, we would’ve needed a big performance, but that wasn’t the case.”

Mexico took the lead less than two minutes after the break through Alexis Vega, before Sebastian Cordova doubled their advantage in the 55th minute.

The 35-year-old captain Andre-Pierre Gignac, whose last game for the French senior team was the Euro 2016 final loss to Portugal, pulled one back from the penalty spot with 21 minutes remaining. But any thoughts of a comeback were quashed as Uriel Antuna and Eduardo Aguirre netted late on for 2012 champions Mexico.

France now faces a tough task to get out of Group A with a top-two finish, ahead of games against South Africa on Sunday and hosts Japan on July 28.

Spain also struggled, as a team featuring six players who reached the Euro 2020 semi-finals dominated possession but created few chances against Egypt in Sapporo.

The closest they came to a goal was when Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos crashed a first-half shot against the post.

Spain, winner on home soil in 1992, next takes on Australia in three days’ time before its final with Argentina.

New Zealand made a successful start in Group B as Burnley striker Chris Wood secured a 1-0 victory over South Korea.

Australia stunned two-time champion Argentina 2-0.

Brazil, which won gold for the first time on home soil five years ago in Rio, downed Germany 4-2 in a dramatic match which saw forward Richarlison net a first-half hat-trick.

Elsewhere, it was: Romania 1, Honduras 0; Ivory Coast 2, Saudi Arabia 1; Japan 1, South Africa 0; and New Zealand 1, South Korea 0.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend