The Men’s Soccer Olympics knockout round of the kicked off earlier this morning with four exciting matchups. Two matchups had 5+ goals, while one game even went to a penalty shootout!
Before listing the semi final matchups for next week, here’s a recap of how the four semi-finalists did in their respective games.
Road to Gold Medal Repeat Still On
Brazil managed to hold off Egypt with a 1-0 win.
Despite not showing it in the scoreboard, Brazil were the better team from the kick off. The Brazilian team had more possession, more shots, and more chances created, but they ultimately weren’t able to reflect it with goals.
Egypt did have some opportunities to stay in the game, but in the end Matheus Cunha’s solitary goal in the 37′ minute was the difference maker.
Now Brazil will look to go into their third consecutive Olympic final to repeat their Gold Medal glory from 2016.
Rafa Mir To the Rescue
Similar to the Euros, Spain’s attack decided to turn up in the knockout stage. After only scoring 2 goals in the group stage, the Spaniards put 5 passed Cote D’Ivoire…..in extra time.
The match was one like no other with both teams constantly attacking each other. It was Cote D’Ivoire who went ahead first with an Eric Bailly header in the 10′ minute before Dani Olmo took advantage of a defensive error in the 30′ minute.
In the 90+1′, the Ivory Coast caught Spain’s defense sleeping and they punished them with a heartbreaking last minute goal. The African nation thought to have gotten the winner, but the Spanish coach decided to substitute Rafa Mir shortly after the goal and he did not disappoint. In the 90+3′ minute, the Ivorian defenders left the ball bouncing in their penalty area, and Rafa Mir was there to put it behind the net to send the game to extra time.
In extra time, Spain showed their dominance and put three passed Cote D’Ivoire. Rafa Mir scored two of those goals to complete his hat trick. What a super sub.
Brazil, Here We Come
This was a match of the two biggest underdogs in Men’s Soccer Olympics so far. A matchup between two teams who scored 8+ goals in the group stage. As expected this game was an utter goal fest, but for only one team.
Mexico demonstrated their best performance in this tournament by tearing the Korean team apart. The Mexican team started off playing better as they opened the score first in the 12′ minute. Mexico seemed to be getting momentum until Korea tied things up with a top corner shot in the 20′ minute.
This goal only leveled things up for a couple minutes as Mexican player Luis Romo put Mexico ahead again in the 29′ minute. After that, Mexico took full control of the game by exploiting Korea’s deficiencies defending crosses.
The game ended 3-6 in the Mexicans favor, making a huge statement in the tournament. Now, many will have their eyes on Mexico as they continue to impress people around the world.
The Hosts Are Still Alive!
The game between Japan and New Zealand was the only one that ended in a goalless draw. Japan was the better team throughout 90 minutes, but they weren’t able to get a shot passed the New Zealand keeper.
It seemed to be one of those frustrating nights, where the better team just couldn’t be able to score. After another goalless 30 minutes, the game went to penalties.
Everything was pointing towards an upset for New Zealand, but two of their players didn’t live up to the pressure. Two players missed their penalties for New Zealand, where the Japanese captain slotted it home to send the hosts to the men’s soccer semi finals.
Japan 4 – 2 New Zealand.
This leaves us with following men’s soccer semi final matchups:
Mexico vs Brazil (1:00 AM PST)
Japan vs Spain (3:00 AM PST)
These games will be played this Tuesday, August 3rd. All four nations left will have a chance to finish in the podium.
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