TOKYO: Defending champions Brazil advanced to the quarter-finals of the men’s Olympic football tournament after a 3-1 victory over Saudi Arabia on Wednesday helped them top Group ‘D’ while Ivory Coast booked their berth by sending Germany home.

Japan advanced after delivering the knockout blow to 10-man France with a 4-0 win to stay perfect in Group ‘A’. Takefusa Kubo, Hiroki Sakai, Koji Miyoshi and Daizen Maeda all scored for the rampant hosts while Randal Kolo Muani was sent off for France.

They take on New Zealand in the quarter-finals while Mexico, who pipped France to second place in Group ‘A’ with a 3-0 win over South Africa, will meet South Korea.

Brazil, who won gold for the first time on home soil in Rio de Janeiro five years ago, will face Egypt in the last eight on Saturday. Matheus Cunha put them ahead in Saitama on Wednesday, but Abdulelah Al-Amri’s goal brought the Saudis level before the half-hour mark. A draw would have been enough for Brazil to go through as group winners, but striker Richarlison netted in the 76th minute and again in injury time.

The Germans, runners-up to Brazil in 2016, bowed out after a 1-1 draw with the Ivory Coast.

Germany had to win to progress, but Benjamin Henrichs’ own goal midway through the second half proved costly.

Eduard Lowen’s equaliser shortly afterwards set up a tense finale, but the Ivorians held on to seal second spot in the group and a quarter-final against Spain.

Spain progressed as Group ‘C’ winners after a 1-1 draw with Argentina as Mikel Merino’s second-half goal was cancelled out by Tomas Belmonte with three minutes to go.

Egypt joined them after a 2-0 victory over Australia lifted the African side to second in the group above Argentina on goal difference.

South Korea finished top of Group ‘B’ after forward Hwang Ui-jo scored a hat-trick as they thrashed Honduras 6-0 while New Zealand went through after their goalless draw with Romania.

Medals table

After Tuesday’s events

(Tabulated under gold, silver, bronze, total):

Japan 13 4 5 22

China 12 6 9 27

United States 11 11 9 31

Russian OC 7 10 6 23

Australia 6 1 9 16

Great Britain 5 6 5 16

South Korea 4 2 5 11

Germany 3 2 5 10

France 3 2 3 8

Netherlands 2 6 3 11

Canada 2 3 4 9

Hungary 2 1 2 5

Slovenia 2 1 1 4

Kosovo 2 0 0 2

Italy 1 6 8 15

Switzerland 1 3 2 6

Taiwan 1 2 3 6

Brazil 1 2 2 5

Georgia 1 2 0 3

Romania 1 2 0 3

Serbia 1 1 2 4

Austria 1 1 1 3

Hong Kong 1 1 0 2

Tunisia 1 1 0 2

Croatia 1 0 1 2

Estonia 1 0 1 2

Uzbekistan 1 0 1 2

Bermuda 1 0 0 1

Ecuador 1 0 0 1

Fiji 1 0 0 1

Iran 1 0 0 1

Latvia 1 0 0 1

Norway 1 0 0 1

Philippines 1 0 0 1

Thailand 1 0 0 1

New Zealand 0 2 1 3

Spain 0 2 1 3

South Africa 0 2 0 2

Indonesia 0 1 2 3

Mongolia 0 1 2 3

Belgium 0 1 1 2

Czech Republic 0 1 1 2

Bulgaria 0 1 0 1

Colombia 0 1 0 1

Denmark 0 1 0 1

India 0 1 0 1

Jordan 0 1 0 1

North Macedonia 0 1 0 1

Poland 0 1 0 1

Turkmenistan 0 1 0 1

Venezuela 0 1 0 1

Kazakhstan 0 0 3 3

Ukraine 0 0 3 3

Egypt 0 0 2 2

Mexico 0 0 2 2

Turkey 0 0 2 2

Argentina 0 0 1 1

Cuba 0 0 1 1

Ireland 0 0 1 1

Israel 0 0 1 1

Ivory Coast 0 0 1 1

Kuwait 0 0 1 1

Published in Dawn, July 29th, 2021

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