Japan lose to Mexico in men’s football bronze match

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Japan’s hopes of ending a 53-year medal shortage in men’s Olympic football were dashed on Friday after a 3-1 loss to Mexico in the third-place playoffs at the Tokyo Games.

Sebastian Cordova opened the scoring from the 13th minute penalty at Saitama Stadium and the hosts received another blow when Johan Vasquez pulled away from his marker to double Mexico’s lead to a header in the 22nd minute.

Johan Vasquez (2nd from left) scores Mexico’s second goal against Japan in the first half of a men’s football bronze medal match at the Tokyo Olympics on August 6, 2021, at the stadium Saitama near Tokyo. (Kyodo) == Kyodo

Johan Vasquez (right) reacts after scoring Mexico’s second goal against Japan in the first half of a men’s bronze medal soccer match at the Tokyo Olympics on August 6, 2021, at Saitama Stadium near Tokyo. (Kyodo) == Kyodo

The Mexicans, beaten 2-1 by Japan in the group stage, took advantage of a sloppier defense to go further as Alexis Vega made it 3-0 with a header shortly before the hour mark. .

Japan came home with a great solo effort from substitute Kaoru Mitoma with 12 minutes remaining, but it was only consolation.

Japan aimed to win their first medal since their bronze medal at the 1968 Mexico Games.

Friday’s match was a rematch of the London 2012 Olympic semi-final, won 3-1 by future champions Mexico. Japan lost 2-0 to South Korea in the bronze medal match in London.

The Tokyo Games gold medal match will be played on Saturday between defending champions Brazil and Spain.


Associated coverage:

Olympics: men’s football boss Moriyasu says Japan needs to improve scores

Olympics: Spain ends Japan’s bid for gold in men’s football in semi-finals



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