07/31/2021 12:25 PM
Updated 07/31/2021 12:25 PM
Blood, sweat and tears needed the Spanish team, the great candidate for gold in football, to advance to the semifinals of the Olympic competition in Tokyo.
The team that had eliminated Fernando Batista's Argentina in the group stage had to reach extra time and only in the last minutes did they manage to break Ivory Coast to win 5-2 at the Miyagi Stadium.
Twice the team led by Luis De la Fuente had to come back, who arrived in Tokyo with six players who recently played the European Championship and with the decision to repeat the title that La
in Barcelona 1992. An early goal by Eric Bailly complicated the situation starting, but Dani Olmo got equal at 30 minutes.
The 1 to 1 remained until the Venezuelan referee Jesús Valenzuela added five minutes in the complement.
In the first of those added minutes, Max Gradel made the second for the
, who seemed to be caressing the ticket to the semis.
However, Rafa Mir, the hero of the night in Miyagi, responded immediately, nailed the 2 to 2 and transferred the definition to the supplementary one.
A hand from Bailly that deserved a thoughtful analysis by the VAR officials and the referee Valenzuela led to a penalty that Mikel Oyarzábal converted into a goal in the 7th minute of the first period of extra time.
Already on the hour and with the Africans played in attack, another two shouts from Rafa Mir shaped the 5 to 2, which is a misleading reflection of a close match.
Rafa Mir took the ball after his three goals against Ivory Coast.
(Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo / EFE / RFEF)
The rival of Spain next Tuesday at 8 in Saitama will be Japan, which defeated New Zealand 4-2 on penalties after drawing 0-0 at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium.
Led by Takefusa Kubo (whose pass belongs to Real Madrid), the Japanese, who had won their three matches in the first phase, failed to break the tight defense of the oceanic players and only managed to tip the balance with their effectiveness in the spikes since the 12 steps.
Reigning Olympic champion Brazil also advanced with a grueling 1-0 victory in Saitama over Egypt, the other team that had relegated Argentina to Group C.
The granite defense of the Africans, who only conceded two goals in the tournament, and the good responses of the goalkeeper Mohamed Elshenawy caused the
Pharaohs' goal to
fall only once.
It was 37 minutes into the first half, with a shot off the right post by Matheus Cunha after a left overflow by Richarlison.
Matheus Cunha celebrates the goal that gave Brazil a pass to the semifinals of the Olympic tournament.
(Photo: Martin Mejia / AP)
In their penultimate step towards another gold medal, the team led by André Jardine will meet on Tuesday at 5 in Kashima against Mexico, which beat South Korea 6-3 in Yokohama.
The South Korean cast had been the highest scorer in the group stage (they had converted 10), but this Saturday they had to sip their sour medicine.
Henry Martin (two), Sebastián Córdova (two), Luis Romo and Eduardo Aguirre scored for the team that has veteran goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa as its captain and emblem.
Lee Dong-gyeong (two) and Hwang Ui-jo discounted for the Asians.
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Basketball: Argentina received help from the United States and will depend on itself to qualify for the quarterfinals