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After the thrillers at the Olympics in Spain and Japan, to the semi-finals …

It is the first semifinal of the Spain-Japan Olympic football tournament. The Spaniards escaped elimination in the quarterfinals, but were too strong for Ivory Coast (5-2) in the end, with Japan overtaking New Zealand after a penalty. Brazil and Mexico also qualified for the semifinals: Mexico won by a small margin (1-0) against gold medalists Egypt from Rio, while Mexico beat South Korea 6-3.

Spain crawled into the eye of the needle in the quarter. Ten minutes later Ivory Coast took the lead for Eric Bailey, but Danny Olmo equalized in the 30th minute. Ivory Coast looked like a serious chance to win after a goal from Max Gradel in the 90th minute, but a minute later thanks to Spanish substitute Rafa Mir. In extra time, the Ivorians completely disbanded: Michael O’Reilly kicked from the penalty spot, after which Mir scored twice more and finally captured an even tougher 5-2.

In the semifinals, the Spaniards face Japan, who beat New Zealand. No goals were scored in the 90 minutes of regular time, and no team found the nets in extra time. The Japanese are slightly more bloody during penalty kicks (4-2) than their opponents.

Photo: ISOPIX

Brazil and Mexico are on the medal track

It was Matthews Cunha who gave Brazil the lead in the 37th minute. The current champions kept the match neat in their hands and did not give the Egyptians a chance to come along.

In the other quarter, Henry Martin (12.) scored to give Mexico a quick lead, and a few minutes later the South Koreans equalized thanks to Lee Dong-kyong (20.). The Mexican people put the order in place before thanking Louis Romo (29.) and Sebastian Cordova (39.) for penalties. After the break, Lee Dong-kyong (51.) brought some tension, but Martin (63.), Cordova (63.) and Aguirre (84.) eventually took the lead. Ui-jo (90. + 1) objected in overtime.

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