Mexico defeats France and underlines its status as Olympic gold favorite

Mexico was the favourite for its second Olympic soccer title in three makes an attempt on Thursday, mounting second-half targets from Alexis Vega, Sebastián Córdova, Uriel Antuna and Eduardo Aguirre for a surprisingly snug 4-1 win over France within the first. group sport. play within the Tokyo Video games.

France obtained their solely marker from André-Pierre Gignac, who performs membership soccer in Mexico with Tigres, on a second-half penalty.

France, which certified for Tokyo by reaching the semi-finals of the UEFA Below-21 championships, a event performed greater than two years in the past, hoped to make use of their first Olympic look since 1996 to showcase their deep system of youth improvement, only a second after Brazil by way of nationwide gamers exported to the entire world.

However Paris Saint-Germain prevented Kylian Mbappé, the perfect participant within the nation, from competing. When different golf equipment adopted, coach Sylvain Ripoll needed to wrestle to construct a roster, with solely two gamers from the qualifying staff in uniform for Thursday’s first Olympic match.

Mexico earned its ticket to Tokyo by profitable the CONCACAF pre-Olympic event final spring. Ten of the 18 gamers who dressed on Thursday, all however considered one of whom play within the nationwide MX League, have been on that staff. And the distinction in chemistry and teamwork confirmed on Thursday.

The sport was one of the crucial anticipated of the Tokyo Video games. However after a scoreless and comparatively even first half, the 2012 Olympic champions walked away with Vega on the finish of a Diego Lainez cross within the forty seventh minute to place Mexico in entrance and keep. Vega practically doubled the lead two minutes later, however his left-footed shot from the middle of the world was blocked by French goalkeeper Paul Bernardoni.

That was a part of a flurry that noticed Mexico rating 4 tries within the first 10 minutes of the second half, the ultimate coming within the 54th minute when Córdova, the highest scorer within the CONCACAF playoffs, ran to a cross from Carlos. Rodriguez then outplayed Bernardoni with a left-footed shot contained in the left put up.

France halved the deficit within the 69th minute when Gignac transformed from the penalty spot, however Antuna, the previous Galaxy winger, scored that purpose within the eightieth minute with an help from Vega. Aguirre closed the scoring one minute into harm time.

France will play South Africa of their second match on Sunday, whereas Mexico will face Japan. The highest two groups from every of the 4 four-team swimming pools will advance to the knockout section.

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