Thursday, July 22
*Egypt 0-0 Spain
*Ivory Coast 2-1 Saudi Arabia
*Japan 1-0 South Africa
The three African representatives at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics registered varied results as the men’s football competition got underway on Thursday.
Egypt held Spain, Ivory Coast beat Saudi Arabia while South Africa lost to hosts Japan.
The teams participating in the men’s competition are restricted to under-24 years players (born on or after 1 January 1997) with a maximum of three overage players allowed.
The draw is a big result for Coach Shawky Gharib’s charges who were against a star-studded Spain team that had the likes of Marco Asensio, Dani Ceballos, Pedri and Pau Torres.
The Egyptians were the second best in a Group C encounter played at the Sapporo Dome as the side sat deep to absorb pressure.
They face Argentina on July 25th in their next group game.
In the other game, Franck Kessie scored what proved to be the winner in the 66th minute as Ivory Coast beat Saudi Arabia.
Ivory Coast led thanks to an own-goal from Abdulelah Alamri but were pegged back when Saudi Arabia leveled through Salem Aldawsari at the stroke of halftime.
Kessie, then grabbed the needed goal after collecting from Manchester United forward Amad Diallo.
Aboubacar Doumbia was sent off in the seventh minute of added time, a big blow for the side who still has Brazil and Germany in the group.
Takefusa Kubo scored the only goal of the game to deny South Africa who lost 1-0 to hosts Japan in a Group A match.
South Africa, who had two players test positive for Covid19 prior to the game, face wounded France on July 25th.
Nigeria (1996) and Ivory Coast (2000) are the only two African sides to have won the Olympics men’s football tournament.
Nigeria, addition won Silver (2008) and Bronze (2016) at the tourney that is held once every after four years. Ghana got bronze in 1992.
Egypt have fallen short twice, settling for fourth place in 1928 and 1964.
Other Results on Thursday:
*Mexico 4-1 France
*New Zealand 1-0 South Korea
*Argentina 0-2 Australia
*Honduras 0-1 Romania
*Brazil 4-2 Germany