No third gold for Argentina. No return to the final for Germany. No defensive ability for France.
Some of football’s biggest nations have fallen at the first stage in the Tokyo Olympics men’s tournament, failing to advance from the group stage on Wednesday.
Spain was held 1-1 by Argentina in the final group game, but it was still enough to top Group C and set up a quarterfinal meeting with Ivory Coast on Saturday.
Argentina lacked the time to conjure the required win to avoid early elimination.
Instead, Egypt took second place in Group C after Yasser Rayan and Amar Hamdi clinched a 2-0 win over Australia.
Egypt’s quarterfinal is against defending champion Brazil, which sealed first place in Group D with a 3-1 victory over Saudi Arabia.
Richarlison scored twice to add to his hat trick from the opening win over Germany.
There will be no second youth title this summer for Germany, which won the under-21 European Championship last month. Ivory Coast’s 1-1 draw with Germany was enough to take second place in Group D.
France loses big
France leaves after another heavy loss, beaten 4-0 by Japan. The host nation had the only perfect record in the group stage with three wins. France conceded the most goals — 11 — across the four groups.
Takefusa Kubo, the 20-year-old forward signed up to Real Madrid, is having a dream Olympics. He netted the opener just like in the previous two matches.
Mexico recovered from losing to Japan to beat South Africa 3-0 and secure a quarterfinal with South Korea, which routed Honduras 6-0 to top Group B.
New Zealand drew 0-0 with Romania to hold off its opponent on goal difference to finish second and go through to a clash with Japan.
The results: Group A: Japan 4 bt France 0; Mexico 3 bt South Africa 0.
Group B: Romania 0 drew with New Zealand 0; South Korea 6 bt Honduras 0.
Group C: Spain 1 drew with Argentina 1; Egypt 2 bt Australia 0.
Group D: Germany 1 drew with Ivory Coast 1; Brazil 3 bt Saudi Arabia 1.