The men’s football tournament at Rio 2016 entered the second round of matches last night, and saw some teams book themselves qualification into the quarter final of the tournament. All sixteen teams were in action throughout the evening and a number of upsets occurred.
Hosts Brazil failed yet again to find the back of the net as they drew 0-0 with Iraq, Renato Augusto had the best chance of the game but volleyed over despite it looking easier to score. Brazil know now that a win is a necessity when they face up to top of the group Denmark in the next match.
The group leaders Denmark find themselves at the top with four points after beating South Africa 1-0. Bruun Larsen made a devastating run into the box before cutting it back to Skov who put it in the back of the net. This sees South Africa rooted to the bottom of the group with one point.
Japan fought back from two goals down against Colombia to rescue a vital point which keeps them in with a chance of qualifying for the next round. Colombia took the lead with Gutierrez and a Fujiharu own goal in the 65th minute. Japan bounced back two minutes later with a 67th and 74th minute goals from Arsenal striker Asano and Nakajima meaning that second place is still up for grabs during the final group game
Nigeria progressed to the knockout stage of the tournament after a diving header from Roma’s Umar. They’ve secured the top spot in the group and could have had a lot more in the game but Sweden’s keeper put in a man of the match performance. Sweden will be desperately disappointed not to get anything from this game and the current U21 European Champions will have to hope for a big performance against current bronze medal holders Japan.
In perhaps the most exciting game of the day, Germany and South Korea drew 3-3, meaning there is all to play for going into the final game of the tournament. Goals from Hwang and Gnabry saw the game go to halftime at 1-1. In the second half Selke put the Germans in the lead for the first time, before Son equalised. The game looked set to be won by South Korea when Suk scored in the 86th minute but Gnabry’s injury time free kick took a deflection off the wall and found the net in the final minute.
Mexico beat whipping boys Fiji 5-1 to put themselves in a strong position for the last round of fixtures. Krishna gave Fiji a surprise lead which was held until three minutes into the second half, when Gutierrez scored and then proceeded to grab a ten minute hat-trick. The Mexican wasn’t done there either, scoring twice more in the 67th and 73rd minute.
Argentina got their first points of the tournament as they beat Algeria 2-1 in a game that saw goals for the two frontmen Correa and Calleri either side of a Bendebka equaliser. The game also saw both sides reduced to ten men, as Cuesta saw red for Argentina just before half time and Abdellaoui was given marching orders in the 67th minute. This result will be of great relief for Argentina, who now have a winner takes all clash against Honduras for qualification on Wednesday.
Elsewhere, Portugal all but secured the top spot by beating Honduras 2-1 after being down in the first minute. Elis got the goal for Honduras early on, equaling the record for quickest goal in the Olympics with Peralta from the 2012 final match. Portugal were one down, but the finalists at the U21 Euros last year scored twice in fifteen minutes through Figueiredo and Paciencia.