It was a day of mixed fortunes for the three African representatives at the football event in the Tokyo2020 Olympics on Thursday.
The men’s football category kicked off on Thursday morning with mixed results for the trio of Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt and South Africa, Africa’s representatives at the summer Olympics in Tokyo2020.
Ivory Coast and Egypt were the first to take to the pitch, but of the trio, only West African side, the CIV registered a win after a 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia in group D.
A first half own goal from Abdulelah Al Amri and a stunning Franck Kessie strike in the second goal sealed the win and all three points for the Ivorians, who were later reduced to 10 men following a red card to second half substitute Aboubacar Doumbia, who received his marching orders in added time.
Salem Al-Dawsari had equalised earlier on for the Saudis to give them hope just before the break, but despite a dominant and valiant display, the Asians couldn’t find a second eqaliser, coming close on several occasions and hitting the bar once.
In Sapporo, the young Pharoahs of Egypt were held to a goalless affair by Spain, while in the afternoon session, South Africa lost narrowly to Japan at the Ajinomoto stadium, Chofu.
Real Madrid youngster, Takefusa Kubo netted the decisive winner for Japan with 19 minutes left to play.
Up next for the young Africans, Ivory Coast take on Brasil, who defeated Germany 4-2 in the other group D match, Egypt faced a deflated Argentina shocked by Australia in their opening group C.
Meanwhile, for South Africa, they also face a wounded team in France who suffered a 4-1 thrashing from Mexico in the first game in group A.
All three matches are slated for Sunday, July 25.