Thursday, July 26, 2012
Japan surprises Spain 1-0
ESPN.com news services
GLASGOW, Scotland -- Japan forward Yuki Otsu scored in the first half in a 1-0 win over 10-man Spain on Thursday in men's Olympic soccer, hurting the Spaniards' chances of winning Group D.
Otsu broke away from his marker during a corner kick and tapped a shot past goalkeeper David de Gea.
Spain center back Inigo Martinez was sent off while trying to stop Japan forward Kensuke Nagai during a goal-scoring opportunity. After that, Japan controlled the tempo and could have scored at least five more.
It was the first time the Japanese had ever beaten the World and European champions at any level.
Brazil 3, Egypt 2
CARDIFF, Wales -- Gold-medal favorite Brazil scored three first-half goals then held on for a win in Group C.
Rafael opened the scoring in the 16th minute, Leandro Damiao added another in the 26th and Neymar scored in the 30th to give Brazil a comfortable halftime lead before Egypt made it interesting with goals by captain Mohamed Aboutrika in the 52nd and substitute Mohamed Salah in the 76th.
Brazil was able to control the rest of the game and held on for the victory, staying on track for its first gold in Olympic men's soccer.
The Olympic tournament is the only significant soccer competition the five-time world champions haven't conquered. Brazil earned silver medals in 1984 and 1988, and bronze ones in 1996 and 2008.
Great Britain 1, Senegal 1
MANCHESTER, England -- Moussa Konate scored late in the second half to lift Senegal into a tie against host Britain in Group A.
Welshman Craig Bellamy gave Britain the lead in the first half after Senegal failed to clear a free kick by captain Ryan Giggs.
Senegal showed attacking flair in the second half, and scored in the 81st minute when Konate ran to a through ball and chipped it past Britain keeper Jack Butland.
A frantic final few minutes included British substitute Marvin Sordell hitting the bar. Konate's attempt for a second goal went wide.
Uruguay 2, United Arab Emirates 1
MANCHESTER, England -- Substitute Nicolas Lodeiro scored in the second half to give Uruguay a victory in Group A.
Playing in front of a near capacity crowd at Old Trafford Stadium, the Emirates took the lead in the 23rd minute and looked like the better side for much of the first half of its Olympic soccer debut. Emirates captain Ismaeil Matar scored when he got around the goalkeeper after controlling a through ball.
But with four minutes to go before the break, Uruguay's Gaston Ramirez curled the ball into the top right-hand corner of the net on a free kick. The goal came after striker Luis Suarez, who also plays for Liverpool, was fouled just outside the penalty area.
Mexico 0, South Korea 0
NEWCASTLE, England -- South Korea wasted a number of scoring chances against Mexico as the two teams opened Group B soccer with a scoreless draw.
With forward Giovani Dos Santos on the bench from the start, Mexico showed little promise of being a medal contender as its opponent dominated at St. James Park. Dos Santos replaced Oribe Peralta in the 66th and soon had an effort deflected wide.
Koo Ja-cheol came close to breaking the deadlock in the 53rd minute as the South Korea captain swiveled to send a volley off the crossbar. Koo headed the game's best chance wide in the 80th after getting free inside the box.
Substitute Raul Jimenez nearly helped Mexico escape with three points but curled his effort off the post after a swift counterattack in the last minute of play.
Honduras 2, Morocco 2
GLASGOW, Scotland -- Short-handed Morocco held on Honduras in the Group D opener after left back Zakarya Bergdich received a straight red card in the 71st minute for kicking Mario Martinez in the left knee. But Honduras was unable to take advantage of the ejection.
Morocco opened the scoring in the 39th minute when Abdelaziz Barrada converted a superb volley.
Jerry Bengtson responded in the 56th minute, tapping in the tying goal, then put the Central American team in front with a penalty kick nine minutes later.
But Honduras' advantage only lasted a couple minutes, with Morocco forward Zakaria Labyad chipping past the goalkeeper from inside the area.
Gabon 1, Switzerland 1
NEWCASTLE, England -- Gabon rallied for a 1-1 Group B draw in its Olympics debut.
Admir Mehmedi put Switzerland ahead by converting an early penalty kick he was forced to retake after Innocent Emeghara was brought down inside the area.
Gabon tied it in the 45th minute. Pierre Aubameyang collected Alexander Ndoumbou's floated cross alone inside the area and flicked a shot under goalkeeper Diego Benaglio.
Switzerland finished with 10 men after Oliver Buff was shown his second yellow card in the 78th for theatrically going down under little pressure as he burst into the African nation's area.
Belarus 1, New Zealand 0
COVENTRY, England -- Dmitry Baga scored in the first half to give Belarus a win in its Group C opener.
Baga converted a header just before halftime, and Belarus held on to the narrow lead to secure the three points at City of Coventry Stadium.
Belarus dominated the first half, but New Zealand came out strong in the second half. It just was unable to break through the Europeans' defense.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.