Tue, 28 Sep 2021

TOKYO, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian forward Richarlison scored a hat-trick in the first half as his team beat Germany 4-2 on the first matchday of the men's football at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Thursday, which saw a number of unexpected results.

In a recap of the Rio Olympic final in 2016, Richarlison netted three times in just 30 minutes into the Group D match. Brazil's failure to convert a penalty before the end of the first half set the tone for Germany's comeback later.

Germany pulled one back in the second half with a superb strike from Nadiem Amiri, before moving closer to 3-2 despite being down to 10 men. However, Paulinho set the final score at 4-2 with a goal in the stoppage time.

In a Group A clash at the Tokyo Stadium, despite their dominance, hosts Japan saw a wave of offense upset by a poor finish and a strong performance by the South African goalkeeper, until Real Madrid youngster Takefusa Kubo's strike inside the box found the net after hitting the far post.

Several members of South Africa's football team, including players, have tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the team into observing quarantine. Head coach David Notoane told the post-match press conference that the team has been affected but he was proud of the performance of the team and is looking forward to the next game.

In another Group A match, French defenders were unable to stop the skillful Mexican by conceding four goals in the second half, only to make the score 4-1 through a penalty kick by captain Andre-Pierre Gignac.

In Group C, title forerunner Spain encountered staunched defense from Egypt as the match ended in a goalless draw. Even worse for the European side was an early exit of Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos in the first half due to injury. In a later match of Group C, Australia shocked 10-man Argentina 2-0.

In Group B, Chris Wood's lone goal in the second half was enough to propel New Zealand to a 1-0 win over South Korea, while Romania beat Honduras 1-0, with the only goal of the game coming in the first half through an own goal.

In another Group D match, AC Milan player Franck Kessie scored a winner and Cote d'Ivoire beat Saudi Arabia 2-1.

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