🥇 Spain, Brazil Japan and Mexico reach Tokyo 2020 semi-finals

Logo: OneFootball


Dan Burke

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Men’s football continued at Tokyo 2020 on Saturday with four intriguing quarter-final ties.

Here’s what happened …

Mexico flex their muscles with big win over Korea

Korea Republic U23 3
Mexico U23 6
Full time

Scorers: Dong-Gyeong 20′, 51′, Ui-Jo 90+1′; Martín 12′, 54′ Luis Romo 29′, Córdova (P) 39′, 63′, Aguirre 84′

Mexico put Korea Republic to the sword in a goal fest to wrap up the day’s action.

Henry Martín gave Mexico an early lead when he headed home after being set up by Luis Romo.

But their lead lasted just eight minutes, with Lee Dong-Gyeong soon finding an equaliser for Korea.

Mexico then went back in front, however, with Romo latching onto a great ball over the top and firing into the bottom corner for 2-1.

Shortly before half-time El Tri bagged a third when Francisco Córdova made it 3-1 from the penalty spot.

Into the second half and Dong-Gyeong scored his second goal to make it 3-2, but Martín quickly bagged his second before Córdova grabbed his to make it 5-2.

Eduardo Aguirre then got in on the act to make it 6-2 and set up an enticing semi-final with Brazil.

Hwang Ui-Jo scored a late consolation for Korea.

From earlier …

Cunha the hero as Brazil send Egypt home

Brazil U23 1
Egypt U23 0
Full time

Scorers: Cunha 37′

A goal from Matheus Cunha was enough for Brazil to beat Egypt and seal their passage to the semi-final.

The Hertha BSC forward opened the scoring late in the first half when he slotted into the bottom corner after being tee’d up by Richarlison.

Mir hat-trick sees Spain survive late scare to beat Ivory Coast AET

Spain U23 5
Côte d'Ivoire U23 2
Full time

Scorers: Olmo 30′, Mir 90+3′, 117′, 120+1′, Oyarzabal (P) 98′; Bailly 10′, Gradel 90+1′

Spain needed extra-time, VAR and a super-sub to help them win a dramatic game against Ivory Coast in the first match of the day.

Ivory Coast went in front after just 10 minutes, when Eric Bailly bundled home from a corner.

Spain were then forced to substitute Óscar Mingueza due to injury, with Jesus Vallejo brought on to replace him.

But La Roja then equalised when Dani Olmo took advantage of some hesitant to defending to nip in and score.

Mikel Oyarzabal then thought he’d put Spain 2-1 up just before half-time, but his goal was disallowed by VAR for offside.

And then, in the 91st minute, Max Gradel popped up with a late goal to make it 2-1 to the Ivory Coast.

Only for substitute Rafa Mir to net an even more dramatic goal for Spain to equalise again in the 93rd minute and take the tie to extra-time.

Spain were then awarded a penalty for a Bailly handball. Oyarzabal stepped up to score from the spot to make it 3-2.

And deep into extra-time, substitute Mir got his second of the game to make it 4-2, before completing his hat-trick late on for five.

Spain will now face Japan in the semi-final on Tuesday.

Japan eliminate New Zealand on penalties

Japan U23 0 (4)
New Zealand U23 0 (2)
Full time(Pens)

Hosts Japan booked their spot in the semi-final after a penalty shoot-out victory following a goalless draw with New Zealand.

Liberato Cacace and Clayton Lewis both missed from the spot for New Zealand, and Maya Yoshida netted the decisive spot-kick for Japan to win 4-2.