Japan off to a strong start in the Olympic men's football tournament

Japan off to a strong start in the Olympic men's football tournament

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Japan off to a strong start in the Olympic men's football tournament

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There are a lot of expectations for Japan to do well at the Olympic Games, but the expectations are not huge in men’s soccer. However, after two games each in the Olympic men’s soccer tournament, it is Japan that is the only team with the full six points.

So far to date, Japan has beaten South Africa 1-0 and Mexico 2-1. The Japanese star so far has been Takefusa Kubo of Kawasaki. Kubo, who is a winger for Real Madrid, scored in the 71st minute against South Africa in the only goal in that contest, and then in the sixth minute against Mexico to open up the scoring there. In Japan’s one-goal win over the Mexicans, Ritsu Doan of Amagasaki scored the game winning goal in the 11th minute on a penalty.

Japan has won one medal in the history of the Olympic Games in men’s soccer. They won the bronze medal at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. In the bronze medal game of the men’s Olympic soccer tournament 53 years ago, Japan beat Mexico 2-0 on two goals from Kunishige Kamamoto of Kyoto. Now at the age of 77, Kamamoto is the all-time leading goal scorer in Japan with 75. At the 1968 Olympic Games, Kamamoto led the entire tournament with seven goals. In addition to the two goals he had against Mexico in the bronze medal game, he had three goals in a 3-1 win over Nigeria, and two goals in a 3-1 win over France in the quarterfinals.

In other action at the 2020 Olympic men’s soccer tournament in Tokyo in 2021, all four teams in Group B are currently tied at one win and one loss. It is very rare to have a four-way tie for first in any tournament at any time once all teams have played twice. In the Group, Honduras beat New Zealand 3-2, and lost to Romania 1-0. South Korea beat Romania 4-0, and lost to New Zealand 1-0. In Group C, Spain leads with four points, and in Group D, Ivory Coast and Brazil are tied for the lead with four points.

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