August 1, 2021

Mexico thrashes France as men’s soccer tournament opens with surprises.

CHOFU, Japan — Mexico, the 2012 Olympic males’s soccer gold medalist, opened its marketing campaign to regain that title by thrashing France, 4-1, on Thursday at Tokyo Stadium.

Alexis Vega scored on a first-half header and Sebastian Cordova, Uriel Antuna and Erick Aguirre added objectives after halftime as Mexico outclassed a French crew that includes two stars from Mexico’s Liga MX.

Considered one of them, André-Pierre Gignac, scored on a penalty kick within the 69th minute after Randal Kolo Muani was scythed down within the Mexican field.

Gignac, a 35-year-old striker who has performed greater than 200 matches since 2015 for the Mexican membership Tigres, is enjoying within the Olympics as one in every of France’s three overage gamers. On Thursday, he was a brooding, vocal however poorly provided presence, chatting with the Mexico gamers in Spanish, difficult his teammates in French and, at one level, excoriating the Australian referee for a perceived injustice in English.

“This can be a particular recreation for me as a result of my sons are Mexican so I’m enthusiastic about it,” he had advised reporters this week. In the long run, it was one he in all probability wish to overlook shortly; his crew can nonetheless advance with higher performances in opposition to South Africa and host Japan in its subsequent two group video games.

Mexico’s thumping of France, a rustic recognized for its robust youth groups, was not Thursday’s solely shock: Spain, which had known as in a handful of gamers from the senior crew that superior to the European Championship semifinals solely two few weeks in the past, was held to a scoreless tie by a defensive-minded Egypt in Sapporo.

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