Mexico U23 vs Japan U23 Preview 06/08/2021
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There are only two matches remaining in the men’s Olympic Games football competition and on the 6th of August Mexico will play Japan for the bronze medal.
The game will be played at the Saitama Stadium 2002 and although there will be no fans in attendance, there will be millions of local people cheering on the Japanese team.
Mexico will be hoping to silence the host nation but they will have to lift themselves following the disappointment of a penalty shootout defeat at the hands of Brazil in the semi-final.
Neither team could find a goal inside 90 minutes but it was Brazil who came closest as Everton forward, Richarlison hit the post for the defending champions in the 82nd minute.
Extra-time continued in the same way as the previous 90 minutes and the match ended 0-0.
The Mexican players struggled from the penalty spot and lost the shootout 4-1. Eduardo Aguirre’s shot was saved and Johan Vásquez hit the post while Brazil scored all four of their penalties to progress to the final.
The semi-final defeat was the first time in the competition Mexico have failed to score a goal. They have seen over 2.5 goals in 4 of their 5 matches at the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan and in 6 of their last 7 in all competitions.
However, Mexico have suffered only one defeat inside 90 minutes in this tournament and that came at the hands of Japan in the group stages of the competition.
Japan will be disappointed not to be participating in the gold medal match of the Olympic Games on home soil.
The first half of the semi-final against Spain was extremely tight but when Mikel Merino went down under a challenge from Maya Yoshida, only to see the penalty decision overturned by VAR, it brought the game to life.
Despite having a couple of chances each, the 90 minutes ended 0-0 but it was Spain who came on strong in extra-time and Marco Asensio struck in the 115th minute to end the gold medal hopes of the hosts.
The Japanese team can at least take some comfort from the fact they are still undefeated inside 90 minutes at this Olympic Games.
Only twice in their 5 fixtures have they managed to score more than a single goal and they have kept 4 clean sheets in the tournament.
Team news and Mexico may choose to freshen things up ahead of this game. Carlos Rodríguez, Diego Lainez and Jesús Ricardo Angulo and three players who could come into the starting XI.
Japan could follow their opponents in making a few changes to their starting XI with a quick turnaround between matches.
Yuki Soma and Ayase Ueda could be among the players who have the opportunity to win Bronze for their country.
Mexico are the favourites to win this upcoming fixture and should successfully obtain the bronze medal with a narrow win over Japan.