Spain escapes scare to reach Olympic men's football semifinals

31/07/2021 11:43 PM

TOKYO, July 31 -- Rafa Mir grabbed a stoppage-time equaliser to help Spain beat Cote d'Ivoire 5-2 after extra time in the Olympic men's football quarterfinals here on Saturday.

According to Xinhua news agency, Cote d'Ivoire thought they had beaten Spain 2-1 late but Mir hit back in stoppage time to force the 30 minutes extra time.

Mikel Oyarzabal converted a penalty on 98 minutes before Mir netted twice more to secure his side's passage.

The match between Japan and New Zealand came to a goalless draw after 120 minutes. But the host emerged victorious 4-2 following a penalty shootout.

Brazil stayed on course to defend their title after beating Egypt 1-0.

South Korea was outgunned by Mexico 6-3, failing to repeat a scenario in the London Olympics 2012 when two Asian teams - Japan and South Korea - made it to the last four.

The semifinals will feature Spain vs Japan and Brazil vs Mexico on Tuesday.