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South Africa U23 0 - 3 Mexico U23 summary: score, goals, highlights, Tokyo Olympics 2021

South Africa U23 0 - 3 Mexico U23 summary: score, goals, highlights, Tokyo Olympics 2021

South Africa U23 vs Mexico U23: live updates

So with the groups complete, here is the lineup for the quater finals:

Spain vs Cote D'Ivoire

Japan vs New Zealand

Brazil vs Egypt

South Korea vs Mexico


Game over!

Peep, peep, peep! And that's it, Mexico the comfortable 3-0 winners with goals coming from Vega and Romo in the first half, and Martin in the second. They finish second in the group behind Japan and march through to the quarter finals.


Mexico almost have a fourth. Aguirre finishes off a quick Mexican break with a shotf from inside the box, but Williams does well to save.


3 minutes off added time to be played here. SA dominating possession in the closing minutes as they desperately look to salvage some pride with a goal.


SA have another chance through a corner but it's well defended by the Mexicans. SA have had plenty of possession but they just don't have the same attacking edge and killer instinct as Mexico, which has been the key difference.


South Africa have a free kick opportunity from 25 yards as they look for a consolation goal. Singh goes straight for goal aiming for the top right corner. But again his opportunity goes wide and over.


Angulo does well to make a scoring chance around the corner of the six-yard box, but the play is pulled back as it turns out he was offside in the build up.


Substitution for Mexico as Antuna makes way for Angulo. Mexico have now made five changes as coach Lozano looks to protect some key players ahead of the quarter finals. Martin, Cordova, Vega and Sanchez have also gone off.


Singh goes straight for the near top corner from the SA free kick from 25 yards out on the left. But it's sails about two yards wide of that near post.


Romo has a crack from distance! As he's not far away as the ball glances passed the left far post.


Straight red for Rodriguez!

Rodriguez has been sent off for taking out Singh as he darted towards goal with only the keeper in front of him. The ref has deemed that a professoinal foul and Rodriguez is given his marching orders for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity. It's now 10 v 10 after Malepe's dismissal 12 minutes ago.

In the other group A game, Japan still lead France 2-0, meaning Japan will go through top with nine points, with Mexico taking the second spot.



Nice little one-two there as Martin passes to Rodriguez, who slips a first time pass back to Martin that cuts open the SA defence and leaves the Mexican striker one-on-one with the keeper. Martin cooly slots the ball into the bottom right corner.


Red card for Malepe!

After being prompted by VAR, the ref has gone to the sidelines to check that Malepe challange on the TV screen. And after a quick review, he's changed the yellow card to red as SA lose their captain and will play the rest of the game with 10 men.


Yellow card for SA captain Malepe. He's gone in hard from the back on Martin and the Mexico defender falls screaming in agony. He's taken a few studs to the heel.


Several SA players loitering around the Mexico box as they try to make something of a promising attack. But the Mexican defense finally clears the danger.


Antuna again posing a threat down the right. He plays a low cross from close to the byline which the SA defender almost steers into his own goal from a deflection.


Second half starts!

SA get the second half underway. No changes for either side.

The teams are making their way back to the field to start the second half at the Sapporo Dome.

South Africa and France on the verge of Olympic exit

With the scorelines as they are in Group A matchday 3 at half time, France need to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Japan, while South Africa need a miracle, i.e. score five goals, not concede any more, as well as France to win.

Luis Romo celebrates scoring Mexico's second goal in the 45th minute of that first half. His goal came just eight minutes after he attempted a headed strike that hit the crossbar.


Half time!

Peep, peep! The ref blows his whistle to signal the end of the first half with Mexico leading 2-0 thanks to goals from Vega (18') and Romo (45'). SA all-but mathematically out of the competition now.



Some desperate SA defending as they tried to deal with the initial Mexico corner. The ball bounced around before eventually finding its way to Romo, who slots home from six yards.


Antuna has been the stand-out player for Mexico. He's been giving the SA back line all sorts of problems, particularly down the right. The Chivas midfielder assisted the first goal and almost had another assist for Romo's crossbar strike a few minutes ago.


Mexico hit the crosssbar! Romo gets his head on the end of an Antuna delivery from the right. The ball strikes the crossbar and then falls to Vega, who hits a quick volley from 8 yards. But Williams does brilliantly to save.


Decent attack down the left from SA which leads to a corner. Mexico are taken by surprise as the corner is taken quickly towards the unmarker Singh in the box. But he he can't take advantage of the opportunity and Mexico recover to clear the danger.

In the other Group A game, Japan are leading France 2-0. As things stand, Japan will go through as group leaders with Mexico in second place. France and SA will go out.


Mohamme has a pop from distance, and wins a corner with his effort. Mokoena takes the corner but his cross goes straight out of play. Poor stuff.


Montes is on the floor after a clash of heads as he tried a headed clearance under pressure in his own box. The ref has stopped play to allow him to receive treatment.


Antuna shoots! Decent left-footed curling strike from right towards the far top corner. But Williams does well to save.


Mexico score! 1-0!

A nice combo play as Martin spreads the ball right to Antuna by the edge of the box. Antuna then plays the first-time pass across the box to the unmarked Vega, who has an easy-enough tap-in to give El Tri the lead. That's Vega's second goal of the tournament.


Martin with a great chance! The Mexican striker does very well to take the ball down with his chest by the penalty spot. He attempts a volley but its blocked down quickly.


Mexico with a free kick from 25 yards out. Cordova plays the decoy before Vega shoots but he hits the ball straight at the wall.


Makgopa shoots! The SA defender has a pop from a good 30 yards out, but his shot sails over the bar. Not a bad attempt from that distance.


SA put another ball in the box, this time from open play through Mohamme. Again it's a decent delivery but Rodriguez is on hand to header the ball away from danger. SA finding their feet a little bit now.


Mokoena takes the corner for SA, it's a decent delivery but his team mates can't take advantage of it.


Cordova goes straight for goal with the free kick, but SA keeper Williams collects easily. A cross would have been the better option as a decent chance goes to waste for Mexico.


Early booking for SA's Mohamme for a late challenge on Martín, who looks to be in a lot pain as he receives treatment. Mexico will have a free kick right at the edge of the SA box.


Nice long ball played to Mexico's Antuna at the edge of the SA box, both the defender comes quickly to snuff out the danger.


Match underway!

Mexico get the game underway at the Sapporo Dome.

"Fairplay, respect, enjoy": the ref has a quick word with captains before the coin toss.

Now it's time for the Mexico national anthem. The Mexican team, playing in green, turn around to face the flag, albeit a digital representation on the big screen.

South Africa anthem plays first. SA in their home yellow strip.

The teams are making their way to field! Almost ready to go here at the Sapporo Stadium.

South Africa's outside chance of qualification

South Africa, currently bottom of the group with zero points, have an outside chance of qualifying for the quarter finals. To do so, they will need to beat Mexico by a three-goal margin and hope that Japan beat France. Japan and France also kicks off at the same time and we'll keep you up to the date with the happenings from that game.

Official teamsheet

Nice pic of the official team sheet for the game, which gets underway in 20 minutes! (At 7.30am ET / 4.30am PT)

Mexico Starting XI

Ochoa, Angulo, Loroña, Montes, Sanchez, Romo, Antuna, Cordova, Rodriguez, Martin, Vega

South Africa Starting XI

Williams, Malepe, Fleurs, Mohamme, Mokoena, Cele, Mukumela, Singh, Mahlatsi, Kodisang, Makgopa

Luis Romo: "It's kill or die for each other"

Mexico's Luis Romo spoke ahead of the game with a call-to-arms for his team mates:

"We have to be attentive. It's kill or die for each other. We're going to show what we're made of."

South Africa turn to "hope and prayer"

Here's what South Africa coach David Notoane had to say before the game, which his side go into on zero points with two losses from two.

“We only have one chance‚ which is a win – and then go with a hope and a prayer‚” the SA coach said.

“We knew that France lost by a heavy margin (4-1 in their opening game against Mexico). And I told the players that even if we lost against France it was important to keep the defeat to a low margin because you never know what the permutations will work out to.

“So we lost 4-3 – we have a -2 goal difference. The disadvantage will be that if France lose (against Japan) and we win‚ on a head to head of course we are out.

“So it’s going to be a very difficult situation for us. Because whichever way you look at it‚ it’s first head to head. So it was important to get a result (against France)‚ even if it was a draw‚ and unfortunately it wasn’t to be.

“Maybe we are at a bit of a disadvantage‚ and we have to be honest with ourselves‚ go to the last game‚ play for our pride. We are here to get to the next round‚ but also display the kind of football we know the players are capable of.”

Mexico; Japan and France vying for top spot in Group A

South Africa and Mexico face off in Sapporo with El Tri having the chance to top Group A at the Tokyo Olympics soccer tournament on Wednesday. South Africa currently sit bottom of the table with Japan top after two games.

Due to goal difference deciding the positions at the Tokyo tournament both Mexico  - who have the same GD as Japan - and France can finish top on the day, although Les Bleus would require a four-goal swing to dislodge their opponents.  


Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the Tokyo Olympics soccer tournament clash between South Africa and Mexico. The match gets underway in an hour (7.30am EDT), so stay with us as we build up to proceedings at the Sapporo Dome. 


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