Mexico claims bronze over Japan behind Cordova star show
Is the turnaround fair, even 53 years after the fact?
Mexico denied Japan a home medal with a 3-1 victory in Friday’s bronze medal game in Saitama at the Tokyo Olympics, just as Japan did Mexico at the 1968 Mexico City games.
Mexico beat Brazil for gold at the 2016 Games, while the 1968 bronze remains the only man for Japan’s men’s football.
Sebastien Cordoba converted a penalty and had two assists in the win, scoring goals for Alexis Vega and Johan vasquez.
It was revenge for a 2-1 group stage loss to Saitama and no less than Mexico deserved for a fine tournament.
Kaoru Mitoma scored a formidable late goal for Japan, throwing a loud shot near the post of a Takefusa kubo to help.
Mexico took the lead after 13 minutes when the video assistant referee spotted a foul (not without the help of embellishments) and Cordova coldly scored his penalty.
The next two goals were for a set-piece serve and emphatic heads, as Vasquez’s diving effort on a free-kick made it 2-0 and Vega’s taut header distance from a corner kick. brought the score to 3-0.
Kawasaki Frontale star Mitoma joined the game and NBC’s Robbie Mustoe wondered why he wasn’t in the starting XI, producing several magnificent chances, including Japan’s only goal of the game.