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 targets after halftime as Mexico outclassed a French group that includes two stars from Mexico’s Liga MX.
One in every 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 taking part in within the Olympics as one among 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 will be a special game for me because my sons are Mexican so I’m excited about it,” he had instructed reporters this week. In the long run, it was one he in all probability wish to neglect shortly; his group can nonetheless advance with higher performances towards South Africa and host Japan in its subsequent two group video games.
Mexico’s thumping of France, a rustic identified for its sturdy youth groups, was not Thursday’s solely shock: Spain, which had known as in a handful of gamers from the senior group 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.