Olympics – Bryan and Shelina through, agony for Ria
Wed 28 July 2021, 18:00|Tottenham Hotspur
Bryan Gil helped Spain into the knockout stages of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics today (28 July) after a 1-1 draw with Argentina was enough to see them finish top of Group C.
Starting the encounter as a substitute, Bryan watched on as his nation took the lead at the Saitama Stadium midway through the second half through former Newcastle United man Mikel Merino. Our new signing from Sevilla then came on for the final five minutes, but he couldn’t prevent his side from conceding a late equaliser as Tomas Belmonte headed in on 87 minutes to rescue a point for the Albiceleste. A draw though was all that the Spaniards needed to seal their progress and set up a quarter-final tie with the Ivory Coast on Saturday (9am kick-off UK).
Meanwhile, a quarter-final bout also awaits Spurs Women's Shelina Zadorsky after Canada earned a 1-1 draw with Great Britain on Tuesday.
Shelina, who had played every minute of Canada’s Olympic campaign so far, started the game on the bench as Head Coach Bev Priestman rotated her squad heavily with them only needing a point from the game to secure their passage to the knockout rounds. After a cagey first half, it was the Canadians who soon took the impetus as Adriana Leon powered home Ashley Lawrence’s cross on 55 minutes. The Canadians looked good value to hold onto the three points as Team GB ramped up their pressure, however, misfortune struck for Shelina's side five minutes from time as Caroline Weir’s long-range effort took a sizeable deflection to send it past Stephanie Labbe and see the spoils shared. The result meant the Canadians finished as runners-up in Group E behind Great Britain and will now face Brazil in the last eight on Friday (9am kick-off UK).
Elsewhere, it was heartbreak for Ria Percival and New Zealand as they bowed out of the tournament after a 2-0 defeat to Group G winners, Sweden, at the Miyagi Stadium.
The match was a must-win for Tom Sermanni’s team after two successive defeats but, despite a more encouraging performance, the challenge proved too great to overcome. New Zealand started brightly with Ria and team-mate Katie Bowen applying pressure to the Swedish back line, but they were unable to test goalkeeper Jennifer Falk. Two goals in quick succession then stifled their growing momentum and put the tie out of reach. Anna Anvegard headed in the opening goal in the 17th minute followed 13 minutes later by Madelen Janogy to give the Swedes control of the contest.