After a couple one-nil losses, Spain has been eliminated from the London Olympics. A shocking 1-0 defeat to Japan came as a wake up call for the Junior Furia Roja last Thursday and after a 1-0 defeat to Honduras on Sunday, Spain will be exiting after their final match in the tournament against Morocco.
Their early departure is not the only set of games to shock us. As of today, Tuesday, July 31st, Great Britain is the leader Group A, with the host nation’s comeback victory over United African Emirates. Does this prove Great Britain is ready for the big time matches in international soccer? We hesitate to answer yes, as they face Uruguay on Wednesday (2:45PM ET), a team that has something to prove, facing elimination. What’s worse, if Senegal can fend off UAE, the hosts could still be eliminated before quarterfinals.
Mexico defeated Gabon on the back of young star Giovanni Dos Santos who scored two goals (63′ & 90′ pen) to lift his team to the top of Group B. Group B however, is just about the tightest group. We expect Mexico to prevail atop the group with a victory over the Swiss, while South Korea (4 pts) should also advance, just needing to tie Gabon (1 pt) in Wednesday’s upcoming match.
Favorites Brazil won handily over Belarus 3-1, with Neymar assisting two goals before scoring one of his own on a beautiful free kick. Belarus though, holds onto second place (3 pts) in Group C, ahead of New Zealand and Egypt who tied (1-1) on Sunday and remain at one point a piece. Check out Neymar’s sweet goal in the game from Sunday. This slow-motion, vari-angle video is a perfect look at the young Brazilian phenom’s raw talent.
The news on Group D is undoubtedly overshadowed by Spain’s early elimination from the Olympics. Japan is now atop the group with 6 points, while Honduras moves into second with 3 points after their knockout victory over Spain. Morocco holds on and could advance with a big win against the troubled Spanish side.
What does this mean for the Spanish National team? Well we won’t be jumping to any conclusions, but obviously it’s a disappointment for the young Spanish roster. While most of the talent on the senior team was not playing at London, it goes to show how much pressure is on their players to meet expectations.
As the first national team in history to sandwich a World Cup title between two consecutive EURO Championships, pressure and stress may become a contributing factor in the next big tournaments including the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Then again, the Spanish played beautifully against the Italians in the EURO Cup Final, so we wouldn’t lose any sleep over it.