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Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico advance to Olympic semifinals in men's soccer

UPI News
UPI News
Spain's Rafa Mir scored a hat trick off the bench in a 5-2 win over the Ivory Coast in the quarterfinals of the men's soccer tournament at the 2020 Summer Games on Saturday in Miyagi, Japan. Photo by Spanish Football Federation/EPA

July 31 (UPI) -- Spain, Brazil, Japan and Mexico each clinched spots in the semifinals of the 2020 Summer Games men's soccer tournament with quarterfinal victories Saturday in Japan.

Spain started the day with a 5-2 win over the Ivory Coast at Miyagi Stadium in Rifu. Right wing Rafa Mir entered the game as a substitute in stoppage time. He went on to record a hat-trick in the extra-time triumph.

Mir scored in the third minute of stoppage time, the 117th minute and stoppage time in the second half of extra time. Forwards Dani Olmo and Mikel Oyarzabal also scored for Spain.

Defender Eric Bailly and left wing Max Gradel scored for the Ivory Coast.

Japan beat New Zealand through a penalty kick shootout in the next quarterfinal. The teams played to a scoreless draw through regulation and extra time at Ibaraki Kashima Stadium in Kashima.

Ayase Ueda, Kou Itakura, Yuta Nakayama and Maya Yoshida each converted their attempts for Japan the shootout. The Ivory Coast converted on just two of its four penalty kicks.

Striker Matheus Cunha scored in the 37th minute to lead Brazil to a 1-0 win over Egypt in another men's quarterfinal Saturday at Saitama Stadium in Saitama.

Mexico ended the day with a 6-3 win over South Korea in Yokohama. Forward Henry Martin and left wing Francisco Cordova scored two goals apiece in the victory. Dong-Gyeong Lee also scored two goals in the loss.

Right wing Luis Romo and forward Eduardo Aguirre also scored for Mexico. South Korea striker Hwang Ui-Jo scored the final goal of the game in stoppage time.

Mexico battles Brazil in the first semifinal Tuesday at Ibaraki Kashima Stadium. Japan faces Spain in the other semifinal Tuesday in Saitama. Those games air at 4 a.m. EDT and 7 a.m. EDT Tuesday on NBCSN and Universo, respectively.

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