Too naive defensively, without benchmarks or common experience, the French Olympic football team was very clearly and very logically beaten by Mexico (4-1), Thursday, July 22, in Tokyo at the opening of the tournament.
This group, built in pain in the face of opposition from professional clubs to let their players go to these Olympic Games organized during their preparation for the coming season, was not ready to face the attractive Mexican team. And this, despite the presence on the field of confirmed players, such as world champion Florian Thauvin, André-Pierre Gignac or Teji Savanier.
After having resisted until the break, France finally totally cracked at the start of the second period in a completely empty stadium due to the health situation. Diego Lainez, the very talented star of Mexico, first stunned Anthony Caci with his feints and hooks before putting the ball on the head of Alexis Vega (1-0, 47e). Less than ten minutes later, a misalignment by Modibo Sagnan, suffering throughout the game, allowed Sebastian Cordova to sanction again the “roughly” of the Blues (2-0, 55e).
France still manages to react thanks to Randall Kolo Muani, just entered the game. Launched in depth by Le Fée, he causes a penalty materialized by Gignac (2-1, 69e). But the Mexican superiority was obvious and was confirmed by a third goal signed Uriel Antuna (3-1, 80e), who also martyred Caci, before beating Paul Bernardoni. Then, in added time, Eduardo Aguirre further increased the score on a dangerous receding pass from Bard (4-1, 91e).
With its Olympic culture, which won it gold at the 2012 Olympics in London, and players who know each other, Mexico was undoubtedly the most formidable opponent for the Blues. But Sylvain Ripoll’s team still seemed far from the mark and its next rivals, South Africa, Sunday July 25 in Saitama, and especially Japan, Wednesday in Yokohama, are very serious obstacles on the road to quarter-finals. Only the first two teams in the group can continue to dream of a gold medal.