Mexico clinched the Olympic bronze in men’s football as Sebastian Cordova scored a penalty and then set up two more goals to beat host Japan 3-1 at Saitama on Friday.
Cordova, who plays for Club America in the Mexican top league Liga MX, was greatly influential in shaping Mexico’s win that fetched it the second Olympic medal after the gold it won in 2012 London Games.
Looking to avenge the defeat it suffered against the same opponent in the group league stage, Mexico began strongly and found the lead in the 13th minute when Cordova converted from the spot.
Nine minutes later, defender Johan Vasquez, who was sent off in the first encounter against Japan, moved up the park to nod home a free-kick from Cordova.
Enjoying a healthy 2-0 lead at the break, Mexico returned with greater intensity in the second session and increased the margin in the 58th minute as Cordova essayed a cross for Ernesto Vega to find the target with a header.
The intensity of Mexican attacks unsettled Japan which launched a concerted attack in the final quarter of the action and pulled one back in the 78th minute off substitute Kaoru Mitoma. Japan had couple of more chances in the final minutes but its wasteful attack failed to convert them into goals. Japan finished fourth for the second time in three Olympics.
Bronze medal match: Mexico 3 (Sebastian Cordova 13-pen, Johan Vasquez 22, Ernesto Vega 58) bt Japan 1 (Kaoru Mitoma 78).
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