Mexico take bronze with victory over Japan

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Mexico secured the bronze medal in the men’s Olympic football tournament by comfortably beating Japan 3-1 on Friday, leaving the hosts in tears at the final whistle.

The Mexicans, who lost on penalties in the semi-finals to Brazil, took a 13th minute lead when Wataru Endo tripped Alexis Vega in the box and, after a long wait for confirmation from VAR, Sebastian Cordova slotted home the penalty.

Johan Vasquez doubled the lead nine minutes later with an angled header from a perfectly flighted Cordova free-kick from the left.

It was another set-piece goal which put the game beyond Japan in the 58th minute with Vega losing his marker at a corner and powering a header past goalkeeper Kosei Tani.

Substitute Kaoru Mitoma delivered some consolation for the hosts with a fine finish in the 78th minute, bursting into the box and firing a left-foot shot into the top corner.

Japan wasted some late chances to add a second and when the final whistle blew there were emotional scenes with Mexico celebrating wildly on the field after several Japanese players had collapsed to the ground in tears.

Brazil face Spain in the men’s final on Saturday.

In the women’s competition, Sweden and Canada were playing later on Friday in the gold medal game after the United States won bronze on Thursday with victory over Australia.