Mexico and Japan compete for the bronze medal at the men’s football tournament of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics at the Saitama Stadium on Friday.
The hosts’ Olympic dream ended with an extra-time defeat to Spain in the semi-finals, while Mexico were outclassed from 12 yards by Brazilian’s young starlets.
El Tri lost to Brazil on penalties following a goalless stalemate, while the home team went down 1-0 to Spain after Marco Asensio’s extra-time winner.
When they met in the group stages of the Games though, Japan pulled off a 2-1 victory.
A repeat of that result would ensure the host nation a bronze medal. However, Mexico have improved since then and will certainly put up a good fight for third place.
Japan and Mexico have already locked horns at the Tokyo Games during their Group A runs – with the Asian side coming up trumps 2-1 on July 25 – and interestingly, El Tri were on the losing side in the third-place playoff when Japan claimed their only Olympic men’s football medal to date 53 years ago.
The sides met for the first time at the 2012 London Olympics, where Mexico ran out 3-1 victors.
But in the group stages of the ongoing tournament, Japan exacted revenge with a 2-1 win.
Three of the last five fixtures played by Mexico this year ended with both teams scoring goals. Also, the last two out of three times Japan played Mexico, including at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, there were goals scored by both teams.
Japan has already proved they can win against Mexico at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games at the group stage matches in July.
Japan lost only one match out of the five they played at this year’s Olympics, while Mexico lost two this year out of the five fixtures played.
Japan’s best performance at the Olympics was also in 2012 where they lost in the semi-finals against Mexico and in the bronze medal match against South Korea to secure fourth place in the tournament. The difference is that we believe that this year Japan has better chances of winning against Mexico.
Japan’s home advantage could be crucial while the return of Tomiyasu will be a huge boost.
We believe that Japan will win against Mexico and win the bronze medal. The last time Mexico got further than the group stage or quarter-finals was in the 2012 Olympic Games in London where they won the gold medal.
Our prediction: Japan win @ 2.64