Spain shocked in Olympic football

Spain shocked in Olympic football

CARDIFF, Wales - The Associated Press
Spain shocked in Olympic football

Attacker Juan Mata, who was also a member of the European Championship winning Spanish team, looks dejected after Spain bows out of the Olympic Games. AP Photo

Spain suffered a rare football setback, going out of the men’s Olympic tournament on July 28 after losing 1-0 to Honduras, while Brazil and Japan booked their places in the quarterfinals with victories.

In the second round of group matches, host Britain got its campaign back on track with a 3-1 victory over United Arab Emirates that knocked the Middle Eastern team out of the tournament. Mexico rebounded from a first-round loss by beating Gabon 2-0. Two-time Olympic champion Uruguay lost 2-0 to Senegal. Egypt played a to 1-1 draw against New Zealand, while South Korea beat Switzerland 2-1.

Spain was looking to add an Olympic gold to the World Cup and European Championship titles held by the country’s full national team. The Olympic football tournament is an under-23 competition with three older players allowed in each 18-man squad.

But after losing to Japan in its opening game, Spain endured a second straight disappointment.

Disappointing result

Honduras forward Jerry Bengtson scored in the seventh minute, jumping over a defender to power in a header past Spain goalkeeper David De Gea. Spain had a penalty claim in the 80th when TV replays appeared to show Adrian Lopez being pushed over by Arnold Peralta.

“As you can imagine everyone is sad, everyone is disappointed,” said coach Luis Milla. “All that was lacking today was the goal. I don’t want to say too much, but we feel there should have been a penalty.”

Spain was seen as one of the favorites, but has yet to score in the competition ahead of its last game against Morocco tomorrow.