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Japan opened Olympic football for men with a 1-0 victory over South Africa

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Image source: AP

Japan’s Ritsu Doan (left) and teammate Reo Hate, second from left, celebrate Takefusa Kubo’s goal

The empty stadium is not what Japanese athletes imagined competing for the first time in Tokyo at their home Olympics.

At least the men’s soccer team won on Thursday, the day before the opening ceremony of the games affected by the pandemic.

Takefusa Kubo scored the only goal with a curling shot from the crossbar in the 71st minute, which won a 1-0 victory over South Africa at the stadium in Tokyo.

Kubo is a 20-year-old Real Madrid striker who will still play for the Spanish giants while gaining first team experience elsewhere in La Liga. In the other Group A game, Mexico beat France 4-1.

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