Egypt loss sends Olyroos out of Olympics

Australia's interest in the Tokyo 2020 Men's Football Tournament concluded in Miyagi on Wednesday as the Olyroos suffered a 2-0 defeat to Egypt in their final group stage fixture.

Goals late in both halves secured the Pharaohs’ passage to the quarter-final,  at the expense of Graham Arnold's side.

Australia, who needed just a draw to advance, pushed hard in the second half. But they could not find a way past inspired Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy, who pulled off two outstanding saves in quick succession to deny substitute Daniel Arzani and captain Thomas Deng with the score at 1-0.

Egypt’s opener came right on half-time, Ahmed Rayan finishing Ramadan Sobhi’s precise delivery.

Egypt loss sends Olyroos out of Olympics
Ahmed Fotouh #20 of Team Egypt shakes hands with Harry Souttar #5 of Team Australia following the Men's Group C match between Australia and Egypt on day five of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Miyagi Stadium on July 28, 2021 in Rifu, Miyagi, Japan. (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)

Australia chased the game after the break but were susceptible to the break and Egypt almost made it 2-0 when they struck the crossbar.

Then El-Shenawy showed his class. First, he brilliantly tipped over Arzani’s effort from the edge of the box. And from the corner he produced an even better stop, getting down low to palm away Deng’s powerful header.

Soon after Egypt sealed Australia’s fate when keeper Tom Glover parried Sobhi’s shot into Ammar Hamdy’s path and he finished from close range.

The team’s exit came six days after the Olyroos stunned Argentina 2-0. Then on Sunday they push a strong Spain side all the way before going down 1-0.

Head coach Graham Arnold said: "It has been a fantastic experience and journey. I am extremely proud of the players.

"These boys will go home with fantastic memories of beating Argentina and really pushing Spain the whole way.

"Did those two games take it out of us? Maybe. (But) in the past the Olympics has developed and created a lot of national team players for the Socceroos, and the reason that I took this job on was to do that.

"The most important thing was that we qualified for this tournament, which enabled these kids to continue their journey at youth national team level for another 12 months and to play in a major tournament.

"I feel that we have come away from here with much more depth for the Socceroos and couldn't be prouder of the way that our players have represented the Australian Olympic Team both on and off the pitch."

Australia's football fortunes now lie with the Matildas, who will play Great Britain in a Women’s quarter-final on Friday in Kashima (kick-off 5pm WST).

Filed Under: Olympics 2020