Japan produced the first upset of the Olympic Games when they beat potential gold medalists Spain 1-0 at Hampden Park, Glasgow on the opening day of the men’s soccer competition on Thursday.
Spain, bidding to add the Olympic title to their world and European crowns, finished with 10 men after midfielder Inigo Martinez was sent off just before halftime having found no answer to Yuki Otsu’s 34th minute goal.
In the other early matches Morocco and Honduras drew 2-2 at Hampden, while Mexico and South Korea drew 0-0 at St James’ Park.
There were five matches being played later on Thursday including favorites Brazil against Egypt and hosts Britain against Senegal.
Read the rest of the story: Japan Kick Off With Shock Win Over Spain.
A Japanese Olympic executive wants his country to host major sporting events to show the world it is recovering from the multiple disasters, but has acknowledged the challenge in justifying a bid for the 2020 Summer Games.
“We need to be hosting major international events to inspire the whole nation, to encourage the youth of Japan to move forward and aspire to be champions and to significantly boost the morale of the whole nation,” Japanese Olympic Association vice president Masato Mizuno said Wednesday.
“International sporting events will also help the international community realize that most of Japan is functioning.”
Several events in Japan, including the world figure skating championships, have been canceled since the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami struck on March 11, leading to about 25,000 deaths and a lingering nuclear radiation crisis.
Read the rest of the story: Japan looking to sports to help rebuild country – Olympics.