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Olympics Football: Kessie wins in Ivory Coast, Egypt holds Spain

Pharaohs collected one point against La Roja, while Elephants collected maximum points against the Middle Eastern nation

AC Milan’s Franck Kessie scored to give Cote d’Ivoire a 2-1 victory over Saudi Arabia in Thursday’s Olympics encounter at Yokohama International Stadium, while Egypt held the Spain at the start of the day.

Saudi Arabia’s Abdulelah Al-Amri scored his own in the 39th minute before Salem Al-Dawsari equalized for the Asian country in the 44th minute. Kessie offered the victory to the African nation with his goal in the 66th minute before being reduced to 10 men when Aboubacar Doumbia was sent off in the seventh minute of added time.

Kessie, whose future at AC Milan continues to attract speculation given his contract expires in 2022, opened his Olympic goalscoring account when he found the back of the net after receiving a cross to the edge from the surface and pulled into the bottom corner.

Previously, Egypt and Spain shared the points in a 0-0 draw on their first kick-off.

Spain launched an attack in the first minute, but Mikel Oyarzabal shot wide after being scored by Pedri.

Real Madrid’s Dani Ceballos was unable to continue after a collision with Mohamed Taher and the Spanish star, who was on loan at Arsenal last season, had to be replaced by Jon Moncayola of Osasuna, with Taher only getting one card yellow.

Oscar Mingueza tried to find the top corner in the 27th minute but his shot missed as Egypt kept their form at the back despite attacks from rivals. Three minutes before the end of the first half, Taher unleashed a shot that passed the Spanish defensive line but flew over the bar.

Egyptian Mohamed Ashour did well to block Mikel Merino’s effort in the 48th minute. The Real Sociedad star was hit on goal by Real Madrid winger Marco Asensio.

Mikel Oyarzabal was stopped by Ahmed Hegazy in the 52nd minute when the Spain star entered the box and was about to launch a shot from close range.

The Pharaohs made their first changes in the 62nd minute, Taher exiting for Ammar Hamdy as Ahmed Yasser Rayyan left the pitch and his place was taken by Marwan Mohsen. Spain waited until the 67th minute when Merino was replaced by Carlos Soler, and a minute later Asensio was replaced by Tottenham Hotspur alleged target Bryan Gil.

Gerardo Miranda almost made his way into the Egyptian box in the 77th minute, Hegazy knocked him down a few yards from the edge of the box, but Spain’s calls for a penalty were dismissed.

Mohamed El Shenawy made a good save to prevent La Roja from opening the scoring in the 87th minute after Raphael Mir had risen enough to lead a cross from Miranda. Goalkeeper Al Ahly was also vigilant to prevent Soler from scoring at close range in the first minute of added time.

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