LONDON: Spain’s bid to add Olympics gold to their world and European titles ended in failure with a shock 1-0 loss to Honduras.
Jerry Bengtson’s seventh-minute header at St James’ Park, the striker’s third goal in two games, condemned Spain to an early exit following their opening defeat by Group D leaders Japan. In a fractious match featuring 13 bookings, Spain’s Iker Muniain hit the post and Rodrigo the bar, and a host of Spanish players converged upon referee Juan Soto Arevalo after the Venezuelan denied them a late penalty.
Spain coach Luis Milla insisted his side had been unlucky.
“All that was lacking today was the goal,” said Milla. “I don’t want to say too much, but we feel there should have been a penalty.”
In other matches, favourites Brazil came from a goal behind to beat Belarus 3-1 with Neymar turning on the style at a packed Old Trafford. Great Britain enjoyed their first Olympics win since 1960 with a 3-1 defeat of the UAE at Wembley.
Egypt’s last-eight hopes suffered a setback when they were held to a 1-1 draw by New Zealand.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2012.