Men's soccer: France wins 7-goal thriller; 10-man Brazil held

Posted at 4:48 AM, Jul 25, 2021

France comes back thrice to beat South Africa, Argentina rebounds

It looked for some time like we could really have a knockout round without France, but Les Bleus were rescued by their overage players.

France needed not one, not two, but three equalizers from overage striker Andre-Pierre Gignac just to keep their Sunday match with South Africa in the balance, and the struggle came on the heels of a opening day thumping at the hands of Mexico.

The 4-3 win over South Africa saw the African side rebound from a loss to Japan to take an early second half-lead through Kobamelo Kodasang, who would later set up Evidence Makgopa's 73rd-minute marker.

It also saw an incredible goal from Teboho Mokoena late in the game, which only appeared to be a memorable winner for a few moments before Gignac was given the chance to make it 3-3 from the penalty spot and dispatched his effort with fury.

That's when Teji Savanier stepped into the storyline with a drive through traffic, the 29-year-old Montpellier midfielder giving France a huge result.

Facundo Medina's goal in the 52nd minute gave Argentina return on its attacking investment in the Egypt end and helped the South Americans rebound from a surprise loss to Australia to win 1-0 against North African opposition.

Lens youngster Medina, 22, has one cap for the full Argentina national team but this is his first goal in an Argentine shirt despite a few dozen youth national team caps.

The win matters with a dangerous Spain side left on the Argentine schedule.

SEE MORE: Batista winner gives Argentina bounce-back win over Egypt

Ten-man Brazil outlasts Ivory Coast; Honduras surprises New Zealand

Youssouf Dao drew a last-man-back red card on Aston Villa's Douglas Luiz to give Ivory Coast an advantage in its bid to score an upset over Brazil, but would a goal arrive between two sides with plenty of attacking talent?

Nope. In fact, we saw another red card and both teams down to 10 men when Eboue Kouassi was shown a second yellow late in the contest.

Manchester United teen phenom Amad Diallo was a threat for Cote d'Ivoire, but Brazil held firm despite playing down a man for over an hour.

The match stayed chippy as both sides pressed their luck with physical play into halftime, and the furor was only tempered a little by the break.

Speaking of fire, Honduras showed no quit in rallying to beat New Zealand 3-2 on a late Rigoberto Rivas goal.

Liberto Cacace's early goal gave the Kiwis a lead that would last only into first-half stoppage time, as Luis Palma restored level terms before halftime.

Burnley striker Chris Wood tried to push New Zealand toward the knockout rounds, but will be aggrieved that his second goal of the tournament did not come in a winning effort.

Wood put New Zealand back in front, but the side that kept Team USA from Tokyo got a second equalizer when Juan Carlos Obregon found the back of the net in the 78th minute.

New Zealand also lost standout defender Winston Reid to injury in the sixth minute, which helps explain Los Catrachos coming back to get all three points with three goals. The winner came from Rivas and keeps Honduran hopes of the knockout rounds in tact.