Football

Olympics: Richarlison bags 30-minute treble against Germany

Brazil kick off title defence by winning rematch of Rio 2016 final

Brazil attacker Richarlison struck a stunning hat-trick inside 30 minutes as the defending Olympic champions beat Germany 4-2 in their opening Group D game in the men's football tournament at the International Stadium Yokohama last night.

MEN'S FOOTBALL, GROUP D

BRAZIL GERMANY
4 2
(Richarlison 7, 22, 30, Paulinho 90+5) (Nadiem Amiri 57, Ragnar Ache 84)

Brazil should have wrapped up the match by half-time given the amount of chances they created, but Germany struck twice in the second half, despite going down to 10 men in the 63rd minute.

Brazil found plenty of space from the outset and Matheus Cunha could have put them ahead in the fifth minute, but his low shot at the near post was kept out by goalkeeper Florian Mueller.

Two minutes later though, the Brazilians had the lead when Richarlison burst through the inside-right channel and, after his first shot was parried, he made no mistake with his second attempt, drilling the ball past Mueller.

The German defence was all at sea and Mueller was busy again, foiling Richarlison as the forward attempted to round him, before then keeping out Claudinho's effort from the loose ball.

It was no surprise when Brazil doubled their advantage on 22 minutes with Guilherme Arana, in acres of space down the left, taking his time to pick out Richarlison in the middle, whose powerful header flashed past Mueller.

SOLO GOAL

Richarlison completed his hat-trick eight minutes later with a superbly taken solo goal, curling the ball into the far corner after being set up by Cunha.

It should have been 4-0 shortly before the interval but Cunha saw his penalty well saved by Mueller, after Benjamin Henrichs handled the ball inside the box.

The chances kept coming for Brazil after the break but Stefan Kuntz's Germany side did manage to get a goal back, against the run of play, with a 57th-minute Nadiem Amiri effort which goalkeeper Santos should have kept out.

A miserable night for the Germans got worse when Maximilian Arnold was sent off in the 63rd minute, rather harshly, for a second yellow card.

Germany gave themselves a lifeline six minutes from the end when Ragnar Ache powered in a header from a David Raum cross to make it 3-2.

But, with Germany pushing forward, Brazil caught them on the break in stoppage time, Paulinho finishing off a counter-attack with a fine shot into the top corner.

The match was a repeat of the gold-medal game from the Rio Olympics five years ago and was played at the venue where Brazil beat Germany in the World Cup final in 2002.

In other matches yesterday, 2004 and 2008 champions Argentina were upset 2-0 by Australia in Group C. The other game in that group saw fancied Spain held to a 0-0 draw by Egypt. - REUTERS

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