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22.07.2021 Football News

Tokyo 2020: Richarlison fires in first-half hat-trick as Brazil withstand Germany fightback

By Eurosport
Tokyo 2020: Richarlison fires in first-half hat-trick as Brazil withstand Germany fightback
LISTEN JUL 22, 2021

Richarlison scored a first-half hat-trick as Brazil ran Germany ragged and survived a late scare to win their opening Group D match at the Tokyo Olympics 4-2.

The fixture was a repeat of the 2016 final that Brazil won on penalties, but five years on the encounter was much more one-sided, with the defending champions running riot.

There had already been warning signs for Germany even before Richarlison opened the scoring after just eight minutes, tucking a fine finish home after Brazil had carved their opponents open.

But the European side stuck by their high-line defensive tactic and were repeatedly ripped open as a result, with a slick Brazil attack creating chance after chance throughout an extraordinarily one-sided first half.

Richarlison struck again on 23 and 30 minutes to complete his hat-trick but could have had five or six before the break such were the number of outstanding chances that fell his way.

And centre-forward Matheus Cunha was also guilty of a number of profligate misses from open play, as well as seeing his penalty saved by Florian Muller in first-half stoppage time.

Germany made some tactical changes for the second half and did get a goal back through Nadiem Amiri.

But Brazil were still comfortably the better of the two teams throughout the second 45, and that dominance only increased when Germany captain Maximilian Arnold received his marching orders for a second yellow midway through the half.

It felt for all the world like Brazil were coasting to a routine win, but Ache’s late goal gave Germany hope of rescuing the must unlikely of draws. But the equaliser never came and Brazil extended their advantage through Paulinho late on to secure the win they so heartily deserved.

Germany will need to improve dramatically if they are to reach the knockout stages, with Ivory Coast and Saudi Arabia the other two teams in Group D.

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