Several sports move into their medal matches on Tuesday, including soccer and field hockey from the men’s section. In soccer, Spain will face Japan in the second semifinal, which will be preceded by Brazil entering their semifinal clash against Mexico as favorites to qualify for the final at Tokyo 2020.
We also take a look at the men’s semifinal between India and Belgium in field hockey as well as the men’s basketball quarterfinal stage.
Mexico have been in some stellar offensive form at the Olympics so far. In fact, they have managed to score 14 goals in just four matches. Brazil have, however, been a lot more compact defensively, which has led to their unbeaten run to date at Tokyo 2020. They have won three and drawn one, which has resulted in their odds of +105 to qualify for the final in regulation time.
News and Notes
Mexico have easily been the most proficient goal-scoring team at this tournament, with their tally of 14, the highest by a sizeable margin. They opened their campaign with a 4-1 victory against France, followed by a 2-1 defeat to Japan. They, then, put together two three-goal victories: the first a 3-0 win against South Africa followed by a 6-3 win against South Korea in the quarters.
While Mexico have been solid offensively, they have also conceded six goals -- the highest among all semifinalists at Tokyo 2020. That defensive inefficiency will not work against a team like Brazil. Mexico have previously won gold at the Olympics, back in 2012, but this will be their sternest test yet.
Brazil have kept two clean sheets in four matches at these Olympics. In the only matches they failed to keep a clean sheet, Brazil still won by a margin of two goals. That has displayed their dominance at these Olympic Games, on both offense and defense. Richarlison has scored five of the team’s eight goals to lead Brazil in the final third.
“I’m 24-years-old – no! Obviously, the campaign was very demanding, but I don’t feel tired. I do what millions of people dream of doing. I feel fortunate, not tired. I’ll rest when I retire,” Richarlison said.
Betting Pick: Brazil to win in regulation time +105
The only previous time these two teams met at the Olympics was back in 2012, when Mexico won 2-1. Brazil are the reigning champions of this tournament after winning back in 2016. There is all to play for on Tuesday in the semis.
Based on the statistical evidence from previous matches, Mexico’s defense could prove to be a potential avenue for Brazil to capitalize. This could be a high-scoring match, with plenty of open pockets on the pitch, which Brazil just seem better adept at utilizing.
India has performed admirably at Tokyo 2020’s field hockey events, both men and women. After the men’s team beat Great Britain to secure a spot in the quarters, it was the women’s team that replicated that achievement by beating Australia in a shock result on Monday morning.
However, India will be up against one of the best hockey teams in the world in Belgium, who have not lost a game yet at these Olympics. On paper, Belgium has the deeper roster, which makes them the favored team.
News and Notes
India have made the semifinals of the Olympics for the first time since the sport moved from grass to an artificial surface. They have achieved this after overcoming several obstacles, including a demoralizing 7-1 defeat to Australia to open the tournament. India’s trickiest hurdle came in a resurgent Great Britain team that had drawn 2-2 against Belgium earlier in the competition.
India first took a 2-0 lead into halftime but Great Britain made a comeback in the second half. India was forced to defend for the majority of the match in their half. India’s third goal, though, by Hardik Singh in the 57th minute closed out the game.
“We are very happy because we are reaching the semifinal after a long time. The tournament isn’t over yet and we need to keep our feet on the ground and focus on the next match,” Manpreet Singh said.
In six games at the Olympics, Belgium has slipped up just once: a 2-2 draw against Great Britain. Its wins include rout of 9-1 against Canada and 9-4 against South Africa apart from three 3-1 victories in the remaining games. Belgium is also the current world champion after winning the 2018 World Cup, held in India. There is also plenty of historical significance to this game considering Belgium beat India at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the quarters. Belgium won silver at those Games in Brazil.
Betting Pick: Belgium -200
This is a matchup between the world No. 2 team in Belgium and the No. 3 team in India. Belgium has historically succeeded at this event because of the strength and depth of their domestic structure (Belgium’s first medal at the Games was back in Antwerp in 1920).
While India will undeniably push this Belgium team to the brink, there is the question of offensive depth after a draining win against Great Britain. It will be close but Belgium should win this in regulation time to move into the final of the event.
Australia have been in devastating form at the Olympics. Being the superior team between these two has also resulted in massively favorable odds for Australia, who begins as -350 favorites in this quarterfinal. Argentina has not enjoyed a consistent tournament to date, which might leave its resources severely depleted. These factors have had an influential hand in these odds in favor of Australia.
News and Notes
Australia has scored at least 80 points in each of their three victories at the Olympic Games so far in Tokyo. The tournament began with a convincing 84-67 win against Nigeria followed by a tight 86-83 victory against Italy. Australia was far too strong for Germany in its previous encounter, cruising to an 89-76 victory.
Patty Mills led the scoring with 24 points against Germany, 9-of-23 from the field and 5-of-15 from three-point range. Jock Landale controlled the paint well with 18 points. Nicholas Kay, who plies his trade for Real Betis in the Liga ACB, chipped in with 16 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists in 31 minutes on the court.
“The whole country right now knows the desperation of this team, knows where this team’s at,” coach Brian Goorjian said, “all eyes are on us.”
The Boomers will come up against an Argentina team that has not found much fluency or form, apart from a comfortable 97-77 victory against Japan in the previous game to close out pool play. Argentina has previously suffered double-digit defeats to Spain (81-71) and Slovenia (118-100).
Here is also a quick look at the numbers that could make a difference in this quarterfinal. Australia has been significantly better from distance, shooting at 37.9 percent against Argentina’s low efficiency rate of 29.9 percent. Mills, in particular, could be a sticking point for Argentina in transition play considering Australia’s preferred pace of play.
Betting Pick: Australia (-350)
Australia just seems too strong on all fronts in this quarterfinal. With a potential rematch against USA awaiting in the semis, you would not expect this Australia team to be complacent. Joe Ingles, Aron Baynes, Patty Mills and Mathew Dellavedova all have experience in the NBA, which will be hugely important in the closing stages of a high-intensity game.
Argentina certainly will not be pushed over but you can also expect Australia to step up and maintain their level of offensive efficiency in a must-win, knockout game at the Olympics.
Doc's Picks Service
Need more winning picks? Get $60 worth of premium member picks from Doc’s Sports – a recognized leader and trusted name in sports handicapping since 1971.