Brazil s Matheus Cunha, left, celebrates scoring the opening goal against Egypt during a men s quarterfinal soccer match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 31, 2021, in Saitama, Japan (AP)
A toothless Egypt side were outplayed by Brazil to lose 1-0 and bow out of the Olympic Games at the quarter-final stage on Saturday, missing out on what would have been their first semi-final appearance in 57 years.
Playmaker Matheus Cunha netted what proved to be the winner seven minutes before halftime after being teed up by Richarlison, who remains the tournament's top scorer with five goals.
Brazil, gold medalists at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, were unlucky not to secure a more comprehensive victory, having wasted several goal-scoring chances in a one-sided affair that Egypt would not be proud of.
Egypt remained cautious even after falling behind, with coach Shawky Gharib seemingly reluctant to commit men forward out of fear he might concede a killer goal.
But the end result was, as expected, a disappointing defeat for Egypt who barely put up a fight at the Saitama Stadium.
Egypt, who were also eliminated in the quarters in 2012 after losing to Japan 3-0, last reached the semi-final in the 1964 Tokyo Games.
Egypt found it hard to deal with the blistering pace and trickery of Richarlison down the left, with the Everton man causing their defence all sorts of problems.
The Pharaohs still went close after 13 minutes when a flying header from Akram Tawfik following a half-hearted defensive clearance went just wide but from then on, it was all Brazil.
Egypt keeper Mohamed El-Shennawi was on hand to smother a volley from Richarlison on 28 minutes and winger Antony fired just over the crossbar as Brazil mounted pressure.
Their efforts paid dividends in the 37th minute when Cunha was given too much space just inside the area to control a cut-back from Richarlison and fire a low shot into the near post past El-Shennawi.
The towering goalie kept Egypt in the game with a series of impressive stops in a second half in which Brazil also dominated proceedings.
He charged out to foil Guilherme Arana after a diagonal low cross from substitute Paulinho evaded defender Ahmed Hegazy, saved a goal-bound chip from Cunha with his face and thwarted Paulinho in another one-on-one following a defensive lapse.
Egypt's feeble late attempts barely troubled Brazil, who ran out worthy winners to continue their bid towards a second consecutive gold medal.
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