Sunday, 25 July 2021 13:12

Staff Reporter.

Teji Savanier scored the match-winning goal in stoppage time and Andre-Pierre Gignac added three more to give France a 4-3 victory over South Africa on Sunday in the group stage of the men's Olympic football tournament.

After a scoreless first half, Kobamelo Kodisang's goal put South Africa in front in the 53rd minute. Gignac tied it with his first goal about four minutes later.

Evidence Makgopa put South Africa back in front but Gignac again countered in the 78th. Teboho Mokoena then scored for South Africa in the 81st minute before Gignac converted from the penalty spot in the 86th to set the stage for Savanier's late blast.

South Africa forward Luther Singh's penalty attempt in the 40th minute hit the crossbar and skirted over the goal.

It was a heart-breaking result for David Notoane’s side who had put up a brilliant show and deserved something from this encounter.

South Africa lost to host Japan 1-0 to open Group A on Thursday. France, which won the gold medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, was routed by Mexico 4-1 in its opener. Gignac also scored for Les Bleus in that game.

South Africa who are currently bottom of the table in Group A will now face Mexico in their last match of Tokyo2020 on 28 July 2021.

Confirmed line-ups:

South Africa: Williams, Fleurs, Malepe, Mohamme, Mokoena, Frosler, Ngcobo, Cele, Kodisang, Makgopa, Singh

Subs: Mpoto, Mukumela, Mabiliso, Mahlangu, Mosele, Mahlatsi, Monyane.

France: Paul Bernardoni (GK); Pierre Kalulu; Niels Nkounkou; Lucas Tousart; Nathanael Mbuku; Andre-Pierre Gignac (c); Teji Savanier; Clement Michelin; Florian Thauvin; Anthony Caci; Randal Kolo Muani

Subs: Stefan Bajic (GK); Timothee Pembele; Arnaud Nordin; Enzo Le Fee; Alexis Beka Beka; Modibo Sagnan; Ismael Doukoure.