The Spanish, the last European men’s team to claim gold in 1992, arrived in Japan with several senior team players reaching the semi-finals of Euro 2020 this month.
But despite the plethora of options on the pitch, Spain did not seize their chances in front of goal against a tenacious Egyptian defense in the Group C match at the Sapporo dome.
Dani Ceballos hit the post half an hour before the Real Madrid The playmaker joined winger Oscar Mingueza on the bench due to injuries late in the first half.
Ceballos limped off after a strong tackle from Egyptian striker Taher Mohamed, while Barcelona’s Mingueza was stopped with what appeared to be a thigh injury.
Unlike the women’s tournament in which all older players participate, men’s teams are usually restricted to under-23 teams, with three players of legal age allowed per team.
With the Games delayed a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the age limit was adjusted to those under 24.
After winning the CONCACAF qualifying tournament, Mexico justified its dark horse status with a convincing victory over France in Group A, courtesy of second-half goals from Alexis Vega, Sebastián Córdova, Uriel Antuna and Erick Aguirre.
In Group B, Burnley forward Chris Wood fired a late goal to help New Zealand beat South Korea 1-0 in Kashima, earning the Pacific Island nation its first victory in men’s Olympic soccer. .
Elsewhere, South Africa’s opening match against host Japan at Tokyo Stadium will begin as planned later on Thursday, following concerns that it could be canceled due to COVID-19 infections.
South Africa, exhausted from coronavirus infections before leaving for the Games, faced further setbacks over the weekend after two players and a video analyst tested positive in Tokyo.