South Africa failed to progress beyond the group stages at the Olympic Games following a 3-0 loss to Mexico in their final Group A encounter on Wednesday.
Olympic Group A
Result: South Africa 0-3 Mexico
Date: 28 July 2021
Venue: Sapporo Dome
Thendo Mukumela returned to the starting line-up in place of Reeve Frosler while Mahlatsi was handed his first start, with Nkosingiphile Ngcobo dropping to the bench after the loss to France while Mexico were without the suspended Johan Vazquez.
The game got off to lively start but it was Mexico who broke the deadlock on 17 minutes as Ernesto Vega finished off Uriel Antuna's cross after Kamohelo Mahlatsi had lost possession in the middle of the park.
South Africa, meanwhile, made a couple good entries in the final third with the lively Kobamelo Kodisang, but Notoane's charges was unable to trouble Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.
While South Africa were unable to trouble at one end, the Mexicans managed double their lead just before the break through Luis Romo's strike from close range after Luke Fleurs failed clearance.
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The South Africans' hopes of mounting a comeback suffered a blow 10 minutes into the second half when Tercious Malepe's initial yellow card was changed to a red after the referee had a look on the VAR monitor.
Mexico took full advantage minutes later as Herny Martin combined with Carlos Rodriguez before calmly slotting past the advancing Williams for the third goal.
Rodriguez then went from hero to villain on 65 minutes when he shown a straight red card for a professional foul on Luther Singh, who was through on goal after the Mexicans were caught on the break.
Ochoa was eventually called into action on 90 minutes to keep out Teboho Mokoena's stinging effort, but that was best South Africa could fashion as they crashed out of the tournament.
Here's how they lined up:
South Africa: Williams, Mukumela, Mohamme, Fleurs, Malepe, Mokoena, Kodisang, Cele, Mahlatsi, Singh, Makgopa
Subs: Mpoto, Monyane, Frosler, Mabiliso, Mosele, Ngcobo, Mahlangu