TOKYO — An empty stadium is not how Japanese athletes imagined competing for the first time in Tokyo at their home Olympics.
At least the men’s soccer team won on Thursday — a day before the opening ceremony of the pandemic-impacted games.
Takefusa Kubo scored the only goal with a curling strike off the post in the 71st minute that clinched a 1-0 victory over South Africa at the Tokyo Stadium.
Kubo is a 20-year-old forward signed up to Real Madrid who has yet to play for the Spanish giants while gaining first-team experience elsewhere in La Liga.
In the other Group A game, Mexico beat France 4-1.