Kuala Lumpur: The Tokyo Olympics Men's and Women's Football tournaments drew to a close over the weekend, with Asia narrowly missing out on bronze medals in both competitions.
After a campaign that saw plenty of highs and lows for the Asian Football Confederation's representatives, including famous wins and impressive goalscoring feats, the-AFC.com looks back at what those involved had to say.
Kerr, Kubo, Al Dawsari and Wang: Asia’s Best at the Tokyo Olympics
Tokyo: Faster, higher and stronger; They were the Asian footballing stars who shone brightest at the Games of the 32nd Olympiad.
With four teams across the men’s and women’s competitions reaching the knockout stage and two going all the way to the medal rounds, there was plenty for Asia to shout out about during this year’s Olympic football feast,
After a year without major international competitions, Asia’s chase for Olympic gold produced ecstasy, heartbreak, classic contests and exceptional individual performances.
Whether it was Sam Kerr’s record-breaking exploits for Australia, the emergence of Takefusa Kubo as the next Japanese superstar, the valiant efforts of Salem Al Dawsari and Wang Shuang or the new faces who emerged alongside them, the continent’s leading lights came to play.
Join the-AFC.com as we highlight and celebrate several of the continent’s standout individuals from the Tokyo Olympics football tournaments, and invite you to vote for the best performer of all.
Tokyo Olympics: Japan's Moriyasu looks forward after heartbreak against Mexico
Saitama: Hajime Moriyasu sought to strike a positive tone as he looked to the future after seeing his Japan side miss out on a medal at the Olympic Games Men's Football following their 3-1 loss to Mexico on Friday.
Kaoru Mitoma scored with 12 minutes remaining to give Japan hope late in the game, but earlier goals via Sebastian Cordova’s penalty and headers from Johan Vasquez and Alexis Vega ensured the Mexicans had a big enough advantage to claim the bronze medal.
The loss means Japan’s wait for a second Olympic medal in the men’s tournament will extend for least another three years as Moriyasu sought to lead the country to a place on the podium for the first time since 1968.
Tokyo Olympics: Canada defeat Sweden on penalties to clinch women's gold
Yokohama: Goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe saved two spot-kicks in a nail-biting shootout as Canada defeated Sweden 3-2 on penalties to clinch the Tokyo Olympics Women's Football gold for the first time on Friday.
Stina Blackstenius scored her team-best fifth goal of the tournament to give Sweden the lead, but Jessie Fleming's penalty in the second half sent the match to extra time and it finished 1-1 after 120 minutes.
Saitama: Japan endured Olympic Games heartbreak for the second time in three tournaments on Friday as Hajime Moriyasu’s side missed out on a medal at Tokyo 2020 with a 3-1 loss to Mexico in the bronze medal playoff at the Saitama Stadium.
The tournament hosts had been looking to claim the country’s first men’s football medal since winning bronze in 1968, but slipped to a defeat that means their run without claiming a place on the Olympic podium will continue for at least another three years.
Japan previously missed out on a bronze medal in 2012 when Takashi Sekizuka’s team were beaten by Korea Republic at the London Olympics and they were to taste similar disappointment on home soil as Moriyasu’s side were second-best for much of the game.
Tokyo Olympics: “Don’t forget this feeling,” says Gustavsson after bronze eludes Australia
Ibaraki: Australian women’s national team head coach Tony Gustavsson has called on his side to bottle the feeling of disappointment which came after Thursday’s defeat to the United States in the Tokyo Olympics bronze medal match.
Chasing the nation’s first ever Olympic football medal, the Matildas’ sharp attacking performance was undermined by a series of defensive errors in a match that ultimately finished in a 4-3 win for the world champions.
Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd scored twice each to put the Americans 4-1 up just after half time, but goals from Caitlin Foord and Emily Gielnik brought Australia back into the contest after Sam Kerr had become the team’s all-time record goal scorer earlier in the match.
AFC match officials appointed for Tokyo Olympics Men's Football Final
Tokyo: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC)’s referees have been assigned to take charge of the Tokyo Olympics Men’s Football Final between Brazil and Spain on Saturday.
Australia’s Chris Beath will officiate the gold medal match alongside assistant referees Anton Shchetinin and George Lakrindis. The trio was also the match officials in the 2019 AFC Champions League Semi-final and Quarter-final.
Tokyo Olympics: Australia's dream dashed by United States
Ibaraki: Australia’s bid for a maiden women’s Olympic football medal came to an end with a 4-3 defeat to the United States in the Tokyo 2020 bronze medal match on Thursday.
Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd both scored twice as the world champions capitalised on persistent defensive errors from the Matildas, for whom Sam Kerr and Caitlin Foord got on the scoresheet before Emily Gielnik added a further goal in the dying moments.
Despite their defeat, Australia’s fourth place finish is their best ever showing in women’s football at an Olympic Games, equalling the men’s effort from 1992 in Barcelona.