London, Great Britain (PANA) - Africa's quest for a third gold medal at the Olympics ended on Saturday, when the continent's two remaining flag bearers in the men's football event of the 2012 London Olympics, Egypt and Senegal, were eliminated in the quarter-finals.
Egypt, which was playing at this stage of the Olympic football for the first time in 84 years, lost 0-3 to Japan while Senegal fought hard before losing 4-2 in extra time to Mexico.
In the Japan-Egypt match, the Asians sailed into the semi-finals, where it will meet Mexico, after beating a 10-man Egypt 3-0 at Old Trafford in Manchester.
Japan's goals were scored by Kensuke Nagai (in the first stanza) as well as Maya Yoshida and Yuki Otsu in the second.
Egypt's attempt to take the match to the Japanese was further frustrated when Saad committing a professional foul on Japan's Saito, forcing the referee to send the Egyptian off.
In the second quarter-final match of the day, a near-capacity Wembley crowd saw Senegal battle back from 2-0 down to equalize, only to gift Mexico two goals in extra time and lose 4-2.
Mexico took the lead after ten minutes, when Giovani dos Santos clipped in a free kick which Jorge Enriquez headed towards far post and drifted past the despairing dive of Ousmane Mane.
Mexico made it 2-0 shortly after the hour mark through Javier Aquino.
But an undaunted Senegal refused to give up, and its efforts paid off in the 69th and 76th minutes when Moussa Konate and Ibrahima Balde scored to draw their country level and send the match into extra time.
However, Senegal's celebration was short-lived as Giovani dos Santos and Hector Herrera scored in the 98th and 109th minutes respectively to seal the match for Mexico.
Africa's two other representatives in the men's football event, Gabon and Morocco, were eliminated in the first round.
Nigeria and Cameroon previously won the Olympic men's football gold at the 1996 Atlanta Games and the 2000 Sydney Games respectively.
Africa's two representatives in the women's football event, Cameroon and South Africa, have also been eliminated.
-0- PANA TON/SEG 4Aug2012