How every A-League Olyroo fared in slender loss to Spain at Tokyo 2020

AFTER defeating Argentina 2-0 in their first fixture of the Men's Football Tournament at Tokyo 2020, the Olyroos fell just short of another impressive result against Spain on Sunday night. 

Olyroos boss Graham Arnold handed starts to seven players who featured in the A-League throughout the 2020/21 campaign as he looked to orchestrate another shock result at the Sapporo Dome. Australia held firm until the 80th minute when Spanish forward Mikel Oyarzabal headed home the only goal of the game to hand the Olyroos a 1-0 defeat.

Australia now need to register a draw or better against Egypt on Wednesday, July 27 to progress to the knockout phase of the tournament.

Read on to see how every Olyroo who featured in the A-League last season fared against Spain.


Tom Glover

Melbourne City's custodian went more than 170 minutes without conceding at Tokyo 2020 before Oyarzabal netted the decisive goal for Spain on Sunday night.

The Spaniards notched 15 shots on goal against Australia, with five fired on target. Glover made four saves to record an 80% save percentage on the night, before Oyarzabal's header made its way into the bottom-left corner in the 80th minute of play.

Nathaniel Atkinson

Adjudged the best Olyroos player afield on Sunday night, Nathaniel Atkinson was a standout performer operating down the right flank against Spain. 

The full-back took 51 touches, laid three tackles, engaged in nine duels and made nine ball recoveries on the night as Australia fell just short of earning a point at the Sapporo Dome. 

Joel King

Sydney FC full-back Joel King took his place on the left side of a settled Olyroos defence. 

The 20-year-old took 49 touches and played 20 passes at 90% accuracy in a 90-minute performance. 

Denis Genreau

Denis Genreau was granted 73 minutes of game time by Arnold against Spain. Operating in a midfield three with Connor Metcalfe and Riley McGree, Genreau managed 27 touches and 17 passes as Australia battled for control in the engine room against a classy Spanish outfit.

Genreau made four tackles, seven duels, four ball recoveries and took one shot in his 73-minute shift.

Connor Metcalfe

Connor Metcalfe held his own in 90 physically-demanding minutes against Spain.

The Melbourne City midfielder took 34 touches, registered 21 passes and made four tackles, eight duels and five ball recoveries.

Metcalfe challenges FC Barcelona's Pedri for posession
Metcalfe challenges FC Barcelona's Pedri for posession

Mitchell Duke

Mitchell Duke put hard work at the forefront of his performance at the Sapporo Dome, committing to 15 duels in a game in which attacking chances were few and far between. 

Duke created one opportunity for McGree but took no shots of his own as he looked to help the Olyroos subdue the multiple threats poised by a talented Spain outfit.

Lachlan Wales

The star of Australia's win over Argentina was unable to repeat his goalscoring heroics on Sunday night in a 63-minute display.

Wales crafted one goalscoring opportunity for Genreau, took 16 touches and laid 10 passes in 63 minutes before being withdrawn for Kye Rowles as Arnold shuffled his formation.

Kye Rowles

Rowles was introduced by Arnold on the hour mark as the Olyroos looked to gain greater control of the contest utilising a different shape, with the Central Coast Mariners defender fitting into a back three to accomodate the new system utilising wing-backs.

Rowles played 27 minutes, making two tackles and engaging in five duels. Eager to retain Australia's clean sheet, disaster struck in the 80th minute when a pinpoint cross from Spanish star Marco Asensio found Oyarzabal between Rowles and Harry Souttar to score the only goal of the game.

Oyarzabal gets in between Rowles and Souttar to finish for Spain
Oyarzabal gets in between Rowles and Souttar to finish for Spain

Nicholas D'Agostino 

Nicholas D'Agostino received just seven minutes on Sunday night after his 11-minute cameo against Argentina in Australia's first Olympic fixture.

The former Perth Glory forward was unable to make his presence felt in attack throughout the final stages of the Olyroos' clash with Spain. D'Agostino's booming long throw was utilised late in the game as Souttar and Rowles got forward to attack a late flurry of throw-ins hurtled toward the six-yard box.

Marco Tilio

After scoring with his second touch of the game against Argentina, Marco Tilio was unable to add the same magic touch off the bench against Spain.

Tilio received 27 minutes of playing time and took 11 touches, playing five passes.

Keanu Baccus

Keanu Baccus received 18 minutes off the bench against Argentina, replacing Riley McGree in midfield and passing nine times at 77.8% accuracy.

The Western Sydney Wanderers midfielder may see his minutes increase in Australia's final game against Egypt after the suspensions to McGree, Atkinson and Duke for an accumulation of yellow cards.

The Olyroos are next in action against Egypt on Wednesday, July 28.