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Eric Bailly Goes From Hero To Zero As Ivory Coast Crash Out Of Olympics

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Eric Bailly Goes From Hero To Zero As Ivory Coast Crash Out Of Olympics

Eric Bailly put Ivory Coast ahead in their Olympic quarter final with Spain, before his defending cost them a place in a medal match.

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The Manchester United defender has been playing for his country in Japan this summer, alongside fellow United teammate Amad Diallo, with the the team going unbeaten in their group.

On Saturday, they faced a Spain team who have brought several of their Euro 2020 squad, who reached the tournament semis, to the Far East, including a tired looking Pedri.

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The Africans got off to a great start as Bailly, one of three players over the age of 23 allowed in the squad, gave his side the lead, with the ball essentially hitting him following a corner and making its way into the goal.

Dani Olmo, another of those who have doubled up in tournaments for his national team this summer, grabbed an equaliser around the half hour mark and things looked to be headed for extra time.

With the additional half an hour looming, former Leeds United player Max Gradel, Bailly's fellow over 23 player, scored in the first minute of injury time.

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As the Cote d'Ivoire would have been thinking about their semi final with hosts Japan, Bailly made a huge error in the 93rd minute.

With a minute left of injury time, Bailly failed to clear his lines and the ball bounced off his head and straight to Rafa Mir, who had an easy chance to take it to extra time.

After just eight minutes of the additional half an hour, it was the former Villarreal defender who was once again at fault, as Spain took the lead for the first time.

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He went up with Pau Torres, who was linked with a move to join Bailly at United, for a headerinexplicablyacbly went with his arm in the air.

Inevitably the ball struck his arm and the penalty was given, which Mikel Oyarzabal converted.

Mir then scored in the 117th minute and again in injury time at the end of the game to complete his hat-trick and knock Ivory Coast out of the tournament.

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Bailly signed a new deal at Old Trafford last season but he is set to be joined by Raphael Varane in Manchester next season, which makes his game time less likely.

Still there will somehow be United fans asking why he isn't playing when the team sheets comes out next season, defending like Saturday might just be why...

Topics: olympics, Football, Manchester United, ivory coast, Eric Bailly, Spain

Ryan Sidle
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