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Mingueza goes off injured as Spain held in Olympics opener

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La Roja drew 0-0 with Egypt in Sapporo

Egypt v Spain: Men’s Football - Olympics: Day -1 Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images

Barcelona defender Oscar Mingueza was forced off with an injury in the early stages of Spain’s Olympic opener against Egypt on Thursday.

Mingueza was named in the starting XI, alongside Barca teammates Eric Garcia and Pedri, but lasted only 23 minutes before going off with what looked like a muscular problem.

Egypt v Spain: Men’s Football - Olympics: Day -1 Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images

It’s a big blow to Mingueza who spoke ahead of the tournament about his confidence the team can go on and win gold. It’s not clear how serious the injury is yet but coach Luis de la Fuente was pretty downbeat afterwards and said “it doesn’t look good.”

Mingueza was not the only Spain player to pick up a problem during the game. Dani Ceballos also limped off at the end of the first half. Ceballos had the best chance of the game with a curling shot that beat Mohamed Elshenawy but hit the post.

It was a frustrating match for Spain who brought on Rafa Mir, Carlos Soler and Bryan Gil in the second half in search of a winner. Mir went close late on but put a header straight at the goalkeeper, while Jesus Vallejo found the side-netting in stoppage time.

The result means Spain now have work to do and return to action on Sunday when they take on Australia before a final group game against Argentina on July 28.