Much like how Spain's quest for the 2010 World Cup title began, the opening match of the 2012 Olympics resulted in a shocking one-goal defeat.
Japan stunned Spain in their Olympic Group D opener Thursday, making a 34th-minute goal by Borussia Monchengladbach's Yuki Otsu stand up in a 1-0 result at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland. The Spaniards' hopes of a comeback took a hit with a straight red card to Real Sociedad defender Inigo Martinez, who will miss the team's match against Honduras on Sunday.
Japan kept Spain from playing its typical style throughout the game, and with Spain, which is looking to add Olympic gold to its recent Europan championship, reduced to 10 men for the final 58 minutes, Japan pressed for more but could not get one by Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea.
In other Olympic results from Thursday:
BRAZIL 3, EGYPT 2
The Brazilians were coasting, out to a 3-0 lead by the 30th minute and playing with the flair and confidence that has them as favorites to win their first gold medal, but a gritty comeback by Egypt coupled with some Brazilian defensive liabilities leaves questions of the Selecao heading into Sunday's battle with Belarus.
Rafael, Leandro Damiao and Neymar scored in a 14-minute span to lead Brazil, which held on after goals by veteran Mohamed Aboutrika and Mohamed Salah made for a tense finish at Millenium Stadium in Cardiff.
New Chelsea signing Oscar assisted on two of the goals for Brazil, while Neymar's header off a feed from Hulk proved to be the game-winner.
MEXICO 0, SOUTH KOREA 0
El Tri's cavalcade of attacking stars was held without a goal by South Korea, which outplayed Mexico for the duration of the match and forced a scoreless draw at St. James Park in Newcastle.
Fortunately for Mexico, the other two teams in Group B, Gabon and Switzerland, played to a 1-1 draw, meaning that aside from goals scored, there is nothing else that is needed to be made up in the group table. Mexico's next match is against Gabon on Sunday.
TEAM GREAT BRITAIN 1, SENEGAL 1
The tournament hosts looked to be in for a three-point haul after Craig Bellamy's 20th-minute goal stood up for more than an hour, but Moussa Konate's 82nd-minute strike stunned the crowd at Old Trafford, forcing a draw in a game marked by reckless Senegal challenges that yielded little in the way of discipline from the officiating crew.
Bolton's Marvin Sordell had a chance to win it late for Team GB, but his blast hit the crossbar.
URUGUAY 2, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES 1
Uruguay was tested and pressed by the UAE, even falling behind in the 23rd minute, but Gaston Ramirez and Nicolas Lodeiro scored on either end of halftime to give the South American power a hard-fought three points at Old Trafford.
Luis Suarez helped set up Lodeiro's winner, doing the hard part by getting by a defender in the area before Lodeiro swooped in from a different angle and fired home the go-ahead strike in the 56th minute.
HONDURAS 2, MOROCCO 2
New England Revolution striker Jerry Bengtson scored two goals and D.C. United's Andy Najar and Sporting Kansas City's Roger Espinoza each played 90 minutes, but the MLS contingent could not carry Los Catrachos to three points.
Sporting Lisbon's Zakaria Labyad scored the equalizer two minutes after Bengtson's 65th-minute penalty kick had given Honduras a 2-1 lead, forcing the draw at Hampden Park.
GABON 1, SWITZERLAND 1
Switzerland's U-23s are among Europe's finest, but Gabon and St. Etienne's Pierre Emerick Aubameyang found an equalizer just before halftime to cancel out Admir Mehmedi's fifth-minute penalty and force a draw at St. James Park.
Switzerland held on with 10 men for the final 12 minutes after Oliver Buff received his second yellow card and was sent off, meaning that he'll miss Sunday's bout with South Korea.
BELARUS 1, NEW ZEALAND 0
BATE Borisov's Dmitri Baga tallied in first-half stoppage time to account for all the scoring at City of Coventry Stadium, helping Belarus keep pace with Brazil atop the Group C table. Portland Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson was on the matchday roster but did not see the field for New Zealand.
1. Uruguay, 1-0-0, 3 points, +1 GD
2. Great Britain, 0-0-1, 1 point, 0 GD
3. Senegal, 0-0-1, 1 point, 0 GD
4. UAE, 0-1-0, 0 points, -1 GD
1. Gabon, 0-0-1, 1 point, 0 GD
2. Switzerland, 0-0-1, 1 point, 0 GD
3. South Korea, 0-0-1, 1 point, 0 GD
4. Mexico 0-0-1, 1 point, 0 GD
1. Brazil, 1-0-0, 3 points, + 1 GD
2. Belarus, 1-0-0, 3 points, + 1 GD
3. Egypt, 0-1-0, 0 points, -1 GD
4. New Zealand, 0-1-0, 0 points, -1 GD
1. Japan, 1-0-0, 3 points, +1 GD
2. Honduras, 0-0-1, 1 point, 0 GD
3. Morocco, 0-0-1, 1 point, 0 GD
4. Spain, 0-1-0, 0 points, -1 GD
What did you think of the first round of Olympic games? Do you think a team besides Spain and Brazil will win the gold medal? Did Thursday's matches change your opinion about any of the teams in the Olympic field?
Share your thoughts below.