Spain ended a 21-year wait to reach the men's Olympic soccer semi-finals as substitute Rafa Mir scored a hat-trick to secure a 5-2 victory over Ivory Coast in extra time on Saturday. Winger Max Gradel appeared to have secured Ivory Coast's place in the final four when he made it 2-1 with a stoppage time strike, only for Mir to score almost immediately at the other end and force extra time. Ivory Coast's fate was sealed when defender Eric Bailly, who scored their opening goal inside 10 minutes, turned from hero to villain as he conceded a penalty with a bizarre handball inside the box.
This is not the first time the men have voiced their support for the women's gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation, which seeks $66 million in damages under the Equal Pay Act. But this time it comes at a critical juncture as the women appeal a district court ruling from May 2020 that sided with the Federation with the hopes of having the case sent back to district court to be heard by a jury. "The Federation has never offered or provided equal pay to the women, and the district court's holding to the contrary cannot be squared with the facts."
The 21-year-old was close to joining the Eagles last summer.