Japan enhance gold medal credentials, South Korea also advance to Olympic quarters

Having reached the semifinals of the Olympics men's football competition at Rio 2016, Japan are on course to repeat the feat as the host nation once again after winning all three of their group matches. Francois Nel/Getty Images

Hosts Japan and South Korea are through to the quarterfinals of the men's football tournament at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, while Australia suffered huge heartbreak as a 2-0 defeat to Egypt in their final group game on Wednesday sent them home.

Japan eliminated France with a 4-0 win that ensured their progress from Group A with a perfect record -- the only team to achieve that -- while South Korea tormented Honduras in a 6-0 thrashing that confirmed their spot at the top of Group B.

Despite only needing a point from their final game, the Olyroos ended bottom of Group C with the loss to Egypt as Spain topped that table. Brazil won Group D with the four group winners joined by runners-up Mexico, New Zealand, Egypt and Ivory Coast in the knockout round.

Here's what we learned about Asia's representatives on the final day of action in the group stages.

Japan blow away France as Kubo shines again

A draw against France would have guaranteed the hosts' place in the knockouts, but Hajime Moriyasu and his men decided not to leave their qualification to chance, as they recorded a comprehensive 4-0 win over Les Bleus at the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama.

It was a dominating performance from the Samurai Blue, who have been good value for their three wins in the group. They have looked menacing on the attack and have been solid at the back -- limiting their opponents to just one shot on goal over 90 minutes on Wednesday.

And in Takefusa Kubo, they have one of the most exciting talents in the men's competition at Tokyo 2020. The 20-year-old Real Madrid winger was once again the pick of stars for the Samurai Blue as he opened the scoring and contributed to the second goal a few minutes later.

- Takefusa Kubo ready to take Olympics by storm

With the 27th-minute strike, the 20-year-old became the first Japanese player to score in all group stage games of an Olympic tournament, and sits only behind Richarlison and Andre-Pierre Gignac in the goals tally.

Japan will now face Group B runners-up New Zealand in the quarterfinals. With talents like Kubo and Ritsu Doan up front and the calming presence of Maya Yoshida and Hiroki Sakai in the backline, Japan can feel confident as they hunt for its first Olympic medal in 53 years.

Hwang Ui-jo answers critics as South Korea progress

As one of the three overaged players in the South Korea squad and deployed as the lone striker by coach Kim Hak-bum, Hwang Ui-jo was under big pressure after failing to make an impact in Taegeuk Warriors' two opening fixtures in Group B.

The South Koreans had fallen to a 1-0 defeat to New Zealand in the opener before bouncing back with a 4-0 win over Romania that kept their hopes of progress alive heading into the final matchday. In both games, Hwang had done little to impress the onlookers.

With his team needing at least a point against 2016 Rio Olympics semifinalists Honduras, Hwang -- who plies his trade in France with Bordeaux -- came alive in the crucial fixture and bagged a hat-trick in 52 minutes to prove his doubters wrong.

With Won Du-jae, Kim Jin-ya and Lee Kang-in adding to the scoresheet, South Korea secured an easy passage into the knockouts.

The 2012 bronze medalists will go up against Group A runners-up Mexico for a place in the last four with a frontman who has recovered his scoring touch in Hwang.

Heartbreak for Australia as they bow out after Egypt defeat

Graham Arnold's Australia went into the final matchday controlling whether they would advance. A draw against Egypt, who were yet to record a win in two matches, would have been enough for the Olyroos to progress at the Miyagi Stadium in Rifu.

However, with three of their key players -- Riley McGree, Nathaniel Atkinson and Mitch Duke -- missing due to suspensions after picking up second yellow cards in the closely-contested battle against Spain, Australia proved to be far from their best version on Wednesday.

- Australia's Olympic exit vs. Egypt leaves Olyroos wondering what might have been

Ahmed Yasser Rayyan struck a debilitating blow to the Australians just before the half-time break before Amar Hamdy closed it out with a second goal at the end of a counterattack five minutes from time.

It was an anti-climactic end to the Olyroos' return to the tournament after a 13-year hiatus, which began ever so brightly with a 2-0 victory against Argentina. Back-to-back defeats cost Arnold and the Aussies dearly at Tokyo 2020.

Saudi Arabia head home with some valuable lessons

Saudi Arabia's first taste of Olympic football after25 years ended on a bitter note as they finished bottom of Group D, becoming one of the only two sides -- along with South Africa -- to exit without a point.

Despite the defeats to Ivory Coast, Germany and Brazil, the young Green Falcons can hope to come back stronger for the next edition after some spirited displays against more-accomplished opposition in Tokyo.

Saudi Arabia marked their return to Olympics with a gritty display against Ivory Coast, but a Franck Kessie goal late in the second half handed the African side a 2-1 win. They then suffered another single-goal loss in their second outing -- this time after coming from behind twice against Germany.

It was yet another fighting display from Saad Al-Shehri's men against reigning gold medallists Brazil as they held the South Americans to a 1-1 draw until the 75th minute, before Richarlison came up with a brace to send the Saudi Arabians home -- but with their heads held high.