Honduras striker Anthony Lozano has claimed he received racist abuse from an Argentina player before scoring in his side’s goal 1-1 draw in the Olympic football tournament.
Lozano struck after 75 minutes to give his side a 1-0 lead in their final Group D game, after Bryan Acosta had missed a first-half spot-kick for Honduras.
Mauricio Martinez grabbed a late equaliser for Argentina, but the result earned Honduras a place in the quarter-finals while the Albiceleste failed to qualify.
After scoring his penalty, Lozano was seen holding his finger to his lips – a gesture he explained was in response to comments made to him by an opponent.
He said: “I went to shut up an Argentine who made racist comments and I didn’t like it. That’s why I made the ‘silence’ [gesture] after the goal.
“It doesn’t seem correct to me, but hey, that’s how I celebrated. But I dedicate [the goal] to my family and God.”
He added: “I honestly do not give importance to people who criticise me. Really, for me, those people do not exist.”
Honduras will play South Korea in the quarter-finals, and Lozano hopes his side can go one step further than they did at the 2012 Olympics, when they were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Brazil.
“It’s historic what we are doing,” he said. “We always believed in ourselves and we thank God for this achievement.
“We are aiming for large things and what we need is to keep improving.
“Let it grow little by little, we must think about the next game, grab the good things we did and move forward.”