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Olympic Soccer Bracket 2012: 3 Talented Teams That Won't Crack Knockout Stages

Daniel KockContributor IIIOctober 25, 2016

Olympic Soccer Bracket 2012: 3 Talented Teams That Won't Crack Knockout Stages

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    Every Olympics features surprises that nobody saw coming and disappointments that leaves everyone scratching their heads.

    It is no different in the world's most popular sport—soccer.

    A gold medal is not considered as prestigious as a FIFA World Cup Title, but countries still strive to compete at the highest level for their country.

    That puts added pressure on the talented teams to perform.

    Look for some of these teams to disappoint and not make it to the knockout stages at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

1. Senegal

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    Senegal has never even qualified for the Olympics, let alone make a run at a title.

    However, this Senegal squad has talent and comes in at seventh to win the event according to oddsmakers.

    The team will be without star strikers Papa Cisse and Demba Ba, but will still have star players Magaye Gueye (Everton) and Mohamed Diame (West Ham).

    Another player to watch for is striker Ibrahima Balde (Osasuna) who has received interest from the Premier League as well.

    Unfortunately for Senegal, they will not get to show off their talent very long as they are in the same group as Great Britain and Uruguay.

    The host country Great Britain will have a lot to play for, and Uruguay will have some of the best talent in this tournament.

    The first Olympic experience will be a short one for Senegal.

2. Mexico

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    Mexico is playing in the most wide open group in the 2012 Olympics.

    Group C features Mexico, Switzerland, South Korea and Gabon.

    Mexico, Switzerland and South Korea all can with this group, and Gabon should not be taken lightly as proven by their CAF Under-23 Championship.

    Switzerland appears to be the slight favorite as they have a lot of guys from the U-21 European runner-up on this squad as well as a quality veteran in Valon Behrami.

    Look for South Korea to also make noise in this group. The Korean Republic's U-23's have an unbeaten streak that stands at 14 games.

    Striker Park Chu-Young will lead the way for the Korean squad much as he did during their unbeaten qualifying run.

    That will leave somebody looking on the outside, and that team will be Mexico.

3. Egypt

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    Egypt has appeared in 12 Olympic Football Tournaments but have only managed to advance to the knockout round on four occasions.

    Ahmed Sherwida and Marwan Mohsed were the leading scorers in the qualifying stages, and they will need to continue that or it will be another early exit for Egypt.

    Standing in their way is the tournament favorite—Brazil. Barring anything crazy happening, this group will be a race for second.

    The teams fighting with Egypt for that spot will be Belarus and New Zealand.

    Belarus finished third in the U-21 championships behind Spain and Switzerland. Much of that squad will also be playing in the Olympics and have a great shot at advancing in this group.

    Egypt has struggled in recent Olympics and will face the same obstacles in 2012.

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