Olympic Soccer Schedule 2012: Listings and Predictions for Quarterfinal Matches

Michael DulkaContributor IAugust 1, 2012

Olympic Soccer Schedule 2012: Listings and Predictions for Quarterfinal Matches

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    The quarterfinal matches are set for the men's Olympic football tournament following the completion of group matches. The matches will be played on August 4th, starting at 7 a.m. ET with Japan and Egypt.

    The semifinals take place on August 7th. 

    The quarterfinals feature one team from Europe, two from Asia, two from North/Central America, two from Africa and one from South America. Tournament favorites Brazil advanced to the knockout stage by sweeping their group. The other tournament favorite, Spain, bowed out after failing to record a victory during group play.   

Japan vs. Egypt: Aug. 4th, 7 A.m. ET

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    How They Advanced

    Japan advanced to the quarterfinals by winning their first two matches against Spain and Morocco each 1-0. The Japanese side finished it's group play matches with a scoreless draw against Honduras. Japan have yet to concede a goal during the tournament, but only netted two goals in three games.

    Egypt started the tournament on a high note, despite losing to Brazil 3-2. They were down three goals early and battled back to make the second half competitive. The country dominated it's second match against New Zealand, but was only able to manage a draw. Facing elimination, they dominated Belarus and won 3-1.

     

    What To Expect

    Egypt's side has been fairly good in attacking, scoring six goals in the tournament, while only coming away with one victory. Japan's defense will need to be stout in order to keep the Pharaohs away from goal. They have been very stout through three matches and must limit the amount of chances the opportunistic Egyptian side has. 

    While Japan's defense has been very solid, the offensive firepower has clicked at times. Kensuke Nagai has been dangerous around goal, but the final touch hasn't been there. Egypt's defense has been okay, but is susceptible to creative runs.

     

    Prediction

    Japan 1-0 Egypt

Mexico vs. Senegal: Aug. 4th, 9:30 a.m. ET

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    How They Advanced

    Mexico failed to get off to a hot start in the tournament as they played to a scoreless draw against South Korea. They were outplayed and lacked anything in the attacking third as Giovani Dos Santos sat on the bench. The second game featured Dos Santos coming on as a second half sub and netting both goals in a 2-0 victory against Gabon. In the final group match, it was a Dos Santos pass to Oribe Peralta Morones that put Mexico through with a 1-0 victory over Switzerland.  

    Senegal played a wild first match against Great Britain, which saw Senegal open the match with strong play, Great Britain take a lead and Senegal finding an equalizer late. Against Uruguay, Senegal went down to 10 men after a red card in the 30th minute. Despite playing 60 minutes down a man, Senegal added a second goal in the 37th minute and held off Uruguay. In the final match, Senegal responded with an early second half goal to tie the United Arab Emirates and finish with a 1-1 draw.

     

    What To Expect

    Mexico have come on as of late and enter the quarterfinals with back-to-back wins. Dos Santos has added a spark to their attack and the squad looks more dangerous. Mexico should benefit from the rest between the games, with some ankle injuries impacting their lineup against Switzerland.

    Senegal has played a wild yet impressive tournament so far. They have been fairly consistent, playing well at times and very out-of-sync at other times. They will need to put together some patches of playing very well and eliminate those out-of-sync periods.

     

    Prediction

    Mexico 2-0 Senegal 

Brazil vs. Honduras: Aug. 4th, 12 P.m. ET

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    How They Advanced

    Despite a strong second half from Egypt, Brazil haven't had much opposition so far in the tournament. They beat Egypt 3-2, responded with three goals after Belarus got a rare goal early and dominated New Zealand 3-0 while resting some starters. Brazil is on great form with Neymar playing as the man of the tournament.

    Honduras advanced as the runner-up in Group D after they opened play with a 2-2 draw against Morocco and shockingly held on to beat Spain 1-0. They finished up with a scoreless draw against group-winner Japan. Jerry Bengtson has been the guy for Honduras, scoring all three goals.

     

    What To Expect

    Neymar has been unreal throughout all three games. He has taken over the tournament and become the shining star of a Brazil team filled with other stars. While he has been a force, the Brazilian side as a whole is playing dominant football. They are playing well and with that Brazilian flair as you'd expect from them.

    Honduras will surely be outmatched against Brazil, but they were against Spain as well. They held on tightly to maintain a victory, but the task will be much tougher against a Brazilian team on brilliant form.

     

    Prediction

    Brazil 4-0 Honduras 

Great Britain vs. South Korea: Aug. 4th, 2:30 P.m. ET

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    How They Advanced 

    Great Britain started out the tournament with a wild draw against Senegal as a failed penalty protest broke the team's spirit and cost it a win. After the draw, Great Britain finished up group play strongly with victories over the United Arab Emirates (3-1) and Uruguay (1-0). 

    South Korea finished second in Group B behind Mexico. They enter the quarterfinals unbeaten in three matches, but only got three points against Switzerland, while drawing with Mexico and Gabon. South Korea has only scored two goals in the tournament, going scoreless in both draws. 

     

    What To Expect

    Great Britain has come into form after their choppy draw against Senegal. Daniel Sturridge has been very good as he continually gains strength recovering from his illness. Sturridge makes Great Britain strong in the attack, but the key will be taking advantage of opportunities. South Korea hasn't given up many opportunities thus far, conceding just one goal in group play.

    In addition to remaining strong in defense, South Korea will need to open up their attack and be more creative in the midfield. They can't just sit back and defend against Great Britain. Maybe they will get lucky going to penalties, but that's not much of a sustainable plan.

    Prediction

    Great Britain 1-0 South Korea