Brazil cruised through group stage at 3-0, while Honduras pulled off the upset of the tournament, defeating and effectively eliminating the defending Euro and World Cup champions, Spain.
Now, the two countries who have been the talk of 2012 Olympic group play will meet in the first round of the do-or-die knockout stage.
The victor will take on whichever squad comes out on top in the match between host country Great Britain and South Korea.
In the previous round, Brazil netted three goals per game while beginning its quest for its first ever gold medal.
Meanwhile, Honduras nabbed the ever-crucial three points by knocking off Spain and earned two positive results in draws with Japan and Morocco to advance through group play.
Brazil is the popular pick to grab the gold medal, but this type of situation often plays into the hands of a gritty, determined squad like Honduras.
If you only pick one quarterfinal to watch, this is the one.
Where: St. James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, London
When: Saturday, August 4 | 5 p.m. BST | 11 a.m. ET
TV: MSNBC, NBC Sports Olympic Specialty: Soccer
Live Stream: NBC Live Extra
Men's Olympic Football Knockout Stage Quarterfinal Schedule (all times ET)
Quarterfinal No. 4: Japan vs Egypt, 6 a.m. Friday, August 4
Quarterfinal No. 3: Mexico vs Senegal, 8:30 a.m. Friday, August 4
Quarterfinal No. 2: Brazil vs Honduras, 11 a.m. Friday, August 4
Quarterfinal No. 1: Great Britain vs Korea, 1:30 p.m. Friday, August 4
Brazil in Group Play
Match One: Brazil 3, Egypt 2
Match Two: Brazil 3, Belarus 1
Match Three: Brazil 3, New Zealand 0
All things considered, Brazil confidently coasted through its group. Egypt has so far proven to be an excellent opening match for Brazil. The young Brazilians faced their biggest competitor in the group in game one and came out firing, netting three goals in the first 30 minutes.
However, late in the match, Egypt battled back, nailing consecutive unanswered goals. Brazil managed to hold on, but it is hard to say whether it was simply a mental lapse after having such a lead, or if a bigger problem exists, such as the group fatiguing late against a good team.
It will be interesting to see how that situation plays out against Honduras.
The next match, the Brazilians allowed one goal early to Belarus, flipping the quick-start script from game one, but they quickly regained their rhythm by netting the next three goals for another win.
In game three, there was no trouble in a clean-sheet victory over New Zealand.
Honduras in Group D Play
Match One: Honduras 2, Morocco 2.
Match Two: Honduras 1, Spain 0.
Match Three: Honduras 0, Japan 0.
Honduras had a rough start against Morocco that could have ended up even rougher.
In a somewhat sloppy match in which six total cards were awarded, Honduras and Morocco played one of the most physical matches in group play. Morocco struck first, but Honduras quickly answered with consecutive goals—one off of to a penalty kick from Jerry Bengston. However, Morocco had the final say just two minutes later with the match-tying goal.
In just the seventh minute match of two, Bengston struck yet again for his third goal of the tournament. This ended up being a very hard-fought match as well, as after taking an early lead, Honduras went into security level red and managed to keep one of the tournament favorites out of the net, marking possibly the biggest upset in group play.
Then they needed to earn a positive result against Japan to secure a spot in the knockout stage and did just that playing the Japanese to a 0-0 draw. In the match, neither team was able to secure possession, as both teams seemed to be playing not to lose—a strategy which worked out as both advanced.
Now, in the knockout stage, every team is playing every game for its Olympic life. Brazil is looking forward to the ultimate goal: the gold medal.
Meanwhile, Honduras is a bit of an underdog, and it will be playing every match with nothing to lose. This is often the perfect storm for an upset, like the one we saw Honduras pull of against Spain.
Both teams have been playing better and better as the competition has worn on. However, Brazil is the hottest team in the tournament—the only squad to advance 3-0 through group play.
There is certainly a chance they could be looking forward to the semifinals to possibly facing the humble British hosts, who could be Brazil's biggest gold-medal threat. Despite that, Brazil simply has too much talent to lose this one.
Honduras will likely lean on their scoring machine Bengston to carry them through, but it won't be enough. Between Neymar and Leandro Damiao up front, Thiago Silva in the back and Gabriel playing well fresh off a clean slate, Brazil will just be too much for Honduras.
Final Score: 2-0 Brazil.
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