Rio Olympics 2016 Soccer Draw Results: Women's Groups, Bracket and Schedule

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistApril 14, 2016

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 21:  Tobin Heath #17 of the United States gets mobbed by her teammates after Heath scored a second half goal against Canada during the Championship final of the 2016 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying at BBVA Compass Stadium on February 21, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Defending Olympic and world champions USA will take on New Zealand, France and Colombia in their women's soccer group at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this summer.

Meanwhile, hosts Brazil will face China, Sweden and South Africa, per FIFA Women's World Cup:

Canada, Australia, Zimbabwe and Germany comprise the remaining group.  

The women will be the first to kick off the football at the 2016 Olympics, and it will be Sweden who do so against South Africa on August 3 in Rio.

Per FIFA's official website—where the knockout stage bracket can also be foundthe top two teams in each group plus the two best third-place finishers will reach the quarter-finals. Here is the schedule for the first round of the competition:

2016 Rio Olympics: Women's Football Schedule
DateTime (BST/ET)GroupFixture
Wednesday, Aug. 35 p.m./12 p.m.Group ESweden vs. South Africa
Wednesday, Aug. 38 p.m./3 p.m.Group EBrazil vs. China PR
Wednesday, Aug. 37 p.m./2 p.m.Group FCanada vs. Australia
Wednesday, Aug. 310 p.m./5 p.m.Group FZimbabwe vs. Germany
Wednesday, Aug. 311 p.m./6 p.m.Group GUSA vs. New Zealand
Wednesday, Aug. 32 a.m./9 p.m.Group GFrance vs. Colombia
FIFA.com

Unlike in the men's event, there are no age restrictions on players, so supporters can expect to see many of the top stars of the women's game competing.

Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl sought to find out why there are four fewer women's teams than in the men's tournament:

After lifting the 2015 World Cup and winning gold in four of the five Olympics where women's football has featured—and silver in the other—the USWNT will undoubtedly be the team to beat.

The presence of France and Colombia in Group G could give the Americans something to think about, as they both reached the knockout stages of last year's World Cup, but even so, the USA should top the group—and will almost certainly go through even if not, with potentially three teams progressing.

ESPN's Paul Carr explained the benefits of qualifying top of Group G:

With the likes of Marta and Cristiane, hosts Brazil will also be a force to be reckoned with, as well as Germany, after the latter reached the semifinals of the World Cup.

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