Rio Olympics 2016 Soccer Draw Results: Men's Groups, Bracket, Schedule Revealed

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistApril 14, 2016

Brazil's Neymar controls the ball during the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup South American Qualifiers' football match against Uruguay, in Recife, northeastern Brazil, on March 25, 2016.   AFP PHOTO / VANDERLEI ALMEIDA / AFP / VANDERLEI ALMEIDA        (Photo credit should read VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Hosts Brazil will take on South Africa, Iraq and Denmark in their soccer group for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

FIFA revealed the draw via its official Twitter account:

A total of 32 men's matches will be played, with Iraq kicking off the men's action against Denmark at the Mane Garrincha in Brasilia on August 4, while the hosts will begin their campaign immediately after in the same venue.

The top two teams in each group will progress straight to the quarter-finals. Here is the schedule for the first round of group games, courtesy of FIFA'sย official website, where the knockout-stage bracket can also be found:ย 

Rio Olympics 2016: Men's Schedule
DateTime (BST/ET)GroupFixture
Thursday, Aug. 45 p.m./12 p.m.Group AIraq vs. Denmark
Thursday, Aug. 48 p.m./3 p.m.Group ABrazil vs. South Africa
Thursday, Aug. 411 p.m./6 p.m.Group BSweden vs. Colombia
Thursday, Aug. 42 a.m./9 p.m.Group BNigeria vs. Japan
Thursday, Aug. 47 p.m./2 p.m.Group DHonduras vs. Algeria
Thursday, Aug. 410 p.m./5 p.m.Group DPortugal vs. Argentina
Thursday, Aug. 49 p.m./4 p.m.Group CFiji vs. Korea Republic
Thursday, Aug. 412 a.m./7 p.m.Group CMexico vs. Germany

As always, the men's teams will be restricted to under-23 players only, with just three over-age players allowed to feature.

Across all four teams in each group, Group B arguably includes those that qualified the most impressively, as three won tournaments in their campaigns to feature in Rio.

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Sweden won the EUFA European Under-21 Championship last year, while Nigeria and Japan won the CAF U-23 Championship and the AFC U-23 Championship, respectively. Meanwhile, Colombia secured their qualification in a two-legged play-off with the United States.

Brazil have never won Olympic gold and will be desperate to do so on home soil. Assuming they can cope with that pressure, they should have little trouble escaping their group.

However, the quarter-finals will pit them against a team from Group B, where even a runner-up could provide a strong challenge.

If they can make it to the final four, though, they'll certainly fancy their chances of achieving gold or, at the least, a medal.

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