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Olympic Soccer 2021: TV Schedule, Live Stream and Sunday Match Times

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 24, 2021

Mexico's Alexis Vega, center, celebrates his goal with teammates Carlos Rodriguez, right, and Diego Lainez during a men's soccer match against France at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 22, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)
Shuji Kajiyama/Associated Press

Mexico put its stamp on the Olympic men's soccer tournament on Thursday by beating France 4-1. 

On Sunday, El Tri can move closer to winning Group A when it takes on host nation Japan.

The Mexico-Japan showdown is one of a few important clashes across the eight-game slate on Sunday, which begins with Argentina and Egypt.

Argentina was one of the few international powerhouses that failed to win on Thursday. Germany and France produced similar results. Due to those unexpected scorelines, each of those three nations need to beat weaker opponents to get back on good footing through two games. 

In the 16-team men's tournament, the top two teams from each group advance to the knockout round. 

         

Sunday Olympic Soccer Schedule

Men's Soccer

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Egypt vs. Argentina (3:30 a.m. ET) 

France vs. South Africa (4 a.m. ET)

New Zealand vs. Honduras (4 a.m. ET)

Brazil vs. Ivory Coast (4:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN)

Australia vs. Spain (6:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN)

Romania vs. South Korea (7 a.m. ET)

Mexico vs. Japan (7 a.m. ET, Telemundo)

Saudi Arabia vs. Germany (7:30 a.m. ET) 

          

Mexico vs. Japan

Mexico turned in the most eye-popping result of Matchday 1, as it put four goals past France in the second half. 

El Tri had four different players find the back of the net, and goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa did not allow a goal from open play. Mexico's only concession came on a penalty from Andre-Pierre Gignac. 

Mexico's squad is better equipped for a deep run at the Olympics compared to the European squads since most of its best under-23 talent is on the Olympic roster. 

France and Germany had some of their top U23 stars denied access to the tournament because they play for high-profile clubs in Europe.

Most of Mexico's squad is made up of domestic-based talent. Diego Lainez, of Real Betis in Spain, is the lone exception to that. Lainez will be the best player on the field in Sunday's clash with Japan. Although he did not score versus France, the 21-year-old was everywhere in the final third. 

If Lainez and Co. are able to probe through the Japan defense, they could gain an advantage prior to halftime. Japan held South Africa scoreless on Thursday, but that result occurred against the weakest side in the group.

Even though France does not have its best U23 players at the competition, it still has an abundance of talent and should cruise past South Africa. 

Japan has its own star based in La Liga in the form of Takefusa Kubo, who scored the game-winning tally on Thursday. Kubo is on loan at Getafe from Real Madrid. 

If Mexico contains Kubo, it should dominate stretches of the contest. Even if Japan breaks through the back line, Ochoa should be able to answer the call.

Ochoa is one of the most decorated players in the men's tournament. The 36-year-old, who is one of three overage players allowed on the Mexico roster, could be the difference-maker on Sunday and throughout the tournament as El Tri chases the gold medal.

            

Egypt vs. Argentina

The theme of Sunday's slate will be powerhouse teams looking to bounce back against perceived minnows.

Argentina was handed a stunning 2-0 loss by Australia on Thursday, but its path to the knockout round is a bit easier than France and Germany's since Egypt and Spain played to a goalless draw. 

Argentina needs three points and the reversal of a minus-2 goal differential ahead of its Matchday 3 clash with Spain. 

Look for Ezequiel Barco to be one of Argentina's most dangerous players. The Atlanta United man is a creative attacking midfielder who could open up the Egyptian defense. 

Egypt's defense allowed 10 shots, five of which went on target, in the draw with Spain. The North African side put just one of its three attempts on frame. 

If Argentina produces a similar amount of offensive pressure, it should find the back of the net on a few occasions to set up a massive showdown with the Spaniards on Wednesday. 

If Argentina uses some squad rotation for the match, look for Spartak Moscow's Ezequiel Ponce to combine with Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton and Hove Albion and others to put the Albiceleste on the scoresheet. 

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