Olympic Soccer 2021: Wednesday TV Schedule, Live Stream and Match TimesJuly 27, 2021
The Olympics men's soccer tournament will be cut from 16 to eight teams on Wednesday.
Fifteen of the 16 squads that entered Japan are still alive for advancement into the knockout round. The host nation is in one of the best situations to move on to the quarterfinals.
Japan's Group A has the most distance between the teams from first to third. Mexico and France are both three points back of Japan.
Groups B, C, D have three teams within two points of each other, which opens up a plethora of advancement permutations that will change throughout Wednesday's eight contests.
Wednesday Olympic Men's Soccer Schedule
Saudi Arabia vs. Brazil (4 a.m. ET, NBC Universo)
Germany vs. Ivory Coast (4 a.m. ET, NBCSN)
Romania vs. New Zealand (4:30 a.m. ET)
South Korea vs. Honduras (4:30 a.m. ET, Telemundo)
Spain vs. Argentina (7 a.m. ET, NBC Universo)
Australia vs. Egypt (7 a.m. ET)
France vs. Japan (7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN)
South Africa vs. Mexico (7;30 a.m. ET, Telemundo)
Games can be live-streamed on the NBC Sports app and NBCOlympics.com.
France vs. Japan
South Africa vs. Mexico
Japan is the Group A leader from wins over Mexico and South Africa.
The host nation owns a plus-two goal differential that could come into play if it loses to France on Wednesday.
France resides in the least ideal position between it, Japan and Mexico. Les Bleus sit in third place with a minus-two goal differential and a head-to-head loss to Mexico. Mexico is expected to reach six points through a win over last-place South Africa, which puts all of the focus on the France-Japan clash.
If Japan wins, it will finish on top of the group and Mexico would finish second with a victory. A draw is good enough as well for the host nation to top Group A.
If France wins, it needs to make up its goal differential deficit on either Japan or Mexico. A three-goal win over Japan would reverse the margin in Les Bleus' favor.
Japan allowed a single goal in its first two matches, so it may be hard for Andre-Pierre Gignac and Co. to have that much success.
Romania vs. New Zealand
South Korea vs. Honduras
Group B is setting up to have the most chaotic finish on Wednesday.
South Korea, Honduras, New Zealand and Romania all have three points, and they sit in that order ahead of the final matchday.
South Korea owns the advantage in first place by way of a 4-0 win over Romania. If it beats Honduras, it will be through to the final eight. If both matches end in a draw, South Korea and Honduras would advance to quarterfinals since New Zealand would not gain an edge on Honduras for second place.
New Zealand would get into the final eight with a victory over Romania because there either has to be a loser between South Korea and Honduras, or a draw would put them two points back of the Kiwis in that situation.
A draw would even be good enough for the Kiwis if one of the two teams ahead of them wins the other Group B match.
Romania faces the toughest path to the quarterfinals since it has a minus-three goal differential from its defeat to South Korea. A draw will not be good enough to get the European side through.
Romania is in a must-win situation. That could lead to its showdown with New Zealand being a wide-open affair with the Group B dynamics constantly changing.
Australia vs. Egypt
Spain vs. Argentina
Spain-Argentina is the marquee clash of men's Matchday 3, and it comes with plenty of advancement scenarios.
Spain is on top of Group C with four points. A win puts it through to the final eight as the group winner, and a draw should be good enough as well.
A draw does not help Argentina's standing. The Albiceleste would be behind Australia or Egypt in the fight for second place if that result occurs.
Australia has a better goal differential than Argentina and it would move on with an equal or better result than Argentina.
Egypt is two points behind Argentina, but a win combined with a draw or Spain win in the other match puts it through.
In the case that Egypt wins and a draw happens in the other match, the African nation would have an edge in goal differential over Argentina. Both teams sit at minus-one through two matches.
If Argentina and Egypt win, the group order would be flipped because the goal differential margin is so small between the four sides.
Saudi Arabia vs. Brazil
Germany vs. Ivory Coast
Group D is the only one of the four groups that has three teams still alive for the knockout round. Saudi Arabia was eliminated by its losses to Brazil and Germany.
Brazil and Ivory Coast sit atop the group with four points each, and Germany is in third with three points.
That puts all of the focus on the Germany-Ivory Coast matchup that will serve as an elimination game.
Germany needs to win to advance to the final eight, while a draw or loss would eliminate it under the assumption that Brazil rolls past Saudi Arabia.
Brazil established itself as the Group D favorite when it beat Germany 4-2 in the opener. It played to a scoreless draw with Ivory Coast on Matchday 2.
The Selecao have one of the most talented rosters in the tournament since they got permission from Everton, Hertha Berlin and Ajax to put Richarlison, Matheus Cunha and Antony, respectively, on their roster.
Some of the other perennial contenders did not have that luxury as clubs kept their best under-23 talent to gear up for the upcoming European club season.