Olympic Soccer 2021: TV Schedule, Live Stream and Men's Final TimeAugust 3, 2021
Two of the most historic nations in the sport of soccer will face off for a gold medal on Saturday morning.
Brazil and Spain will play in a gold-medal match between two countries that are used to being in the mix for trophies on the international stage.
Brazil is trying to become the fourth nation to win back-to-back gold medals at the Summer Olympics. Argentina was the last squad to achieve that feat in 2004 and 2008.
Spain will attempt to bring the gold medal back to Europe for the first time since it won on home soil in 1992.
Spain is just the third European side to reach the gold-medal game since it won gold in Barcelona. La Furia Roja lost to Cameroon in 2000, and Germany fell to Brazil in Rio de Janeiro five years ago.
Men's Soccer Gold-Medal Match Info
Date: Saturday, August 7
Start Time: 7:30 a.m. ET
Live Stream: NBCOlympics.com and NBC Sports app
Saturday's gold-medal match will mark the second time Brazil and Spain have faced off in a major championship final.
Brazil defeated Spain 3-0 in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup. That game featured a brace from Fred and a goal from Neymar.
The gold-medal match in Tokyo will look much different because the Olympics is used as an under-23 tournament for the men. Each team is allowed to have three overage players.
Even though the major players from both countries will not be involved, a handful of burgeoning stars will be on display. starting with Pedri and Richarlison.
Pedri made the quick turnaround from Euro 2020 to the Olympics to be the fulcrum of the Spanish midfield.
Spain has been able to dictate the tempo of its matches and hold opponents to few opportunities in the final third. On Tuesday, Japan produced a single shot on target from its nine attempts over 120 minutes.
The Spanish defense, which is anchored by goalkeeper Unai Simon, conceded three goals in five games. Two of those occurred in the quarterfinal win over Ivory Coast. Spain needed extra time to finish off that contest.
Spain's biggest concern entering the final could be its heavy legs. La Furia Roja went to extra time against Ivory Coast and Japan. The quarterfinal win over Ivory Coast was more draining for the Spaniards since they had to equalize late in second-half stoppage time just to force the extra period.
Brazil's advantage should lie in its defense. The Selecao allowed one goal in the last four contests and that was an own goal for the Ivory Coast.
Brazil has the defensive infrastructure to deal with Spain's passing network in midfield, and it also has the pace to strike on the counter.
In Richarlison and Matheus Cunha, Brazil has a pair of strong finishers who can hit the back of the net without needing a ton of attempts on goal. Cunha scored the game-winning goal in the quarterfinal win over Egypt, and Richarlison leads the competition with five goals.
If Brazil disrupts Spain's tempo in the middle and uses one or two dynamic moves to score in the final third, it should feel secure about its chances to win another gold medal.
In 2016, the squad, headlined by Neymar, needed penalties to beat Germany for the gold medal. Two of the last five gold-medal matches in men's soccer have been decided by penalties. Spain lost its last trip to the championship round in the same fashion to Cameroon in 2000.