Olympic Soccer 2021: Live Stream Schedule, Predictions for Women's Medal Matches

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2021

KASHIMA, JAPAN - AUGUST 02: Alex Morgan of Team USA looks on during the Women's Football Semifinal match between USA and Canada at Kashima Stadium on August 02, 2021 in Kashima, Ibaraki, Japan. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Canada's stunning upset over the United States in women's soccer at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday, its first victory over its neighbors to the south in two decades, catapulted them into the gold-medal game against Sweden Thursday.

The team's improved defense will be key to surviving the onslaught of a Swedish team that has looked like the class of these games, which began with a 3-0 shellacking of that same United States team.

That matchup headlines a day that will also see the previously favored U.S. women's national team battle Australia for the bronze medal.


Schedule (ET)

Thursday, August 5: United States vs. Australia (Bronze Medal Match, 4:00 a.m.)

Thursday, August 5: Canada vs. Sweden (Gold/Silver Medal Match, 10 p.m.)


How to Watch

Olympic coverage on NBC and Telemundo

Streaming available on the NBCOlympics.com, the NBC Sports app, the Telemundo Deportes app and Peacock


Preview and Predictions

Bronze-Medal Match: United States vs. Australia

The USWNT did not travel to Tokyo not to win a medal. That they will have to settle for the bronze after inconsistent performances in these games is enough of a blow. Leaving Japan without anything to show for their efforts is not an option.

The American team must improve their field awareness if it is to have any shot at beating a tough Aussie team that it drew 0-0 to in the group stage. Throughout these games, the U.S. has had nine disallowed goals after drifting offside. It has scored only eight goals during this year's Olympics.

The team will also be without starting goalie Alyssa Naeher, who suffered a bone contusion and hyperextension of her knee during Monday's loss to Canada. Adrianna Franch finished out that game and should be the starter for Thursday's pivotal matchup.

She and the rest of her squad will look to improve on a 1-1-2 record against Australia over the last four games, all of which were decided by two goals or fewer.

The American team will be looking to send Carli Lloyd out on a happier note after teammate Megan Rapinoe expressed disappointment in not being able to deliver her another gold medal.

B/R Football @brfootball

Megan Rapinoe got emotional when asked about Carli Lloyd’s tenure with the USWNT following their Olympic semifinal loss 🗣️ https://t.co/H0H3X9xalv

"I mean, who knows, it might not be her last Olympics—but it probably is. Obviously, we want to send everybody out on the happiest note, and we weren't able to do that today," she said after Monday's loss.

Australia striker Sam Kerr is the player to watch for her team. Of the eight goals the Aussies have scored in these games, she has been directly involved in six of them. The USWNT did a great job of taking her out of the equation in their previous meeting, but letting her get loose Thursday could spell disaster for a U.S. team that cannot afford to give up even one goal.

Prediction: USWNT wins bronze in close 1-0 battle


Gold-Medal Match: Canada vs. Sweden

Canada's victory over the United States may have been a glorious moment 20 years in the making, but it will be imperative for the team to refocus because Sweden has looked like the team to beat in these Olympics.

They don't care that Canada has settled for bronze in two previous Olympic appearances, that the team has made it a goal to "change the color" of their medal or that they finally knocked off the USWNT. 

CBC Olympics @CBCOlympics

CANADA WILL CHANGE THE COLOUR OF THE MEDAL 🇨🇦 Canada beats the USA 1-0 in their Olympic semifinal For the first time ever, Canada will play for GOLD in women’s soccer 🥇 https://t.co/gudsTS7GTA

Sweden are unbeaten at the games, including a 3-0 group-stage victory over the U.S. 

Canada's defense has been strong of late, including the shutout of Morgan, Rapinoe and the USWNT that cashed their ticket to the finals. Still, they have not been without struggles. They won only one of their three group matches, drawing the other two, and only just scraped past Brazil and the U.S.

Sweden has systematically dispatched every one of its opponents, not needing extra time to do so.

There is a certain Cinderella, underdog story to Canada, and while it may end up having the support of the masses, this feels like Sweden's opportunity to make up for the recent second-place finishes in international play with an emphatic performance and gold-medal victory.

Requesting a change in the time of the match because of the excessive heat will not change the outcome for Canada.

Prediction: Sweden blanks Canada 3-0 to win the gold