There have been only four countries to win men's soccer gold medals in consecutive Olympics. The most recent was Argentina, which won the tournament at both the 2004 and 2008 Games. Brazil has an opportunity to join that exclusive group Saturday.
After winning the gold as the host nation in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Brazil has advanced to the gold-medal game at this year's Olympics in Tokyo. It will face Spain, which is looking to win its first gold since hosting the 1992 Games in Barcelona.
The Brazilians will be making a record fifth appearance in the gold-medal game. They have ended up with the silver in three of their previous four times reaching this point. The Spaniards have made it this far three previous times, but this will be their first appearance in the gold-medal game since taking silver in 2000.
Here's everything else you need to know heading into the men's soccer gold-medal game.
Men's Soccer Gold-Medal Game Viewing Info
Date: Saturday, Aug. 7
Start Time: 7:30 a.m. ET
TV: NBC Sports Network
Live Stream: NBCOlympics.com and NBC Sports app
To Win Gold: Brazil -125 (bet $125 to win $100); Spain +100 (bet $100 to win $100)
90-Minute Moneyline: Brazil +170; Spain +210; Draw +190
Early in the tournament, Brazil showcased its offensive potential by frequently putting the ball in the net. In their first game, the Brazilians beat Germany 4-2, scoring three goals within the opening half-hour to put the rest of the teams on notice.
After that, Brazil played to a scoreless tie against the Ivory Coast but bounced back in a big way, beating Saudi Arabia 3-1.
Since the end of group play, Brazil has relied on its defense to advance. In the quarterfinals, it made sure Matheus Cunha's first-half goal would be enough for a win as it defeated Egypt 1-0. Things were even closer in the semifinals, in which Brazil and Mexico were scoreless after extra time. It came down to penalty kicks, which the Brazilians won 4-1.
Now, Brazil is set to contest another competitive game when it takes on Spain.
"Spain is coming with its maximum force," Brazil coach Andre Jardine said, per the Associated Press. "They've formed a strong team over the course of the tournament."
Brazil forward Richarlison is the leading scorer in the Olympic tournament with five goals and one assist. It's highly likely that the Everton man will win the Golden Boot, with Spain's Rafa Mir the closest to his tally (three) among those taking part in the gold-medal game.
Over its three games in Group C play, Spain only scored two goals. Because of that, it was 1-0-2. But that was enough for the nation to advance to the quarterfinals in first place.
The Spaniards opened Olympic play with a scoreless tie against Egypt. They bounced back with a 1-0 win over Australia before playing out a 1-1 tie with Argentina in the final game of group play. There may not have been a ton of offense, but Spain's defense impressed in those matchups.
In the quarterfinals, Spain played its only high-scoring game of the tournament to this point, a 5-2 extra-time victory over the Ivory Coast. Spain then met host nation Japan in the semifinals. And in that matchup, which also went to extra time, Real Madrid's Marco Asensio scored the lone goal of the game with five minutes left to push Spain into the gold medal game.
"I am here for these moments—for these semifinals and finals, which is what I like, when I like to show up, and that has happened," Asensio said, per The Athletic's Dermot Corrigan.
Asensio's game-winning goal was his first of the Olympics, but it came at a time when his team needed it most.
If Spain is going to win gold, it needs to find a way to breach Brazil's tough defense, which has conceded three goals all tournament. But with the Spaniards also having conceded only three times in Japan, this could be a low-scoring game.
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