Men's soccer quarterfinal preview
Men's soccer quarterfinal preview
NBC Olympics.com – The four quarterfinal matches of the Olympic men's soccer tournament will be played on Saturday, Aug. 13. All the matches can be streamed live on NBCOlympics.com.
Soccer powers Portugal and Germany face off in the first quarterfinal match of the day. Both teams were unbeaten in group play as Portugal won Group D and Germany finished second in Group C.
Portugal cruised through group play winning its first two matches against Argentina and Honduras. Portugal has allowed just two goals through three matches.
Going into its final group stage match Germany needed to win and make up four goals in goal differential to avoid elimination. The team did that and more defeating Fiji 10-0. The win was the largest margin of victory in Olympic soccer since 1964.
Two players to watch in this match are Portugal's Paciencia and Germany's Serge Gnabry. Paciencia has scored in all three matches and has been a catalyst for the team's attack. Gnabry has four goals in the tournament, scoring in each of his team's three matches. Two of Gnabry's goals have come off of free kicks.
Group B winners Nigeria take on Group A second place finisher Denmark with a spot in the semifinals on the line.
Nigeria almost didn't make it to Brazil in time for its first group stage match. The players seemed to rally around the near disaster and clinched the top spot in Group B after just two matches. Led by Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel, Nigeria has been one of the most exciting teams in the tournament.
Denmark recorded one win, one loss and one draw in the group stage. Despite advancing to the quarterfinals, the team has struggled to create offense with just one goal through three matches. Denmark must figure out how to convert its scoring chances to compete with Nigeria. Nigeria has allowed the most goals of any team in the quarterfinals.
2012 Olympic bronze medalist South Korea looks to get back to the medal rounds as it takes on Honduras in the quarterfinals.
In a group with defending Olympic gold medalist Mexico and soccer powerhouse Germany, South Korea was the team that won Group C with two wins and one draw. The team's offense has converted its scoring chances at a good rate, but South Korea's true strength has been its defense with two clean sheets from three matches.
Honduras defeated Argentina in its final group stage match to earn a spot in the quarterfinals. The team has played exciting soccer, scoring a goal in each of its three matches, but it has also allowed at least one goal in every match its played in.
Brazil caps off the quarterfinals with a matchup against Colombia.
The host nation got off to a slow start at the Olympics, playing to scoreless draws in its first two matches of the tournament. Brazil got back on track in its final match defeating Denmark 4-0. Team captain Neymar has not scored a goal yet at the Olympics, but has played an important role in Brazil's offense.
Surprisingly, Brazil's strength has been its defense. Brazil is the only team at the Olympics that did not allow a goal in group play.
Colombia, the last team to qualify for the Olympics, finished second in Group B and is unbeaten at the Olympics with one win and two draws. The team has scored two goals in each of its matches.
It will be interesting to see which side comes out on top between Brazil's strong defense and Colombia's high-powered offense.
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