With the Premier League season starting this weekend, it’s hard to spare much energy for a glorified U-23 tournament. But if you’re feeling Olympic enough to watch men’s football tomorrow, here’s a quick guide to the top games in the final round of group stage play.
Group D: Argentina – Honduras (11:00 AM Central). With Portugal through, this game will determine the group runner-up. Honduras has the edge in goal differential, so only a win will do for Argentina, who unlike Brazil have not sent their finest older players.
Group C: South Korea – Mexico (2:00 PM Central). With Germany playing Fiji in the other game, either side will need a win to top the group. South Korea, though, will advance with a tie (as will both teams in the surreal event of a Fiji victory or tie).
Group B: Japan – Sweden or Nigeria – Colombia (5:00 PM Central). It’s tough to know which Group B game to watch. Nigeria have not only qualified but have secured 1st place in the group, and so will have little to play for. Should Columbia tie or beat the skeleton crew Nigeria are likely to put out, that will sew things up. But if they lose, the winner of Japan – Sweden would advance instead. Should they tie and Columbia lose, Japan’s six goals (four of them scored in their opening LOSS to Nigeria) would ensure that they advance. Probably, this is a good time to just grab dinner.
Group A: Denmark – Brazil (8:00 PM Central). It may not be an exciting match, but it will certainly be a tense one. With Denmark having scored the sole goal thus far in Group A, they enter the game as leaders. Should Denmark win, hosts Brazil would be eliminated before the knock-out stage of the tournament. A tie for Brazil would open the door for either Iraq or South Africa to advance with a win (Iraq could even steal the group from Denmark with a two-goal victory). But should both games end tied with the same number of goals scored, I believe Iraq and Brazil would be left drawing lots to see who advances. The same is true of South Africa with a one-goal win. I know what Donald Trump would say of those scenarios were he in Iraq’s/South Africa’s position.