On Match Day 3 of the Olympic women’s soccer tournament (Tuesday, Aug. 9) each group plays its matches at the same time. At the end of the day, only eight teams will remain in contention for gold – the top two teams from each group and the two third place teams with the most points.
Group F (3:00 p.m. ET)
Australia vs. Zimbabwe
Both sides are in need of three points in order to advance to the quarterfinals.
Australia sits at one point through two group stage matches. The team suffered a 2-0 defeat to Canada in its first match, but was able to bounce back in its next match to draw 2-2 with Germany. Ranked fifth in the world, Australia was expected to contend for a medal going into the Olympics. A group stage exit would be a major disappoint for the Matildas.
Australia faces a Zimbabwe team that has struggled at the Olympics. Although it has managed to score in both its matches, Zimbabwe’s defense has not been able to hold up, allowing a total of nine goals through two matches.
Germany vs. Canada
Germany and Canada will battle it out for the top spot in Group F in a matchup of two of the top 10 teams in the world. Both teams are all but guaranteed to qualify for the quarterfinals.
Canada, ranked 10th, currently leads the group with six points, having won both its prior matches against Australia and Zimbabwe. Forwards Janine Beckie and Christine Sinclair have scored all five of Canada’s goals at the Olympics.
Germany, ranked 2nd, is perhaps the biggest challenger to the U.S.’s pursuit of a fourth straight Olympic gold medal. The team is tied with Brazil for the most goals in the tournament, but that is largely due to a six-goal outburst against Zimbabwe.
Group G (6:00 p.m. ET)
Colombia vs. USA
The U.S. faces a familiar opponent in Colombia in the team’s final group stage match. The two teams met in the Round of 16 at the 2015 Women’s World Cup, where the U.S. won 2-0.
The U.S. is the only team to not allow a goal at the Olympics despite not having center back Julie Johnston in its second match against France. The health of Johnston, who missed the match due to a groin strain, will be pivotal for the U.S. going forward.
Although the U.S. has already earned a spot in the quarterfinals, this match still has significance as a win or draw would guarantee the U.S. the top spot in Group G.
Colombia has lost its first two games at the Olympics and will need to beat the U.S. by multiple goals to have a chance at qualifying for the quarterfinals. It has been a disappointing tournament for Colombia after it surprised many by qualifying for the knockout stage at last summer's World Cup.
New Zealand vs. France
France and New Zealand will face off for a chance at an automatic berth in the quarterfinals. Both sides have three points, but France has an advantage in goal differential.
Despite losing to the U.S. in its last match, France is a gold medal contender and will be favored to get the win over New Zealand.
Group E (9:00 p.m. ET)
South Africa vs. Brazil
Group leaders Brazil face off against South Africa, which has not earned a point or scored a goal at the Olympics.
Unlike Brazil’s men’s team, the Brazilian women have had two strong performances on home soil. With two wins from two matches and the largest goal differential in the tournament, Marta and company look like medal contenders.
A win or draw would give Brazil the top spot in Group E while South Africa needs a win and some help to advance from a three-place position.
China vs. Sweden
China and Sweden each have three points as both teams beat South Africa and lost to Brazil. Sweden should have the edge in this match as the higher ranked team. Sweden is ranked sixth in the world rankings while China is ranked 12th.
Both teams could clinch a quarterfinal berth depending on how the rest of the day’s matches fall. By the time of kickoff, Sweden and China will know what they need to do in order to advance.