Group scenarios: Can Neymar, Brazil keep Rio 2016 dream alive?

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Host nation Brazil, led by Barcelona superstar Neymar, were booed off the pitch once again on Sunday as they drew 0-0 with Iraq and left their Olympic hopes in the balance. 

After two 0-0 ties in their opening two group games, the host nation are on the brink of elimination from the Olympics.

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One of the pre-tournament favorites, Brazil has never won Olympic gold and they aren’t coping with the pressure of being on home soil well. At all.

Ahead of the final round of group games taking place on Wednesday in the men’s competition, we thought it would be a good time to see how things stand.

The top two teams from all four groups make it through to the quarterfinals of the tournament and below we take a look at the current standings, who plays who in the final round of group games and the scenarios which could play out.


Group A 

  1. Denmark – 4 points
  2. Brazil – 2 points
  3. Iraq – 2 points
  4. South Africa – 1 point

Denmark vs  Brazil
South Africa vs. Iraq

Scenarios: If Brazil beat Denmark then they will advance to the quarterfinals. If either Iraq or South Africa win, plus Brazil fail to beat Denmark, then Brazil will be eliminated. If South Africa beat Iraq and Denmark beat Brazil then South Africa will reach the last eight. So, everyone still has a chance to advance but the situation for Brazil is simple: win and you are in.


Group B

  1. Nigeria – 6 points (Advanced)
  2. Colombia – 2 points
  3. Japan – 1 point
  4. Sweden – 1 point

Colombia vs. Nigeria
Sweden vs. Japan

Scenarios: The situation is clear for Nigeria, the Super Eagles are through after two wins from two. Awesome. The rest is, erm, complicated. Colombia know if they beat Nigeria in their final group game then they will also be through to the last eight and if they draw and Sweden vs. Japan ends in a draw then Colombia will go through. Both Sweden and Japan have -1 goal differential, so if either wins and Colombia draws or loses then the winner of Sweden vs. Japan will advance to the last eight. If Colombia loses and Sweden vs. Japan ends in a draw then all three teams will end on 2 points. If that happens and Colombia lose 1-0, then all three teams will be level on goal differential at -1. That means the next tie-breaker, goals scored, will be used. Japan has scored six goals, while Colombia has four and Sweden has scored two going into the final group game. So, the remaining three teams in the group are all alive and fighting for second spot.


Group C

  1. South Korea – 4 points
  2. Mexico – 4 points
  3. Germany – 2 points
  4. Fiji – 0 points (Eliminated)

South Korea vs. Mexico
Fiji vs. Germany

Scenarios: It seems like a straight shootout between Mexico and South Korea for top spot. Both teams have four points and they face each other in their final group game with South Korea having +8 goal differential and Mexico at +4. That means Germany will have to beat already eliminated Fiji heavily and hope that there’s a winner between South Korea and Mexico. If that games does end in a draw and Germany win, as expected, then South Korea, Mexico and Germany will all end up on five points and goal differential will be needed as a tie-breaker. Germany is currently on 0 so they’d need to at least win by five to give themselves a chance of advancing if there’s a winner between South Korea and Mexico. Intriguing.


Group D

  1. Portugal – 6 points (Advanced)
  2. Honduras – 3 points
  3. Argentina – 3 points
  4. Algeria – 0 points (Eliminated)

Argentina vs. Honduras
Algeria vs. Portugal

Scenarios: Portugal is through and Algeria is out so Group D is pretty simple. The winner of Honduras vs. Argentina makes the quarterfinals and if it is a draw, Honduras will go through as their goal differential currently stands at 0, while Argentina is a -1.