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2016 Olympics - Group B profile

Colombia, Japan, Sweden, Nigeria: Group B squads, TV schedule - Men's Olympic Football

July 29, 2016 By Michelle Bonsu
With the 2016 Olympic Games just around the corner, we take a look at the four sides in Group B: Japan, Sweden, Colombia, and Nigeria.

Next month, 16 teams will be vying for a chance to head home with a coveted gold medal at this summer's Olympic Games. Hosts Brazil are hoping to end their long wait for victory, but there will be 15 other sides hoping to spoil their plans, including Japan, who finished in fourth place back at the 2012 edition.

Colombia: Rio 2016 Olympics squad, Players to Watch

Colombia will be making their fifth Olympics appearance this summer. In order to book their spot at this summer's affair, they first had to navigate their way through the 2015 U-20 South American Youth Championship. After finishing second to Argentina, Los Cafeteros next had to take on the USA in a intercontinental two-legged playoff, and managed to edge out their opponents 3-2 on aggregate.

The team will be under the guidance of Carlos Restrepo, who also manages the U-20 Colombian national squad. Restrepo, who never played professionally due to an early injury, has been in charge of both teams since February 2012 and has enjoyed success with the team at the South American Youth Championships. In 2013, he guided Los Cafeteros to victory and in 2015 earned a runners' up berth.

Restrepo will be hoping to lead Colombia to success in their first ever Olympic appearance since 1992 in Spain

Here are the players who will be representing Colombia in Brazil:

Goalkeepers: Cristian Bonilla (Atletico Nacional), Luis Hurtado (Deportivo Cali)

Defenders: Deiver Machado (Millonarios), Helibelton Palacios (Deportivo Cali), William Tesillo (Santa Fe), Felipe Aguilar (Atletico Nacional), Deivy Balanta (Atletico Junior), Cristian Borja (Santa Fe)

Midfielders: Wilmar Barrios (Deportes Tolima), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Sebastian Perez (Santa Fe), Kevin Balanta (Deportivo Cali)

Forwards: Harold Preciado (Deportivo Cali), Andres Renteria (Santos Laguna), Andres Roa (Deportivo Cali), Miguel Borja (Deportivo Cortulua), Teofilo Gutierrez (Sporting), Dorlan Pabon (Monterrey)

KEY STAT: Colombia have never progressed past the first round in any of their past four Olympic appearances

Japan: Rio 2016 Olympics squad, Players to Watch

In 2012, Japan finished in fourth spot, but with a young and exciting squad at their disposal, the Samurai Blue will be seeking to naturally improve this time around. The team qualified for Rio by clinching the 2016 AFC U-23 title, and cruised through the group stages by scoring a whopping ten goals whilst conceding none.

By beating Iraq in the semi-finals, they effectively sealed their spot, but went even further by coming back from 2-0 down to beat Korea 3-2 en route to the title. Japan will be led by 48-year-old Makoto Teguramori, who has been in charge of Japan's U-23 side since 2014.

In the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship contested in Qatar, the former midfielder - who played alongside his twin brother Hiroshi at Sumitomo Metals / Kashima Antlers during the mid '80's and early '90's - led the Samurai Blue to win their first ever title. It was an impressive achievement, especially considering that Japan only made their debut back in 2013.

One cannot talk about Japan without noting the presence of young striker Takuma Asano. The 21-year-old will be plying his trade in the Premier League this season, and before moving to Arsenal, scored a solid 23 goals in 86 appearances for Sanfrecce Hiroshima.

Asano, who will be playing for the Gunners this season, will be eager to show his worth by putting in a good performance for Japan at this summer's Olympic Games


Here is Japan's group for the Olympic games:

Goalkeepers: Masatoshi Kushibiki (Kashima Antlers), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol)

Defenders: Sei Muroya (FC Tokyo), Tsukasa Shiotani (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers), Hiroki Fujiharu (Gamba Osaka), Takuya Iwanami (Vissel Kobe), Masashi Kamekawa (Avispa Fukuoka)

Midfielders: Takumi Minamino (Salzburg), Shoya Nakajima (FC Tokyo), Ryota Ohshima (Kawasaki Frontale), Shinya Yajima (Fagiano Okayama), Wataru Endo (Urawa Red Diamonds), Riki Harakawa (Kawasaki Frontale), Yosuke Ideguchi (Gamba Osaka)

Forwards: Takuma Asano (Arsenal), Shinzo Koroki (Urawa Red Diamonds), Yuya Kubo (Young Boys)

KEY STAT: This will be Japan's 10th appearance at this tournament, which puts them tied with Korea for the most qualifications for any Asian side.

Sweden: Rio 2016 Olympics squad, Players to Watch

At last year's U-21 European Championship, not many gave Sweden much of a chance. Håkan Ericson's lads were in a quartet alongside two-time winners England and five-time champions Italy. However, they defeated the Azzurrini, lost to the Young Lions, but rebounded by drawing with final opponents Portugal.

The Blågult easily brushed aside Denmark 4-1 in the semi-finals and recorded a deserved victory over Portugal via spot-kick shootout to clinch their first ever European title. They will, however, face a tough task in their group with teams like Japan and Colombia for company.

Ericson led Sweden to their first-ever European Championship last year. Will the son of former national team coach Georg be able to add Olympic Gold to his trophy cabinet?

Here is Sweden's squad for Rio 2016:

Goalkeepers: Tim Erlandsson (Nottingham Forest), Andreas Linde (Molde)

Defenders: Joakim Nilsson (Elfsborg), Noah Sonko Sundberg (Sundsvall), Sebastian Starke Hedlund (Kalmar), Jacob Une Larsson (Djurgardens), Pa Konate (Malmo), Adam Lundqvist (Elfsborg), Alexander Milosevic (Besiktas)

Midfielders: Robin Quaison (Palermo), Ken Sema (IFK), Muamer Tankovic (AZ Alkmaar), Simon Tibbling (Groningen), Astrit Ajdarevic (Orebro), Alexander Fransson (Basel), Abdul Khalili (Mersin Idman Yurdu)

Forwards: Mikael Ishak (Randers), Jordan Larsson (Helsingborgs IF)

KEY STAT: This will be Sweden's first Olympic appearance since making it to the quarter-finals at the 1992 edition in Spain

Nigeria: Rio 2016 Olympics squad, Players to Watch

Samson Siasia's side will be one of Africa's three representatives in Brazil after missing out on the 2012 competition in London. Nicknamed the "Dream Team" by some of their fans, Nigeria are only one of two African sides - the other being Cameroon - to have ever won a gold medal and they will be making their seventh appearance this August.

Siasia, who led the team to glory at the 2015 U-23 AFCON tournament, is in his second spell with the team after first being in charge from 2007 to 2010.

Below is Nigeria's Olympics squad:

Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United), Emmanuel Daniel (Enugu Rangers)

Defenders: Kingsley Madu (Trencin), Abdullahi Shehu (Uniao Da Madeira), Muenfuh Sincere (Rhapsody), Ndifreke Udo (Abia Warriors), Stanley Amuzie (Olhanense), William Ekong (Haugesund), Saturday Erimuya (Kayseri Erciyesspor)

Midfielders: John Obi Mikel (Chelsea), Usman Muhammed (Uniao Da Madeira), Popoola Saliu (Seraing United), Okechukwu Azubuike (Yeni Malatyaspor), Oghenekaro Etebo (Feirense)

Forwards: Sadiq Umar (Roma), Oluwafemi Ajayi (Sfaxien), Imoh Ezekiel (Anderlecht), Aminu Umar (Osmanlispor)

KEY STAT: Nigeria were the first African side to ever win Olympic gold back in 1996.

Group B fixtures and analysis

The first match will take place on August 4th at the Estádio Arena da Amazônia featuring Sweden and Colombia, followed by Japan taking on Nigeria. In fact, all but two of Group B's games will be played at the same stadium. The only exceptions will be the matches played on August 10th, with the game between Japan and Sweden taking place at the Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova whilst Colombia and Nigeria will clash at the Arena Corinthians.

Below you will find specific viewing information and times for your current location:

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