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Men's Olympic Football - Group C analysis

Mexico, Germany, S. Korea, Fiji: Group C squads, TV schedule - Men's Olympic Football

July 31, 2016 By Oscar Rojas
Mexico and Germany have to be considered the favorite teams to make it to the knockout stage. Can Fiji or South Korea score an upset?

Group C of the Men's Olympic Football tournament will gather some interesting teams, with the most notable guest being Mexico. El Tri shocked the world at Wembley four years ago by defeating Brazil in the Gold Medal match, and they will surely want to try to repeat that this summer.

In order to do so, the Mexican squad will have to overcome powerful teams such as Germany, who will want to take a stand and show what they've got after a 28-year absence from the Olympic tournament, the combative South Korean side and the enigmatic debutant, Fiji. Here's a quick look at these four teams.

Mexico: Rio 2016 Olympics squad, Players to watch

El Tri managed to earn their spot in the Olympics by winning the Qualifiers in stylish fashion. Mexico scored eleven goals and allowed just one in their road to the Final, which saw them beat fellow Olympians Honduras 2-0. This will be Mexico's 11th appearance in the tournament, and as we mentioned earlier, they will leave everything out there to retain their Gold Medal.

During their historic campaign four years ago, striker Oribe Peralta emerged as the team's leader and goal scorer. This time, "El Cepillo" will be the go-to guy for El Tri, but he will not be alone in that task. Wingman Hirving Lozano will be one of the most talented players in the competition, and his skills and quickness might come in handy if Mexico wants to reach the top of the podium.

Lozano(left) and Peralta celebrate one of Mexico's goals this summer in the 2016 Copa América.

Coach Raúl Gutiérrez is no stranger to success. He was in charge of the 2011 U-17 Champions, with some of his players making an appearance in this competition. His highly motivational and tactical approach will be key for Mexico, and maybe he can let the world know Mexico's young teams have to be taken seriously after their recent history of success.

"El Potro" (The Colt) has been widely mentioned as one of the top candidates to coach Mexico's senior team after Russia 2018.

Complete squad

Goalkeepers: Gibrán Lajud, Alfredo Talavera

Defenders: Jose Abella, Erick Aguirre, Victor Guzman, Cesar Montes, Rodolfo Pizarro, Carlos Salcedo, Jordan Silva, Jorge Torres

Midfielders: Arturo Gonzalez, Erick Gutierrez, Michael Perez

Forwards: Marco Bueno, Carlos Cisneros, Hirving Lozano, Oribe Peralta, Erick Torres

Germany: Rio 2016 Olympics squad, Players to watch

Die Mannschaft will play in the Olympic Football tournament for the first time since the 1988 Olympics. Their road to Rio wasn't as easy as you could have imagined, as the Germans were only able to win one game to make it to the Olympics. This will be Germany's ninth appearance in the tournament, and their best performance came in 1988, when Jurgen Klinsmann led the team to a bronze-medal finish.

Germany's midfield, by far, is one of the best in this competition. Lars Bender, Sven Bender, Julian Brandt and Max Meyer will be the players to watch for Germany, and most of their chances in the tournament will be provided by these footballers.

Can the Bender twins help Germany win their second medal in the Men's Olympic Football tournament?

Germany's coach Horst Hrusbesch is one of the most respected youth coaches in his country. His experience as a player, having won the 1980 UEFA Euro with Die Mannschaft, and later passing on his knowledge to win the UEFA U-21 Championship in 2009, make him one of the most seasoned coaches in this tournament. Maybe his leadership will be all the team needs to reach the podium this time.

The 65-year old coach has been in charge of the team since 2013.

Complete squad

Goalkeepers: Timo Horn, Jannik Huth

Defenders: Robert Bauer, Matthias Ginter, Lukas Klostermann, Philipp Max, Niklas Suele.

Midfielders: Sven Bender, Lars Bender, Julian Brandt, Max Christiansen, Serge Gnabry, Leon Goretzka, Maximilian Meyer, Grischa Proemel, Jeremy Toljan.

Forwards: Nils Petersen, Davie Selke

South Korea: Rio 2016 Olympics squad, Players to watch

The Taeguk Warriors will be gunning to repeat their performance from four years ago, when they made it to the semi-finals and eventually won the bronze medal against Japan. Their road to Rio seemed to be quite a pleasant one, but their unbeaten run in the competition was brought to a halt by Japan, who stripped South Korea's two-goal lead to win the Asian Qualifiers.

The Asian side will be boosted up front by Heung-min Son's presence. Tottenham's player will try to lead the Taeguk Warriors in their efforts to shock Germany and Mexico, who seem to be the candidates to earn a place in the KO stage. If the EPL ace's presence wasn't enough, Porto's Hyun-jun Suk will be around to boost the South Korean's chances of success.

Heung-min Son is South Korea's brightest star in the competition.

The Reds' hopes of success will be fueled by the Shin-Tae Yong's tactics. Known as the Asian Mourinho, Yong was one of South Korea's most promising players, but an ankle injury prevented him from making an impact with the senior squad. His experience will be crucial for the Tigers run in the tournament, where they will try to reach the knockout stage for the fourth time ever.

The 45-year old has been in charge of the South Korean U-23 team since last year.

Complete squad

Goalkeepers: Sung-yun Gu, Dong-jun Kim.

Defenders: Kyu-baek Choi, Hyun-soo Jang, Seung-hyun Jung, Seul-chan Lee, Dong-jin Park, Sang-min Sim.

Midfielders: Min-tae Kim, Chang-hoon Kwon, Chan-dong Lee, Chang-min Lee, Chang-jin Moon, Yong-woo Park, Seung-woo Ryu.

Forwards: Hee-chan Hwang, Heung-min Son, Hyun-jun Suk.


The "Bula Boys" will make their debut in an Olympic tournament this summer, being the least favoured team of the lot. Frank Farina's men made it to Rio 2016 thanks mostly to their 38-0 win against Micronesia in the Pacific Games held in Papua New Guinea, a win that sealed their spot in the semis and eventually would give them the chance to eliminate the hosts. A complicated final match against Vanuatu ended with a 4-3 penalty shootout for Fiji, giving them the chance to represent their nation for the first time. 

Farina has been involved with the development of Fijian players since 2014.

Being the team with fewest chances of progression according to experts, forces us to believe that this team's real strength is their ability to play as a whole. Nevertheless, a player that stands out is captain Jale Dreloa, who's penalty sealed Fiji's spot in the Olympic tournament.

Dreloa's skills have already secured hiim a spot in Fiji's senior National Team.

Complete squad

Goalkeepers: Shaneel Naidu, Simione Tamanisau

Defenders: Filipe Baravilala, Jale Dreloa, Praneel Naidu, Alvin Singh, Kolinio Sivoki.

Midfielders: Nickel Chand, Ratu Nakalevu, Tony Tuivuna, Joseph Turagabeci, Ratu Waranaivalu

Forwards: Setareki Hughes, Anish Khem, Roy Krishna, Samuela Nabenia, Iosefo Verevou, Saula Waqa.

Fiji and North Korea will kick off the Olympic football tournament next Wednesday, while Mexico and Germany will clash on Thursday, just like the remaining teams playing for the gold.

Wonder where and when to watch all of Group C's matches? LiveSoccerTV's got you covered! Just scroll down to find the game you want to see, click on it and find all TV & streaming options in your country.

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