RIO DE JANEIRO: No fewer than seven teams still harbour hopes of reaching the Olympic women’s football tournament ahead of the concluding third round of the group matches.
Canada, holders United States and hosts Brazil have already qualified for the quarter-finals while South Africa and Colombia are out of the running.
The standout clash is between Germany and Canada in Brasilia.
The hosts of the last FIFA Women’s World Cup already have two wins and a spot in the last eight under their belts while the Germans will be seeking to set their disappointment aside after a draw with Australia in their second group match prevented them from securing early passage to the next round.
Only victory will be enough to seal top spot in Group F for a team whose coach, Silvia Neid, is contesting her final tournament in charge of Die Mannschaft. History favours the reigning European champions, who have won all of the two teams’ previous 12 meetings in all competitions.
In other matches Brazil go into their match in Manaus as clear favourites against a South Africa side already packing their bags to head home.
The South Americans sent a clear statement of intent to their rivals by defeating Sweden 5-1 in a show of strength. Although the second Group E encounter between Sweden and China PR will then determine who joins the Brazilians in the last eight, the losers of this match will still hope to join their rivals in the next round as one of the two best third-placed teams.
Having secured their own quarter-final place with two victories from their opening two games, world and Olympic champions US meet bottom-placed Colombia in their last Group G tie. Attention then turns to the duel between France and New Zealand, with both teams chasing three points and a berth in the last eight.
Awaiting Australia on the final matchday in Group F are tournament debutants Zimbabwe, who will go into the game aiming to become one of the two best third-placed sides. The Matildas will also travel to Salvador full of confidence in their wake of their 2-2 draw with Germany.