Who can stop the No. 1-ranked U.S. women’s national soccer team? That will be the theme of the Women’s Football Tournament at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics that kicks off Wednesday, July 21.
Twelve nations are vying for Olympic soccer gold in Tokyo in the seventh women’s Olympic soccer tournament since 1996. The USA has made all but one gold-medal match, winning it on four occasions with Norway and Germany claiming the other two. The Germans are the reigning Olympic gold medalists, but they failed to qualify for the 2021 tournament.
The Americans’ main challengers for the 2021 gold medal will be Brazil (ranked No. 7), Canada (No. 8), host Japan (No. 10) and European participants Sweden (No. 5), the Netherlands (No. 4) and Great Britain (England is ranked No. 6 in the world).
Australia (No. 9) and China (No. 15) have a history of being competitive at major tournaments, while New Zealand (No. 22), Chile (No. 37) and Zambia (No. 104) are long shots to get out of the group stage, let alone make the medal round.
How to watch women’s Olympic soccer in USA
TV coverage of select matches from the women’s soccer tournament will be carried by five channels in the NBC family of networks in English and Spanish (match-by-match listings below).
Every soccer match from the men’s and women’s tournaments will be streamed on NBCOlympics.com (English), TelemundoDeportes.com (Spanish), the NBC Sports app and Telemundo Deportes app with user authentication (verification of cable/satellite subscription).
The NBC and Telemundo families of TV networks are also available on fuboTV (free 7-day trial): NBC, NBCSN, USA Network, CNBC, Olympic Channel, Golf Channel, Telemundo and Universo.
Women’s Olympic soccer schedule 2021
NOTE: All matches will be streamed in the USA on NBCOlympics.com, TelemundoDeportes.com, NBC Sports app and the Telemundo Deportes app with user authentication.
Wednesday, July 21 (Group stage, Matchday 1)
Saturday, July 24 (Group stage, Matchday 2)
Tuesday, July 27 (Group Stage, Matchday 3)
Friday, July 30 (Quarterfinals)
Monday, Aug. 2 (Semifinals)
Thursday, Aug. 5 (Gold- and bronze-medal matches)
Women’s Olympic soccer: Tournament format
The women’s soccer tournament will start with a group phase that eliminates four of the 12 teams. The remaining eight will move on to the quarterfinals and the beginning of the knockout rounds.
Group stage: The 12 teams are split into Groups E, F and G, to avoid confusion with the men’s tournament groups A-D. The top two teams in each group automatically advance along with the two best third-place teams.
The round-robin group stage awards three points for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss. Teams are ranked on points (including the best third-place teams) with the first tiebreakers being goal difference and goals scored, in that order. If teams are still tied after the second tiebreaker, then there are other predetermined criteria.
Knockout rounds: The top eight teams move on to a fixed-bracket, single-elimination knockout round beginning with the quarterfinals and then moving to the semifinals and finally the medal matches.
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