Women’s soccer takes its traditional place kicking off the Olympics on Wednesday, two days before the Opening Ceremony, in various cities in Brazil.
Competition at the Rio Games will start at 12 p.m. ET, with South Africa playing Sweden in Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic Stadium, which will host track and field in the second week of the Games.
Later, host Brazil begins its quest to win the nation’s first Olympic soccer gold medal. It plays China in the other Group E match at 3 p.m. ET, also at Olympic Stadium.
The U.S. women, eyeing a fourth straight Olympic title, open against New Zealand at 6 p.m. ET in Belo Horizonte. The U.S. beat New Zealand 2-0 in the 2012 Olympic quarterfinals.
All 12 Olympic women’s soccer teams play Wednesday in the first of three group matchdays. The top two teams in each four-team group advance to the quarterfinals Aug. 12, plus the two highest-ranked third-place teams.
Noticeably absent from the Rio field is Japan, which played the U.S. in the last two World Cup finals and the 2012 Olympic final. The Japanese shockingly failed to qualify for Rio.
Here are all of Wednesday’s matches with NBCOlympics.com live streaming links (all times Eastern):
Group E: Sweden-South Africa (12 p.m., NBCSN) — LIVE STREAM
Group F: Canada-Australia (2 p.m., NBCSN) — LIVE STREAM
Group E: Brazil-China (3 p.m., USA) — LIVE STREAM
Group F: Zimbabwe-Germany (5 p.m., USA) — LIVE STREAM
Group G: U.S.-New Zealand (6 p.m., NBCSN) — LIVE STREAM
Group G: France-Colombia (9 p.m., NBCSN) — LIVE STREAM