With Germany and Mexico also being part of Group C, Thursday’s opener for South Korea against Fiji is of high importance to the South Koreans. Anything less than three points in this match for South Korea would make the task of getting through to the knockout stage that much more difficult for them. The match, which begins at 7:00 p.m. Eastern, can be seen on NBCSN and it will also be available at NBCOlympics.com and on the NBC Sports app.
Among those on the South Korea roster is forward Son Heung-Min, who plays his club soccer for Tottenham Hotspur. Son has 48 caps at the senior level for South Korea, scoring 16 goals in international competition since making his senior team debut in 2010. South Korea qualified for the Olympics by finishing second at the Asian Football Confederation U-23 Championships in January, losing to Japan in the final. And in Fiji, they’ll face a team with just one player who plays his club soccer outside of the country.
Forward Roy Krishna plays for the Wellington Phoenix in the Australian A-League, and he’s one of Fiji’s three overage players on the Olympic roster. In 27 appearances with the senior national team Krishna has scored 19 goals, and he’ll be asked to be the talisman for these underdogs in Rio. Another of the overage players is 34-year goalkeeper Simione Tamanisau, who is also the team’s goalkeeping coach which likely makes for an interesting dynamic.