Fans can watch the Brazil vs. South Africa football match live online and see which team can kick off the 2016 Rio Olympics with a win.
The pair will meet in Brazil for the tournament's opening match, with kickoff scheduled for 3 p.m. ET (8 p.m. GMT). The match will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network and will also be available live online (a link to the streaming video can be found below).
It's already been an action-packed summer for football fans between the Copa America and the Euro 2016 tournaments, and on Thursday, the men's tournament will begin at the 2016 Rio Olympics. But while the tournaments earlier this summer showcased the best players in the world, the Olympics will feature the stars of tomorrow.
The format for the Rio Olympics is an Under-23 tournament, so there will be plenty of young stars and some international standouts taking the pitch in Rio. The tournament will also be the longest event stretching through the Summer Olympics, starting a day before the opening ceremonies and running all the way until one day before the closing ceremonies.
For the South African team, Thursday's match is a chance to replicate what was likely one of the team's biggest upsets: a win over Brazil in the 2000 Sydney Olympics that allowed the team to advance beyond the group stage. While the South African team isn't expected to replicate the success in Thursday's match, the team is looking forward to matches against Denmark and Iraq later on that will likely give them enough points to advance out of group play.
But South Africa will have to do so without their brightest star, Phakamani Mahlambi. He suffered an injury that will keep him out for the entirety of the Summer Games, but Mahlambi said he isn't too crushed about it.
"My recovery from injury is going well," he told Kickoff.com back in June. "Actually my doctor is happy with my progress and the reports are that I have done very well in terms of the speed of recovery. I still have time for the next Olympic Games [in future], so I don't need to stress about not going to Brazil. At 18, I still have time to live this dream."
Even with Mahlambi out, there will be plenty of star power on the South African side, ESPNFC noted, including Keegan Dolly.
"Dolly is the captain of the side and a speedy winger dreaming of a chance to pit his wits against Neymar. He has been an integral part of the success of Mamelodi Sundowns in winning the South African league in May and in the last days progressing to the semifinals of the African Champions League."
Fans who watch the Brazil vs. South Africa football match live online will also see a very motivated Brazilian squad with eyes on the gold medal. Barcelona star Neymar said that his team is determined to bring home one of the few honors that the national team has not yet won.
"I expect to be able to represent my country really well and bring the expected gold medal, that we have never won in soccer," Neymar told Soccer Laduma.Sport24 noted that Neymar has done well against the Bafana Bafana team in the past, including a 5-0 win in 2014. Neymar not only performed well on the pitch that game, but he also won over the hearts of fans when he lifted a young boy who had run onto the field.
"I found myself in that kid. I'd always wanted to do that, break on to the field to hug my father when I was very young and my father played professionally and then, when I grew up, I got to embrace my idols," he said. "I got scared when I saw those guards trying to grab the boy and I wasn't standing for it."Fans who want to watch the Brazil vs. South Africa football match live online can click here for streaming video of Thursday's match through NBC Sports Live Extra.
[Photo by Leo Correa/AP Images]