The Panenka previews Group C of Rio 2016 Men’s soccer tournament containing the current World Champions Germany,reigning gold medalists Mexico, South Korea and Fiji.
Coach: Frank Farina
How they qualified: Oceania’s qualifying campaign for Rio 2016 was conducted as part of the Pacific Games during July 2015 in Papua New Guinea. Fiji had already enjoyed a milestone moment during 2015 debuting with aplomb at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand, and numerous members of that side backed up in PNG just weeks later. Fiji remained undefeated across their five matches but endured some vastly contrasting results. The group stage saw Fiji sandwich a national record 38-0 win over non-FIFA Member Association Micronesia alongside draws against both Vanuatu and Tahiti. Fiji then saw off hosts Papua New Guinea 3-1 in the semi-final, before needing to survive a tense penalty shoot-out against Vanuatu to book their passage to Rio as skipper Jale Dreloa secured a slice of history by converting the winning spot-kick.
Goalkeepers: Shaneel Naidu (Dreketi), Simione Tamanisau* (Rewa)
Defenders: Filipe Baravilala (Suva), Jale Dreloa (Suva), Praneel Naidu (Ba), Alvin Singh* (Ba), Kolinio Sivoki (Lautoka)
Midfielders: Nickel Chand (Suva), Ratu Nakalevu (Rewa), Tony Tuivuna (Nadi), Joseph Turagabeci (Suva), Ratu Waranaivalu (Rewa)
Forwards: Setareki Hughes (Rewa), Anish Khem (Nadi), Roy Krishna* (Wellington Phoenix), Samuela Nabenia (Ba), Iosefo Verevou (Rewa), Saula Waqa (Ba)
Coach: Shin Tae-Yong
How they qualified: Korea Republic breezed through qualification for the AFC U-23 Championship, defeating Brunei Darussalam, Timor-Leste and Indonesia with an aggregate score of 12-0. At the finals themselves, they continued their fine form with their only minor blemish coming against Iraq in the form of a late equaliser. Otherwise, Shin Tae Yong’s side were victorious in all other matches up to the final in Qatar, including a thrilling conclusion to the semi-final against the hosts, which saw the Taeguk Warriors grab 89th minute and stoppage time goals to secure a 3-1 victory. The Taeguk Warriors took a two-goal lead in the final against Japan, but let it slip as the Samurai Blue took the continental crown with a 3-2 win.
Goalkeepers: Sung-yun Gu (Consadole Sapporo), Dong-jun Kim (Seongnam)
Defenders: Kyu-baek Choi (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Hyun-soo Jang* (Guangzhou), Seung-hyun Jung (Ulsan Hyundai), Seul-chan Lee (Jeonnam Dragons), Dong-jin Park (Gwangju Sangmu), Sang-min Sim (FC Seoul)
Midfielders: Min-tae Kim (Vegalta Sendai), Chang-hoon Kwon (Suwon Bluewings), Chan-dong Lee (Gwangju Sangmu), Chang-min Lee (Jeju United), Chang-jin Moon (Pohang Steelers), Yong-woo Park (FC Seoul), Seung-woo Ryu (Bayer Leverkusen)
Forwards: Hee-chan Hwang (Salzburg), Heung-min Son* (Tottenham), Hyun-jun Suk* (Porto)
Coach: Raul Gutierrez
How they qualified: Mexico finished atop Group B of the 2015 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament in October, beginning with a comprehensive 4-0 victory against Costa Rica. A significantly slimmer 1-0 win against Haiti, before edging fellow finalists Honduras 2-1 set-up a semi-final showdown with Canada. El Tri took down The Canucks 2-0 to book their ticket to Rio 2016, with Erick ‘Cubo’ Torres and Hirving Lozano scoring for Mexico. Raul Gutierrez’s side saw off Honduras once again in the final in Salt Lake City with a 2-0 win seeing them take CONCACAF’s top spot, sending El Tri to the Olympics full of confidence in hopes of retaining their gold medal.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Lajud (Tijuana), Alfredo Talavera* (Toluca)
Defenders: Jose Abella (Santos Laguna), Erick Aguirre (Pachuca), Victor Guzman (Pachuca), Cesar Montes (Monterrey), Rodolfo Pizarro (Pachuca), Carlos Salcedo (Chivas), Jordan Silva (Toluca), Jorge Torres* (Tigres)
Midfielders: Arturo Gonzalez (Atlas), Erick Gutierrez (Pachuca), Michael Perez (Chivas)
Forwards: Marco Bueno (Chivas), Carlos Cisneros (Chivas), Hirving Lozano (Pachuca), Oribe Peralta* (America), Erick Torres (Houston Dynamo)
Coach: Horst Hrubesch
How they qualified: A cagey opening game at the 2015 UEFA U-21 European Championship set the tone for an unconvincing German qualification for Rio. Their 1-1 draw with Serbia was followed by a straightforward victory against Denmark, but their final group match, which secured their passage to Brazil, was a tense 1-1 stalemate against hosts Czech Republic. The semi-final in Olomouc saw the Germans swept aside by their Portuguese counterparts, who cantered to a memorable 5-0 victory. The Nationalmannschaft will be hoping for more consistent performances if they are to mirror their senior side’s 2014 success in the Maracana come 20 August.
Goalkeepers: Timo Horn (Cologne), Jannik Huth (Mainz)
Defenders: Robert Bauer (Ingolstadt), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Dortmund), Lukas Klostermann (Leipzig), Philipp Max (Augsburg), Niklas Suele (Hoffenheim)
Midfielders: Sven Bender* (Borussia Dortmund), Lars Bender* (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Max Christiansen (Ingolstadt), Serge Gnabry (Arsenal), Leon Goretzka (Schalke), Maximilian Meyer (Schalke), Grischa Proemel (Hoffenheim), Jeremy Toljan (Hoffenheim)
Forwards: Nils Petersen* (Freiburg), Davie Selke (Werder Bremen)