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SA football sides draw hosts Brazil at Rio Olympics
- Updated: April 14, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
South Africa’s men’s and women’s football sides will both face the host nation Brazil at the Rio Olympics later this year.
The draw was conducted at the city’s iconic Maracana Stadium on Thursday afternoon.
The Banyana Banyana senior national women’s side have been handed a tough draw.
Vera Pauw’s charges will face hosts Brazil, Scandinavian nation Sweden and eastern superpower China in Group E.
Sweden are Banyana’s highest ranked opponents in Rio, ranked sixth while Brazil are eighth and China 12th. South Africa are currently 54th.
It’s Banyana’s second Olympic Games experience after they did duty in London four years ago.
On that occasion they went down 4-1 to Sweden after a wonder strike by Portia Modise, lost 3-0 to Canada but drew their final game against Japan.
The men’s competition sees Owen da Gama’s Under-23 boys take on Brazil, Denmark and Iraq in Group A.
It will be the second time that Amaglug-glug will do duty in the men’s competition after taking part in the Sydney Olympics in 2000 where they shocked Brazil in the group stages.
South Africa are currently ranked 70th in the FIFA world rankings, Brazil seventh, Denmark 41st and Iraq 105th.