What to watch Wednesday night, Thursday morning at the Tokyo Olympics

Japan 2020

Janie Reed delivered in RBI to help Team USA win its opening game of the Olympic tournament on Wednesday, Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Each day of the Tokyo Games, NBC Olympics will provide a rundown of the biggest athletes and the biggest events to watch across a variety of sports. Every single event can be streamed live on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app, and many can also be seen on the television networks of NBC. For even more events, visit the Olympic schedule page to find listings for specific sports or TV networks.

After a full slate of softball and soccer games on the first day of Olympic competition, Wednesday night and Thursday morning will bring more of the same.

The U.S. softball team is back in action for a second night, while the men’s soccer tournament gets underway with its first set of group-stage games. Elsewhere, the U.S. women’s gymnastics team led by Simone Biles prepares for its own competition by participating in podium training.

Below is a rundown of everything that’s happening on “Day -1” of the Tokyo Olympics, a.k.a. the day before the Opening Ceremony. All events will take place on Thursday in Japan, but all times refer to when they can be watched in the United States.

Softball

The United States was held to two runs in their opening-day game vs. Italy but was carried to victory by veteran pitchers Cat Osterman and Monica Abbott, who combined to allow just one hit. The U.S. will look to build on that performance against what’s expected to be a tougher opponent in Canada. The Canadians are currently ranked third in the world (behind the U.S. and Japan) and are coming off a 4-0 win over Mexico in which they allowed only two hits.

Japan will then face off with Mexico as they continue their own drive toward the gold medal game, while the final matchup of the night — Italy vs. Australia — has become a must-win for both teams. After suffering defeats on the opening day, both countries already face an uphill battle to advance out of the group stage. One more loss could all but extinguish those hopes before the Opening Ceremony even takes place.

United States vs. Canada

  • Start Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBCSN
  • Live Stream: Watch

Mexico vs. Japan

  • Start Time: 11 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBCSN
  • Live Stream: Watch

Italy vs. Australia

  • Start Time: 2 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBCSN
  • Live Stream: Watch

Women’s Gymnastics

Simone Biles and the women of the U.S. gymnastics team will have their official training session on Thursday morning (U.S. time) as part of Subdivision 3 alongside athletes from several other countries. Podium training provides an opportunity to see athletes working on skills that they may use during the competition. Earlier this summer, Biles made headlines when she landed a Yurchenko double pike during podium training for the U.S. Classic.

Aside from Biles, the U.S. gymnasts include team members Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum, and individual competitors MyKayla Skinner and Jade Carey.

United States Women’s Podium Training

  • Start Time: 2:10 a.m. ET
  • Live Stream: Watch

Men’s Soccer

After the women kicked things off on Wednesday morning, it’ll be the men’s turn to take the pitch on Thursday with all 16 teams getting in on the action for the first day of the men’s soccer tournament (full preview here).

There are two main “waves” of matches on the schedule, and thanks to the staggered start times, fans will be able to able to watch six nearly unbroken hours of soccer if they switch between games at the right times.

The first wave is highlighted by a Group A showdown between Mexico and France (4 a.m. ET). Although the France squad won’t include 22-year-old superstar Kylian Mbappe, the roster is still stocked with young talent from Ligue 1. As for Mexico, the 2012 Olympic champions, the country is simultaneously engaged in the CONCACAF Gold Cup but will have Real Betis winger Diego Lainez and veteran goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa among its ranks in Tokyo.

The second wave features a rematch of the 2016 gold medal match: Germany vs. Brazil (7:30 a.m. ET). That final produced an iconic Olympic moment when Neymar converted a penalty to win the shootout in front of home fans in Rio. Although Neymar is absent from this year’s squad, young Premier League forwards Richarlison (Everton) and Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal) are capable of producing exciting moments of their own. Germany, with a squad comprised exclusively of Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 players, will be a difficult first opponent though. Both teams will be favored to advance to the knockout stage, but this match could determine who wins the group.

Egypt vs. Spain
Group C

  • Start Time: 3:30 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: Olympic Channel
  • Live Stream: Watch

Mexico vs. France
Group A

  • Start Time: 4 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: USA
  • Live Stream: Watch

New Zealand vs. South Korea
Group B

  • Start Time: 4 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBCSN
  • Live Stream: Watch

Cote d’Ivoire vs. Saudi Arabia
Group D

  • Start Time: 4:30 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: Olympic Channel (starts 5:30 a.m. ET)
  • Live Stream: Watch

Argentina vs. Australia
Group C

  • Start Time: 6:30 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: Olympic Channel
  • Live Stream: Watch

Japan vs. South Africa
Group A

  • Start Time: 7 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBCSN
  • Live Stream: Watch

Honduras vs. Romania
Group B

  • Start Time: 7 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: Olympic Channel (starts 8:30 a.m. ET)
  • Live Stream: Watch

Brazil vs. Germany
Group D

  • Start Time: 7:30 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: USA
  • Live Stream: Watch

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