Argentina will be looking to make it three gold medals in a row, and Hungary and Great Britain will each be looking for its fourth gold medal in the 2012 Olympic men’s football get underway in London. Argentina took home the gold in 2008, sneaking away with a 1-0 victory over Nigeria; Brazil finished in third place. If Argentina can pull off winning the gold in 2012, it would be the first time in Olympic football history a team has won three gold medals in a row.

Football’s premier event is, of course, the World Cup. But football fans only have the pleasure of the World Cup every five years, so Olympic football brings out the world’s best countries in between and it remains a very popular event at the Games.

Women’s football has only been a part of the Olympic games since 1996, but the United States team has already established itself as a force, winning gold in 1996, 2004 and 2008, and silver in 2000. Pending another first place finish by the Argentina men’s team, the women’s United States team could pull off the first Olympic football 3-peat for either the men or the women in the London 2012 Olympics. It would also mark the first time a team managed to medal 5 times in a row.

Traditional football rules apply: the game lasts 90 minutes; the goalie is the only player who can use his/her hands or arm to make contact with the ball, and only in a specified area; when ufabet เข้าสู่ระบบทางเข้า making a tackle, players must make an honest effort to go after the ball and not just try to trip up the person with the ball; fouls lead to free kicks for the opposing team; fouls inside the penalty box lead to a penalty kick; if a teammate passes the ball to the goalkeeper, the goalkeeper may not touch the ball with his/her hands. In preliminary Olympic competition, the game ends after 90 minutes and each team is credited with either a win, a loss, or a draw. From the quarterfinal rounds onward the games are sudden-death, meaning that the first team to score a goal in overtime is considered the winner; if neither team scores in two 15-minute overtime sessions, each team will shoot penalty kicks until a winner is determined.

Argentina and Brazil are the runaway favorites to vie for the men’s gold medal, although Nigeria came through with a surprise silver medal finish in 2008. Great Britain, Uruguay Germany and Spain also figure to fight for a medal and you can bet the British fans will heap high expectations on their team, as usual. The Brits will be looking to re-establish themselves as a force to deal with after turning in an incredibly poor performance at the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Germany and Brazil are expected to give the United States women’s team some trouble although the US has been a powerhouse from the start.