Five Must-See World Cup Matches
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Unless you've taken the month off of work, you probably won't be able to catch all the games of this year's World Cup. There are 48 games in the first round alone. If you can only manage to see five of them, here are which ones to watch:
June 11, 10am - Mexico vs. South Africa
Mexico and South Africa will face off in the tournament's opening match. Expectations aren't too high for South Africa, where rugby gets more attention than soccer, but with thousands of fans blowing their ear-shattering vuvuzela noisemaker trumpets, they are likely to have an extra edge.
June 12, 2:30pm - USA vs. England
"There is so much riding on this game," says Matthew Doyle, a member of the Sam's Army supporters club for rabid USA soccer fans. Doyle says that a symbolism-laden USA victory over the Brits might help the entire sport get traction stateside for years to come.
June 14, 7:30am – Denmark vs. Netherlands
For the early risers, this Nordic battle will be the first chance to see the Netherlands in action. With several 2nd and 3rd place finishes in World Cup history on their belts, the Dutch team is a perennial favorite and is said to be in top form this time around to go all the way.
June 25, 2:30pm – Spain vs. Chile
In the most highly-anticipated game of Group H, Spain will be tested against Chile, who finished the South American qualifiers in 2nd place and are said to have a particularly strong squad this year. Although Spain has never before won a World Cup, expert commentators (and expert bookies) the world over are predicting a possible Spain victory this year.
June 26, 10am – Brazil vs. Portugal
Another great former colony vs. imperial ruler showdown, Brazil and Portugal promises to be one of the top games in the group stage. The winner will have a definite edge to escape the so-called "Group of Death," which includes African frontrunners Cote d'Ivoire.