Saturday, 28th June
Brazil vs Chile in Belo Horizonte.
Brazil and Chile have met three times at the World Cup Finals.
The first meeting was in the semi-final at Chile 1962. Brazil won (4:2) with Garrincha and Vava both scoring twice.
Colombia vs Uruguay in Rio de Janeiro.
Colombia and Uruguay have only met once at the World Cup Finals.
Although Uruguay won the Arica group game (2:1) at Chile 1962, both teams went out to USSR and Yugoslavia.
Sunday, 29th June
Netherlands vs Mexico in Fortaleza.
Holland and Mexico have only met once in a World Cup Finals; at France 1998.
The St. Etienne group game, on 25th June, ended in a (2:2) draw; meaning both teams qualified for the Second Round.
Holland went on to reach the semi-finals; where they lost to Brazil on penalties.
Costa Rica vs Greece in Recife.
Costa Rica and Greece have never met each other before in world football.
Costa Rica’s best World Cup performance was reaching the last 16 at Italia 1990; where they lost to Czechoslovakia (1:4) in Bari.
Greece have made it through to the Second Round, at the third attempt.
Monday, 30th June
France vs Nigeria in Brasilia.
France and Nigeria have never met at a World Cup Finals although they did play a friendly match in 2009. Nigeria won the game (1:0) in Saint-Etienne.
Germany vs Algeria in Porto Alegre.
Algeria and West Germany met in the group stage of Spain 1982. Algeria won the match (2:1) in Gijon.
The two teams also played a friendly in Algiers, back in 1964. Algeria won that game too (2:0).
Tuesday, 1st July
Argentina vs Switzerland in Sao Paulo.
Argentina and Switzerland have only met once at a World Cup Finals, in the England 1966 group stage.
Argentina beat Switzerland (2:0) in Sheffield; then lost to eventual winners, England (0:1) in the quarter-final.
Belgium vs USA in Salvador.
Belgium and USA played each other in a group game at the first World Cup, in Uruguay 1930.
United States won that game (3:0) and qualifed for the semi-finals; where they lost miserably to Argentina (1:6).
If USA were to win this game, they could meet Argentina again.
Belgium’s narrow victory over Algeria and Russia’s draw with South Korea mean that it’s still all to play for in Group H.
So Belgium became the surprise team of the tournamnet as most people thought they would be; surprised at themselves though, for trailing Algeria at the end of the first half of their opening game in Belo Horizonte.
Algeria might feel disappointed after being in front for so long but in all honesty, they can’t be surprised they lost.
After an uneventful first-half, the game between Russia and South Korea in Cuiaba looked like it was heading for a nil-nil draw.
Thanks to the substitutes, Russia and South Korea managed to score a goal each in the second-half and share the points.
Belgium could be the surprise team of the tournament but with so many people saying it, perhaps it wouldn’t be such a surprise after all.
More realistically, they’ll probably melt like chocolate in the heat while Fabio Capello steers the Russians out of Group H with the South Koreans showing that frantic running can get the better of skill and make the surprise team look rather unsurprising.
The fourth team is Algeria, who would be the surprise team of the tournament if they did anything more than get on the first plane back home.
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