Andres Iniesta of No. 1-ranked Spain kicks the ball in a May 30 match against Bolivia.
The first day of the World Cup was but an appetizer: the opening ceremony and just one match, won relatively easily by overwhelming favorite Brazil after the host country gave up a cringeworthy own goal to Croatia, the first score of the tournament.
On Friday, we really get cookin'.
The duration of the World Cup will consist of three to four matches per day, and there are some doozies on tap as we get rolling into the weekend, with Mexico, Spain and Australia springing into action.
Group A: Brazil's group continues on Friday as Mexico takes on Cameroon beginning at 12 p.m. ET. Mexico, probably Brazil's most dangerous challenger in the group, is ranked No. 19 in the world; Cameroon is No. 50.
Mexico struggled in qualifying, nearly missing the trip to Brazil — but don't let that fool you.
This is a dangerous team with bona fide international stars and a historical tendency to rally in tough matches. Watch for Giovani dos Santos (directly above, in the green kit), the half-Brazilian attacker who plays for Villareal in Spain, to bounce back from a difficult qualifying run.
Group B: At 3 p.m. ET comes the delicious rematch of the 2010 finale: No. 1-ranked defending champion Spain against the Netherlands, ranked No. 15 in the world. Spain won the title 1-0 behind a goal from Andrés Iniesta (above) in extra time. Watch for the gifted midfielder's innate ability to put the ball where his teammates can do something spectacular with it.
Later, at 6 p.m. ET, the day's final match features Chile (ranked No. 13) against Australia (ranked No. 59). The Socceroos don't have nearly the talent of the other Group B teams, but they're scrappy enough never to be counted out. Watch Australia's net: With longtime goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer recently retired, Mathew Ryan, all of 22, will likely have some shots to stop.
What you missed yesterday
- Brazil scored on itself.
- The opening ceremony got wild.
- In turn, people reacted hilariously.