Brazil to open 2014 World Cup against Croatia

COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil,  (Reuters) – – Host nation Brazil will kick off next year’s soccer World Cup against Croatia in Sao Paulo on June 12 and the favourites will be happy with a Group A also containing Mexico and Cameroon as they seek their sixth title.
Yesterday’s complicated draw procedure went off smoothly as holders Spain and 2010 runners-up Netherlands were put together in the group stages, but have a tough task with Chile and Australia alongside them in Group B.

England, Italy and Uruguay, all former winners, were put together, along with Costa Rica, in Group D, with England facing Italy in the jungle city of Manaus in their first game.

Germany will come face to face with their former striker and coach Juergen Klinsmann, now in charge of the United States, with Portugal and Ghana completing the Group G lineup.

France, who qualified via the playoffs, will be pleased with a Group E placing alongside Ecuador, Switzerland and Honduras.

Bosnia, the only one of the 32 teams taking part in their first World Cup finals, face Argentina, Iran and Nigeria.

The final is in Rio de Janeiro on July 13.
2014 World Cup finals group fixtures
COSTA DO SUIPE, Brazil,  (Reuters) – Group fixtures for the 2014 World Cup finals following the draw on Friday.

Group A
June 12
Brazil v Croatia, Sao Paulo (1700)
June 13
Mexico v Cameroon, Natal (1300)
June 17
Brazil v Mexico, Fortaleza (1600)
June 18
Cameroon v Croatia, Manaus (1500)
June 23
Cameroon v Brazil, Brasilia (1700)
Croatia v Mexico, Recife (1700)

– –
Group B
June 13
Spain v Netherlands, Salvador (1600)
Chile v Australia, Cuiaba (1800)
June 18
Spain v Chile, Rio De Janeiro (1900)
Australia v Netherlands, Porto Alegre (1300)
June 23
Australia v Spain, Curitiba (1300)
Netherlands v Chile, Sao Paulo (1300)
– –
Group C
June 14
Colombia v Greece, Belo Horizonte (1300)
Ivory Coast v Japan, Recife (1900)
June 19
Colombia v Ivory Coast, Brasilia (1300)
Japan v Greece, Natal (1900)
June 24
Japan v Colombia, Cuiaba (1600)
Greece v Ivory Coast, Fortaleza (1700)
– –
Group D
June 14
Uruguay v Costa Rica, Fortaleza (1600)
England v Italy, Manaus (2100)
June 19
Uruguay v England, Sao Paulo (1600)
June 20
Italy v Costa Rica, Recife (1300)
June 24
Italy v Uruguay, Natal (1300)
Costa Rica v England, Belo Horizonte (1300)
– –
Group E
June 15
Switzerland v Ecuador, Brasilia (1300)
France v Honduras, Porto Alegre (1600)
June 20
Switzerland v France, Salvador (1600)
Honduras v Ecuador, Curitiba (1900)
June 25
Honduras v Switzerland, Manaus (1600)
Ecuador v France, Rio De Janeiro (1700)
– –
Group F
June 15
Argentina v Bosnia, Rio De Janeiro (1900)
June 16
Iran v Nigeria, Curitiba (1600)
June 21
Argentina v Iran, Belo Horizonte (1300)
Nigeria v Bosnia, Cuiaba (1800)
June 25
Nigeria v Argentina, Porto Alegre (1300)
Bosnia v Iran, Salvador (1300)
– –
Group G
June 16
Germany v Portugal, Salvador (1300)
Ghana v United States, Natal (1900)
June 21
Germany v Ghana, Fortaleza (1600)
June 22
United States v Portugal, Manaus (1500)
June 26
United States v Germany, Recife (1300)
Portugal v Ghana, Brasilia (1300)
– –
Group H
June 17
Belgium v Algeria, Belo Horizonte (1300)
Russia v South Korea, Cuiaba (1800)
June 22
Belgium v Russia, Rio De Janeiro (1900)
South Korea v Algeria, Porto Alegre (1300)
June 26
South Korea v Belgium, Sao Paulo (1700)
Algeria v Russia, Curitiba (1700)

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