Wednesday, 18 December 2013

20th FIFA World Cup Groups Head to Head Info

Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the 20th FIFA World Cup, an international men's football tournament, that is scheduled to take place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014. It will be the second time that Brazil has hosted the competition, the previous being in 1950. Brazil was elected unchallenged as host nation in 2007 after the international football federation, FIFA, decreed that the tournament would be staged in South America for the first time since 1978 in Argentina.

The national teams of 31 countries advanced through qualification competitions that began in June 2011 to participate with the host nation Brazil in the final tournament. A total of 64 matches are to be played in twelve cities across Brazil in either new or redeveloped stadiums, with the tournament beginning with a group stage. For the first time at a World Cup Finals, the matches will use goal-line technology.

The 2014 World Cup draw has been completed, and group play will begin June 12 with host nation Brazil taking on Croatia.

Brazil have faced Mexico a remarkable 38 times at senior level, three times at a World Cup finals (1950, 1954 & 1962), with Brazil victorious on all three occasions. The hosts have played Croatia twice before, one friendly draw and a victory over the Croats in the group stages of the 2006 World Cup. A Selecao beat Cameroon in the 1994 World Cup, but lost in their most recent meeting - at the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup.

Mexico and Cameroon have met just once before, a win for El Tri in a 1993 friendly match. Mexico have played Croatia three times before, winning their only World Cup meeting in 2002. Cameroon and Croatia will meet for the first time on 18 June in Manaus.

Spain and Netherlands open their World Cup campaigns after playing their most recent World Cup fixture against one another - the 2010 Final. That has been their only World Cup game in ten meetings. Australia and Chile have met four times, once at the 1974 World Cup, which ended in a goalless draw. The holders have met Chile ten times before and twice at the World Cup (both wins for La Roja, 2-0 in 1950 and 2-1 in 2010).

The Netherlands have failed to beat Australia in their three friendly meetings, drawing twice and losing in 2008. The Socceroos have never faced La Roja and the Netherlands have faced Chile just once - a 2-2 draw in the 1928 Olympic Football Tournament.

Colombia  and Greece have met once before, a friendly win for the Colombians in 1994.

Côte d'Ivoire and Japan will face off for the first time in a competitive match on 14 June, with Japan winning two out of their previous three friendly meetings. Côte d'Ivoire have never before faced Colombia or Greece.

Japan beat Greece in their only ever meeting, at the 2005 Confederations Cup.

Japan have not beaten Colombia in their two meetings to date, a 2003 Confederations Cup win for the South Americans and a goalless friendly draw in 2007.

England have faced Italy 24 times, with a 2-1 win for Gli Azzurri at Italy 1990. Their most recent meeting came in EURO 2012, with the Italians putting England out on penalties. The Three Lions have faced Uruguay twice at the World Cup, a win for La Celeste in 1954 and a goalless draw in 1966, when the hosts went on to secure their only World Cup to date. England have never before faced Costa Rica, who in turn have only met Italy once - a friendly win for the Azzurri in 1994.

Italy and Uruguay have faced off twice at the World Cup before, a draw at 1970 and a 2-0 win for the hosts at Italy 1990.

Uruguay and Costa Rica have met eight times, with the latter never having won. La Celeste saw off Costa Rica in the 2010 World Cup qualifiying play-off - 2-1 on aggregate.

Two matches will happen for the first time at the 2014 World Cup, Switzerland have never faced Ecuador before, and France have not played Honduras at senior level.

France and Switzerland on the other hand, have played each other 36 times, once at the World Cup, a goalless draw in the 2006 group stages.

Honduras and Ecuador have met each other 13 times - all friendly matches, with eight draws. Honduras have faced Switzerland once, at the 2010 World Cup, which ended in a goalless draw. Ecuador and France's only meeting came in a 2-0 friendly win for Le Bleus.

Argentina and Bosnia-Herzegovina have met twice before, most recently in St. Louis, USA this past November when Argentina won 2-0 in a friendly. Iran and Nigeria have met just once before in Hong Kong in 1998 where the Super Eagles came out on top 1-0.

Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran have met five times before and the Iranians have got the better of the Brazil 2014 newcomers by winning four and drawing once.

Argentina and Nigeria have faced off in six matches, including the 2010 World Cup, when Argentina won 1-0 at in Johannesburg. In total, Argentina have won five and drawn once.

Germany have faced Portugal 17 times, five of those meetings have been at a World Cup. At Germany 2006, the hosts bested Portugal 3-1 in the match for third place.

Ghana beat USA in the two most recent World Cups. The Black Stars bested the Stars and Stripes 2-1 in the final group stage match of Group E at Germany 2006 and again beat the Americans in the Round of 16 at South Africa 2010 when Asamoah Gyan fired Ghana through to the quarter-finals with a 93rd-minute extra-time goal.

Germany and Ghana met in the 2010 World Cup, where half-brothers Kevin-Prince and Jerome Boateng battled against each other in the first time family members played against one another at a World Cup.

USA and Portugal met at Korea/Japan 2002 where the Americans pulled off a shock 3-2 defeat of the European side. USA met Germany in the quarter-finals of the same tournament where Germany edged the Americans 1-0.

Portugal and Ghana have never faced each other.

Belgium and Korea Republic both have previous World Cup experience of each other, with Belgium winning the first encounter before a draw in 1998. Both coaches Marc Wilmots and Hong Myung-Bo were in the sides for their 1-1 draw in group climax Paris, which will be repeated in Sao Paulo this time.

Belgium have also faced Russia four times in the finals, with the first two games going the way of the then-USSR, and the latter going to Belgium. They met at their last World Cup in 2002 as well, with a 2-0 win for the Red Devils.

Algeria have faced all three of their opponents in friendlies over the years, earning a draw against Russia and Belgium, but also suffering defeats to the latter and Korea Republic.