Brazil vs. Portugal starts World Cup schedule Friday

Brazil vs. Portugal, North Korea vs. Ivory Coast, Chile vs. Spain, and Switzerland vs. Honduras are on the World Cup schedule Friday.

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    Fans of Brazil's soccer team cheer during the South Africa 2010 World Cup match between Brazil and Ivory Coast as they watch the game from Sylvio Cator stadium in Port-au-Prince, June 20.
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Brazil vs. Portugal is likely to be be the most exciting of this morning's World Cup Group G matches. If they tie, both go to the second round. If Brazil wins, and if Ivory Coast defeats North Korea, then No. 3 ranked Portugal is going home.

No wonder it's called the Group of Death.

Friday (June 25):

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  • North Korea vs. Ivory Coast, 10 am ET on ESPN2
  • Portugal vs. Brazil, 10 am ET on ESPN
  • Chile vs. Spain, 2:30 pm ET on ESPN
  • Switzerland vs. Honduras, 2:30 pm ET on ESPN2

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North Korea has yet to win a game, and the team won't be in any hurry to return to its Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il if it loses today to Ivory Coast. Ivory Coast, however, must win by a heavy margin if it wants any chance of continuing to the next round of the World Cup.

But even if Ivory Coast wins, it can't pass to the next round unless Brazil handily defeats Portugal. Right now, under the system of determining who advances, Brazil has 6 points, Portugal has 4 points, Ivory Coast has 1 point, and North Korea has 0 points. Ivory Coast can still tie Portugal in overall points, which would force a tie-breaker to be decided according to goal difference. Portugal is currently much higher than Ivory Coast on goal difference, however, after Cristiano Ronaldo's team hammered North Korea 7-0.

In the afternoon, undefeated Chile faces top-ranked Spain. No matter what, Chile will pass to the second round. Spain and Switzerland are currently tied in Group H. So for Spain to advance, it needs to win or tie its match, and Switzerland needs to tie or lose to Honduras.

Check back with the Monitor for the latest World Cup news.

On Thursday, the Netherlands beat Cameroon (2-1), Japan beat Denmark (3-1), Paraguay tied New Zealand (0-0), and Slovakia beat Italy (3-2). See all results at FIFA.com.

Download a PDF of the World Cup schedule from FIFA, and this ESPN fact sheet on its month-long coverage of the World Cup. Live television coverage on ESPN and Univision begins a half-hour before each match.

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World Cup 101:

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