Tuesday (June 29):
- Paraguay vs. Japan, 10 am ET on ESPN
- Spain vs. Portugal, 2:30 pm ET on ESPN
No. 31-ranked Paraguay will try to continue South America's dominance in the 2010 World Cup. The team consistently makes it through the first round of the World Cup, and it's spurred on this year by the near-death of teammate Salvador Cabanas, who was shot in the head earlier this year. Many in the squad have spoken about the importance of performing well for their stricken teammate.
But No. 45-ranked Japan has shown new verve and maturity in recent games and will attempt to remain the last Asian team still standing. Striker Keisuke Honda has been particularly impressive.
The real show-down comes later, when No. 2-ranked Spain plays No. 3-ranked Portugal.
Spain has nine players in ESPN's ranking of top 40 players worldwide, including Xavi. Portugal, however, has team captain Cristiano Ronaldo. Both players made the Monitor's list of Top 10 World Cup players to watch.
Check back with the Monitor for the latest World Cup news.
On Monday, the Netherlands beat Slovakia (2-1), and Brazil beat Chile (3-0). See all results at FIFA.com. There are now three South American teams, two European teams, and one African team advancing to the semifinals (or Group of 8). Today determines the remaining two teams who will advance.
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.
World Cup 101: