The 2014 World Cup soccer tournament gets underway in earnest Friday, with six teams taking to the pitch in three different Brazilian cities.
As the Monitor's Matt Clark explained earlier this week, the World Cup tournament is set up with eight groups of four teams each. In Group A, Mexico takes on Cameroon in Natal's Estadio das Dunas at noon Eastern time Friday. This match will be broadcast on ESPN2. These two countries have met once before in World Cup play with Mexico winning, 1-0, over Cameroon.
Moving to Group B, there's a rematch of the 2010 World Cup final from South Africa, as defending champion Spain meets the Netherlands at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador. Four years ago, the Spaniards defeated the Dutch, 1-0, to capture their first World Cup championship. You can see this year's match at 3 p.m. Eastern time on ESPN. Overall in World Cup play, Spain holds a 5-4-1 record over the Netherlands.
Finally, the second Group B match of the day features Chile going up against Australia at 6 p.m. Eastern time. The game at the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba can be seen on ESPN2. Chile currently enjoys a 3-1 advantage over the Aussies in World Cup play.
There are other broadcast outlets for Friday's World Cup matches, including Britain's ITV and Univision.
Brazil, the host country, is one of nine former championship nations that make up part of the 32-team field. On Thursday, Brazil beat Croatia in the World Cup opening match.
FIFA's 2014 World Cup will conclude with a championship final July 13 in Rio de Janeiro that will be televised on ABC.