World Cup 2014 TV schedule: Where to watch Thursday

The host team, Brazil, faces off against Croatia in the first match of the World Cup today.

Felipe Dana/AP
General view at the Itaquerao Stadium during an official training session the day before the Group A World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Croatia in the Itaquerao Stadium, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, June 11, 2014.

The first game of the month-long World Cup tournament kicks off this afternoon at 4:00 pm EST when host team Brazil faces off against Croatia at the Corinthians stadium in São Paulo.

To catch the match, US viewers can tune into ESPN, or watch live online at WatchABC and WatchESPN (subscriptions required). It will also be airing in Spanish on Univision's sport channel, Univision Deportes, and live streaming for subscribers.

The host team traditionally plays in the first World Cup match, and has never lost an opening game. Though it is expected to be a victory for Brazil, the squad is still likely feeling the pressure.

There have been protests and demonstrations about government spending in the leadup to the global event hosted in 12 cities across the country of 200 million people. And perhaps even more top of mind for the Brazilian squad and its fans today is the haunting outcome of Brazil’s last experience hosting a World Cup tournament: In 1950, Brazil lost the title to Uruguay.

Despite winning the most World Cups out of any other country in the world, there’s no place like home for a win.

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