FIFA sets up World Cup groups


COSTA DO SAUIPE, BRAZIL (BDCi) — The 2010 World Cup defending champion Spain will open the 2014 World Cup with a rematch versus the Netherlands while host country Brazil will open against Croatia it was determined after the draw ceremony which opened with a tribute to Nelson Mandela.

Brazil drew Group A along with Mexico, Croatia and Cameroon while Spain drew Group B along with Chile, Australia and the Netherlands.

Colombia, Ivory Coast, Japan and Greece are in Group C. Uruguay, Italy, Costa Rica and England are in Group D. Switzerland, Honduras, Ecuador and France are in Group E.

Argentina, Nigeria, Iran and Bosnia-Herzegovina are in Group F. Argentina will open against Bosnia-Herzegovina. Group G has Germany, Ghana, United States and Portugal. Belgium, Korean Republic, Algeria and Russia are in Group H.

The United States, making their seventh straight appearance in the soccer showcase will open on June 16 against Ghana, a team that eliminated the Americans from the last two World Cups.

With the longest travel schedule of any World Cup team at almost 9,000 miles, the United States will play Cristian Ronaldo and Portugal on June 22 in the Amazon rain forest city of Manaus.

The United States will close group play on June 26 against Germany, which beat the U.S in the 2002 quarterfinal.