2014 Fifa World Cup Kicks Off


The hosts, Brazil will take Croatia head on in an opener that is expected to be entertaining

 

The opening match will be played at the Arena de Sao Paulo stadium in Sao Paulo at 11 O’clock (Kenyan time)

 

A 65,000 crowd is expected in the stadium for the eagerly awaited opening fixture.

 

The match will be preceded by a ceremony in Sao Paulo to pay tribute to the country’s nature, people and football.

 

The month-long tournament will see 32 nations compete for a place in the final in Rio on Sunday, 13 July.

 

Brazil are expected to win since host nation have never lost their opening World Cup game, with the previous 20 opening games producing 14 victories and six draws for the hosts.

 

Coach Scolari's Samba boys have also been pooled together with  Mexico from South America and Cameroon from Africa

 

Early this week, the host city for the opening ceremony witnessed disruptions after traffic chaos was caused by a five-day stoppage demonstrating over excessive spending on the tournament.

 

To prevent a repeat of some of the violence seen from protestors, host government has deployed thousands of extra police and soldiers to ensure the matches get under way smoothly.

 

Brazil is one of the favourites to win the World Cup for a record sixth time, with previous winners Spain, Germany, England, France, Italy and Uruguay also challenging for the highly coveted trophy.

 

Governing body FIFA said it had sold more than 2.9 million tickets with more tickets still available for several matches on Wednesday, involving Germany, Italy and France.

 

BRAZIL SQUAD:

Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar, Jefferson, Victor

Defenders: Dani Alves, Maicon, David Luiz, Thiago Silva, Dante, Marcelo, Henrique and Maxwell.

Midfield: Oscar, Fernandinho, Willian, Paulinho, Ramires, Luis Gustavo and Hernanes.

Attackers: Bernard, Neymar, Fred, Hulk and Jo.

 

CROATIA SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Stipe Pletikos, Danijel Subasic and Oliver Zelenika.

Defenders: Darijo Srna, Dejan Lovren , Vedran Corluka, Gordon Schildenfeld , Danijel Pranjic, Domagoj Vida and Sime Vrsaljk.

Midfielders: Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Ognjen Vukojevic, Ivan Perisic, Mateo Kovacic, Marcelo Brozovic, Ivan Mocinic and Sammir.

Forwards: Mario Mandzukic, Ivica Olic, Eduardo da Silva, Nikica Jelavic and Ante Rebic.

 

Three fixtures will be played tomorrow with Mexico playing Cameroon (Natal) 9pm, Spain vs Netherlands (Salvador) 10pm and Chile vs Australia (Cuiaba) at 1am.

 

By Morgan Mueke

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