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World Cup 2014 Groups Schedule: Fixtures, TV Info for All Matchups

GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 02:  Team USA; (Top L-R) Chris Wondolowski #17,  Clint Dempsey #8, Omar Gonzalez #3,  Matt Besler #5, Michael Bradley #4 and goalkeeper Nick Rimando #1 (Bottom L-R) Graham Zusi #19, Michael Parkhurst #15, Tony Beltran #6, Brad Davis #11 and Kyle Beckerman #14 pose for a group photo before the International Friendly against Meixco at University of Phoenix Stadium on April 2, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJune 24, 2016

There are a few excuses for not watching every match of this year's World Cup.

Work is one. A general desire to go outside and feel the sunlight might be another. Any type of personal injury is understandable. Some other type of pressing engagement, like caring for your children or a spouse is fair game as well.

But saying you were unaware of when or where you could watch a match? After this article, you can take that flimsy excuse right out of your arsenal. 

Below, you'll find the schedule and viewing information for every single group-stage match, as 32 teams battle it out to lay claim as the world's best, along with a few key storylines heading into this year's tournament. 
 

 

World Cup Group Phase Schedule
DateTime (ET)Team 1Team 2GroupTV
Thursday, June 124 p.m.BrazilCroatiaGroup AESPN
Friday, June 1312 p.m.MexicoCameroonGroup AESPN2
Friday, June 133 p.m.SpainNetherlandsGroup BESPN
Friday, June 136 p.m.ChileAustraliaGroup BESPN2
Saturday, June 1412 p.m.ColombiaGreeceGroup CABC
Saturday, June 143 p.m.UruguayCosta RicaGroup DABC
Saturday, June 146 p.m.EnglandItalyGroup DESPN
Saturday, June 149 p.m.Ivory CoastJapanGroup CESPN
Sunday, June 1512 p.m.SwitzerlandEcuadorGroup EABC
Sunday, June 153 p.m.FranceHondurasGroup EABC
Sunday, June 156 p.m.ArgentinaBosnia-HerzegovinaGroup FESPN
Monday, June 1612 p.m.GermanyPortugalGroup GESPN
Monday, June 163 p.m.IranNigeriaGroup FESPN
Monday, June 166 p.m.GhanaUnited StatesGroup GESPN
Tuesday, June 1712 p.m.BelgiumAlgeriaGroup HESPN
Tuesday, June 173 p.m.BrazilMexicoGroup AESPN
Tuesday, June 176 p.m.RussiaSouth KoreaGroup HESPN
Wednesday, June 1812 p.m.AustraliaNetherlandsGroup BESPN
Wednesday, June 183 p.m.SpainChileGroup BESPN
Wednesday, June 186 p.m.CameroonCroatiaGroup AESPN
Thursday, June 1912 p.m.ColombiaIvory CoastGroup CESPN
Thursday, June 193 p.m.UruguayEnglandGroup DESPN
Thursday, June 196 p.m.JapanGreeceGroup CESPN
Friday, June 2012 p.m.ItalyCosta RicaGroup DESPN
Friday, June 203 p.m.SwitzerlandFranceGroup EESPN
Friday, June 206 p.m.HondurasEcuadorGroup EESPN
Saturday, June 2112 p.m.ArgentinaIranGroup FESPN
Saturday, June 213 p.m.GermanyGhanaGroup GESPN
Saturday, June 216 p.m.NigeriaBosnia-HerzegovinaGroup FESPN
Sunday, June 2212 p.m.BelgiumRussiaGroup HABC
Sunday, June 223 p.m.South KoreaAlgeriaGroup HABC
Sunday, June 226 p.m.United StatesPortugalGroup GESPN
Monday, June 2312 p.m.AustraliaSpainGroup BESPN2
Monday, June 2312 p.m.NetherlandsChileGroup BESPN
Monday, June 234 p.m.CroatiaMexicoGroup AESPN
Monday, June 234 p.m.CameroonBrazilGroup AESPN2
Tuesday, June 2412 p.m.ItalyUruguayGroup DESPN
Tuesday, June 2412 p.m.Costa RicaEnglandGroup DESPN2
Tuesday, June 244 p.m.JapanColombiaGroup CESPN
Tuesday, June 244 p.m.GreeceIvory CoastGroup CESPN2
Wednesday, June 2512 p.m.NigeriaArgentinaGroup FESPN
Wednesday, June 2512 p.m.Bosnia-HerzegovinaIranGroup FESPN2
Wednesday, June 254 p.m.HondurasSwitzerlandGroup EESPN2
Wednesday, June 254 p.m.EcuadorFranceGroup EESPN
Thursday, June 2612 p.m.United StatesGermanyGroup GESPN
Thursday, June 2612 p.m.PortugalGhanaGroup GESPN2
Thursday, June 264 p.mSouth KoreaBelgiumGroup HESPN
Thursday, June 264 p.m.AlgeriaRussiaGroup HESPN2
ESPN (All matches streamed via WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app)

 

Multiple Groups of Death

Perhaps no country was left more dismayed by their World Cup draw than the United States, as the Americans ended up in a group with the uber-talented Germans, Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and the country that has beaten them in the past two World Cups, Ghana.

Any of those four teams could advance to the knockout phase, but the mighty Germans and solid Portuguese will be favored to move on. As Kyle Bonn of Pro Soccer Talk notes, the United State's best chance at advancing could be Germany dominating their first two games:

The group is Germany’s to lose, that much is given. So if that ends up being the case, the rest of Portugal, Ghana, and the US are fighting for the #2 spot. Therefore, if Germany doesn’t win the group in dominating fashion, it will have dropped points to those battling with the US for the second spot.

In addition, an interesting scheduling tidbit could end up benefiting the US should things play out. The United States plays Germany last in the group, which could be a positive if the Germans already have the group’s top spot locked up.

The US has already defeated a German “B” team 4-3 last June with a squad very similar to the one going to Brazil this summer. If the European powerhouses already have the group wrapped up, they could start a number of replacements, and the United States could have a chance to pick up a vital point or even three.

It's an interesting scenario. If Germany wins their first two games, they'll virtually be assured of advancing. And if the United States finds themselves in a position where they only need to draw against the Germans to advance—and the Germans have little incentive to start all of their regulars—the United States could be in a nice position to advance.

Is it a long shot? Yes. Do USMNT supporters need any type of hope they can get the brutal draw? Absolutely.

Group G is far from the only difficult one. Group B is headlined by the two clubs that contested the 2010 World Cup finaleventual winner Spain and the runners-up that year, the Netherlandswhile Chile is also a very dangerous side. And then there is Group D, featuring three former winners of the Cup in Italy, Uruguay and England. 

Can a World Cup have three Groups of Death? This year certainly seems to prove that the answer to that is yes.

 

Superstars Gunning For a World Cup Title

The argument isn't a new one, but if either Argentina or Portugal win the World Cup this year, it might be a moot point. You know the argument in question—who is the better player: Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?

That the two play in La Liga for rival teams—Messi for Barcelona and Ronaldo for Real Madrid—which has only intensified their personal rivalry. Now, both will be looking to etch their places on the list of all-time greats, as Lionel Messi looks to crawl out from under the shadow of Maradona and Ronaldo looks to firmly place himself above all other Portuguese greats.

As you might expect, players from other countries have weighed in on the giants of the game. Uruguay's Luis Suarez told Helden Magazine (h/t Alex Young of Goal.com), that you simply can't compare the two:

Messi and Ronaldo are totally different players.

I can't say who's the better one of them. Messi has beautiful technique, scores a lot, is an excellent dribbler also because he's a little guy.

Ronaldo, on the other hand, looks like a machine. It all looks so perfect with him. He combines power with intelligence and always strikes the ball perfect. They're both on the same level.

It's hard to argue with that description. But while Suarez professed nothing but admiration for the pair, Daniele De Rossi told Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Mark Doyle of Goal.com), "I've never faced Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo in the World Cup. Maybe I will have the chance to take on these monsters this year!"

De Rossi's lack of fear is reminiscent of Luke Skywalker telling Yoda he isn't afraid.

Yoda's simple response? "You will be. You... will... be..."

Perhaps De Rossi will be as well.

 

The Host Nation

No nation has quite the love affair with the sport of soccer than Brazil, and no country has had as much World Cup success. But this year's Cup won't be without its share of controversy, either.

There were protests at the 2013 Confederations Cup, and there have been many since. Many citizens in Brazil have decried the huge costs of the event. The construction of some stadiums has been behind schedule, and there have also been casualties during the construction. To expect the event to go off without a few hitches might be a tad on the optimistic side.

It is an odd contrast when a nation's love of the game and love for a team that very well could win the competition butts up against the angst that comes from the costs and sacrifices required to host a World Cup. It will be an interesting relationship to watch unfold come June, and it is one that might not be pacified by a few beautiful goals from Neymar.

 

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