5 Can't-Miss World Cup 2014 Matches

Naturally, you should watch all 64 matches. But if you have to choose, here are the obligatory five.

By Marty Patail June 2, 2014 Published in the June 2014 issue of Portland Monthly

Spain vs. Netherlands
June 13, noon

A mouthwatering rematch of the 2010 World Cup final in South Africa, which Spain won with a single late goal. Can the Dutch redeem themselves? In 1618 they finally threw off the yoke of Spanish rule and started the collapse of the Habsburg Empire. So, sure. Why not? 

Germany vs. Portugal
June 16, 9 a.m.

The ever-organized Germans—the favorites to win it all in many eyes—square off against the one-man show of Portugal, which stars one of the world’s best (and arguably best-looking) players, Cristiano Ronaldo. Will the Teutons hold against the torrent of hair gel? 

USA vs. Ghana
June 16, 3 p.m.

2006: Ghana eliminates USA from the World Cup. 2010: Ghana eliminates USA from the World Cup. 2014: Well, soccer can be a cruel, cruel sport—but the Americans will play with something to prove. 

Brazil vs. Mexico
June 17, noon

The World Cup’s highly ranked hosts take on an unusually struggling Mexican team, which barely squeaked into the tournament. Whatever happens, rest assured, everyone from countries north and south of Mexico will be rooting for Brazil. 

England vs. Uruguay
June 19, noon

The World Cup inspires national nervous breakdowns in England—a delightful prospect that should be exacerbated by the presence of Luis Suárez, a Uruguayan striker/troublemaker who has terrorized the English Premier League by scoring mass goals, and sometimes biting people.

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