Brazil, Croatia to kick off 2014 World Cup

Costa do Saupie (Brazil), Dec 7: Hosts Brazil will play Croatia in the opening match of the 2014 World Cup June 12 in Sao Paulo, as the draw was completed here Friday.

After the draw ceremony held in the north-eastern Brazilian resort, Spain and the Netherlands, who contested the 2010 final, will face off in their first game in Group B.

Italy, who were selected from 9-team pot 4 to fill the spare slot left by the 7-team pot 2, sunk in a group that contains three former champions – Uruguay, England, and themselves, in Group D.

Both in Group F, Argentina and Nigeria will meet again in the round robin, as they did in 2002 and 2010.

Another group with a story to tell is Group G, in which former German national coach Jurgen Klinsmann, now with the US, faces off against his former assistant Joachim Low and compatriots Germany.

Following is the draw for Brazil 2014 (seeds listed first):

Group A: Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon

Group B: Spain, Netherlands, Chile, Australia

Group C: Colombia, Greece, Cote d’Ivoire, Japan

Group D: Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy

Group E: Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras

Group F: Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran, Nigeria

Group G: Germany, Portugal, Ghana, the US

Group H: Belgium, Algeria, Russia, South Korea