Soccer / Sports

World Cup games Thursday


Where: Recife. Time: 12 p.m. EDT. TV: ESPN, Univision.

The buzz: The U.S. was on to the round of 16 before Portugal scored in the final seconds Sunday to forge a tie. So now the U.S. has to do it again. A victory or a tie against Germany, the No. 2 team in the world, sends the U.S. to the knockout round. Anything less and it risks elimination should Ghana beat Portugal and overcome the two-goal lead the U.S. has in goal differential, the first tiebreaker. Germany, which enters the group-play final tied with the U.S. atop the group, faces a similar scenario to advance, but has a superior goal differential that would qualify it for the next round even with a loss to the U.S.


Where: Brasilia. Time: 12 p.m. EDT. TV: ESPN2, UniMas/Galavision.

The buzz: Ghana again can eliminate the U.S. from the World Cup if the U.S. loses to Germany and Ghana beats Portugal and makes up a two-goal differential to win the tiebreaker. If the U.S. and Ghana finish tied in the standings, goal differential and goals scored, the U.S. would advance because it beat Ghana head to head. Technically, Portugal still has a chance to advance, but its goal differential minus-four, so it would need a one-sided victory combined with a one-sided U.S. loss to move on. Portugal, ravaged by injuries, will get defensive leader Pepe back after a one-game suspension.


Where: Sao Paulo. Time: 4 p.m. EDT. TV: ESPN, Univision.

The buzz: Belgium, which sputtered out of the gate in Brazil, is on to the second round but needs a victory or a tie here to win the group and earn a better draw in the knockout stage. South Korea needs a miracle: a victory, an Algeria loss to Russia and the right amount of scoring in both games to make up a one-goal deficit to Russia. Belgium coach Marc Wilmots will make South Korea's road a little easier by resting several regulars ahead of next week's second-round opener.


Where: Curitiba. Time: 4 p.m. EDT. TV: ESPN2, UniMas/Galavision.

The buzz: Algeria can move on to the second round for the first time with a tie but Russia needs a victory to have any hope of advancing. To make their dream reality, the Russians will have to score, though, something they've done only once in this World Cup. The Algerians scored an African-record four times in their last game.

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