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World Cup: Brazil favourites, second place conundrum in Group A

Rio de Janerio: With the likes of Neymar, Oscar and Willian in the side, few would bet against Brazil topping Group A of the FIFA World Cup but a second place dogfight between Croatia, Mexico

IANS [ Updated: May 29, 2014 15:27 IST ]
world cup brazil favourites second place conundrum in group
world cup brazil favourites second place conundrum in group a

Rio de Janerio: With the likes of Neymar, Oscar and Willian in the side, few would bet against Brazil topping Group A of the FIFA World Cup but a second place dogfight between Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon presents the real conundrum.





History favours the hosts in the group stage of the World Cup. They have played all the other three sides in the past.

Brazil's opponent in the June 12 opening match of the World Cup, Croatia, were their opponents in their first game in Germany in 2006 and a solitary Kaka goal made the difference. Cameroon faced Brazil in the US in 1994 and were thrashed 3-0, with the latter going on to win the tournament.

Brazil have met Mexico four times previously in the World Cup and have won thrice, while one game ended in a goalless draw. The last time the two countries met was in 1962, when Brazil won 2-0 and were eventually crowned the champions.

Brazil also comes into football's showpiece event with some momentum behind them after winning the FIFA Confederations Cup. They outclassed defending World and Euro champions Spain 3-0 in the final.

If one has to look at reputations, then Mexico should be the next best team.

But Mexico toiled in qualifying for the World Cup, needing a play-off against New Zealand to make it to Brazil after finishing fourth in the final CONCACAF qualifying group.

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Group A

  • Teams Matches Wins Losses Points NRR
  • India 4 4 0 8 +1.333
  • Pakistan 4 2 2 4 -0.556
  • Hong Kong 2 0 2 0 -1.748

Group B

  • Teams Matches Wins Losses Points NRR
  • Afghanistan 3 2 1 4 -0.072
  • Bangladesh 3 1 2 2 -1.329
  • Sri Lanka 2 0 2 0 -2.280