AFTER the festival of football that is the World Cup got under way last night, today the tournament gets going in earnest, with three matches.
Mexico and Cameroon go head-to-head in the other Group A game at 5pm after Brazil and Croatia battled it out in the opener last night with Brazil winning 3-1.
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Ana Munoz, who lives and works in Bournemouth, is following her native Mexico.
She said: “We’re hoping for the best, we have a good team, we have some good players, they’re experienced.
“Hopefully we will do well against Cameroon and if there is a win at the beginning they will have confidence.
“The Mexican people have high hopes. We’re used to the heat and looking forward to showing what we’ve got.”
Then, Group B gets going, with Spain taking on the Netherlands at 8pm in a repeat of the 2010 World Cup final, which saw Spain win their first tournament.
Darren Rodriguez, who lives in Bournemouth, is half-Spanish and will be cheering the side on.
He said: “A lot of people seem to be writing Spain off, but I think they should not be underestimated.
“After a poor Confederations Cup in Brazil last year where they were soundly beaten by Brazil in the final, they qualified easily in a group including France, conceding only three goals.
“They’ve struggled in last couple of years scoring goals, but with Diego Costa choosing Spain over his native Brazil, they should now have a cutting edge to go with the dominance of their midfield, with Xavi and possibly Iniesta playing in their last World Cup.
“The team is ageing and may struggle against the youthful Dutch, but I fancy Spain for 2-1 win on Friday and three points towards their quest towards retaining the World Cup.”
Rounding off the day’s games will be Chile against Australia in the other Group B match.
It will be an important game for both sides, with each facing an uphill challenge to qualify for the knockout stages ahead of Spain and the Netherlands.