World Cup: Mexico, Croatia in deciding game for Group A

World Cup: Mexico, Croatia in deciding game for Group A
June 23, 2014, 10:30 am
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Game of the Day: Croatia vs. Mexico, 4 p.m. ET (ESPN)

CONCACAF foe Mexico face-off against Croatia in a must-win for both teams to advance to the Round of 16 in the most important game of the day. Croatia was the likely favorite to advance before the World Cup, but after Mexico's draw against Brazil all bets are off. The Croatians are the more talented team, and with Mario Mandzukic back in the fold they should have the advantage.

However, as we saw against Brazil, Guillermo Ochoa can have a game of sheer brilliance in him and there is nothing the Croatians can really do. Mexico were on the defensive for most of the game against Brazil, but should show more of an attack against the Croatians with their fate on the line.

Player of the Day: F Neymar, Brazil

Who else would it be? Neymar, the star for the host country, is looking to win the Golden Boot in his first World Cup and has a chance to add a few goals against the porous defense from Cameroon. It probably won't help that the Cameroonian defenders are in shambles following a headbutt in their previous match.

Best of the Rest: In what should be the best game, not the most important, Chile and the Netherlands face off in a game that will decide the top two spots in Group B. With both teams already guaranteed advancement, it should be interesting to see how attacking both teams go. We could be in for a real thrill as they try to avoid facing Brazil in the next round.

Spain and Australia face off in the final game of the day, and with the Spaniards shockingly already out, it will be interesting to see what changes the make in their final game of the World Cup. We already know Iker Casillias will be on the bench and Pepe Reina will be in goal. 

Day in Rewind: The United States and Portugal played an incredible game on Sunday night, and it was reflected in the ratings as the posted the highest-rated soccer game on ESPN ever. The game was a dagger, but after the United States stole a win against Ghana in a game they should have drawn, it seemed fitting that they then gave up a game-tying goal at the end of the game. Okay, maybe not fitting. It was more like heartbreaking and I'm still not over it. 

Belgium were uninspiring again in their game against Russia, while South Korea and Algeria played a much more entertaining game than I expected earlier in the day.

Football Follies: A water break. The United States and Portugal will now be known for the first official water break in World Cup history. To be fair, it was near 100 degrees and humidity was off the charts. 

Predictions: Spain 2, Australia 1. Netherlands 3, Chile 2. Brazil 4, Cameroon 0. Croatia 2, Mexico 1.