Excitement is building, the stage is set, the teams are ready and so are we.
The opening game to a World Cup can be a funny old affair. A fixture that often produces odd results.
The first game always features the holders. The team that qualifies automatically are often without competitive football for more than 2 years, sometimes longer, so is it really a surprise when things often go wrong?
The pressure of opening a World cup can get to even the most experienced of players, here we take a look at some of the most eye catching opening duels in World Cup history.
Germany v Costa Rica
In 2006 the pressure on Germany opening the World Cup on home soil was immense, Phillip Lahm soon settled any nerves with a wonder strike in the 6th minute.
Jurgen Klinsmann’s men didn’t have it all their own way with Paulo Wanchope equalizing before Germany’s class shone through. Wanchope made it 3-2 but the Germans scored a 4th to put the match beyond doubt. A cracking opening encounter that showed the World the Germans were vulnerable, they eventually finished a disappointing 3rd.
Brazil vs Scotland
Brazil have won it the most and Scotland have never made it past the group stages. The stage was set for an opening day annihilation.
Despite the gulf in class the final result wasn’t a disgrace and Scotland played well, equalizing through a John Collins penalty before conceding the winner.
France v Senegal
France came into this game as World Cup and European Championship holders and were expected to make short work of Senegal.
Senegal were full of running and technically far better than the French expected.
The match finished 1-0 to Senegal and signaled the end of French international dominance.
Argentina v Cameroon
One of the biggest World Cup shocks ever happened in the opening game of the 1990 finals.
World cup holders Argentina were expected to win comfortably, kick starting their quest for a 3rd World Cup win, Cameroon had other ideas.
Argentina were poor, The Cameroonians took full advantage and won the game 1-0 despite finishing the match with 9 men. Argentina recovered and reached the final losing out to West Germany.