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FIFA World Cup draw finalized

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

FIFA World Cup draw finalized

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COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil (AP) – Defending champion Spain will play their opening World Cup game against the Netherlands, a repeat of the 2010 final, while hosts Brazil face a relatively easy path to the knockout stage after today’s draw.
The United States were drawn in the toughest group with Germany, Portugal and Ghana.
“Difficult draw, but a group the U.S. can get through if they play well,” former U.S. coach Bruce Arena told The Associated Press.
Brazil start their campaign for a sixth World Cup title with an opener against Croatia. Mexico and Cameroon are also in the group.
Bosnia-Herzegovina, the only World Cup newcomer among the 32 teams, play their opener against Argentina. Iran and Nigeria were also drawn in that Group F.
Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan are in Group C, with Uruguay, Costa Rica, England and Italy in a strong Group D.
One of the easiest groups on paper looked to be E, with Switzerland, Ecuador, France and Honduras.
Russia, hosts of the next World Cup, are in Group H with Belgium, Algeria and Korea.