Germany (4-0) Portugal

The “Marquee Matchup” Was All Muller

here Pepe's headbutt earned him a red card.

UPDATE: As it turns out, the “marquee matchup” between Germany and Portugal never materialized. The Germans scored four unanswered goals – including a hat trick from Thomas Muller – in a surprising rout of Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portugal teammates, the worst defeat by a Portuguese World Cup team at the World Cup.

Original post:

World Cup matches don’t get much more competitive than this one – especially in group play. Today at 12 pm ET (4 PM UTC), Group G  – the dreaded “Group of Death” – kicks off between football powerhouses Germany and Portugal.  Based on the FIFA world rankings, Germany (ranked 2nd best team in the world) is the slight favorite (Portugal is ranked 4th), but Portugal has the football power (and star power) of Cristiano Ronaldo on their side. No wonder many experts consider this to be the marquee matchup in this year’s group play.

For play-by-play, minute-by-minute coverage of every ball touch, throw-in, direct kick, indirect kick, yellow card, red card, corner kick, goal kick and every other possible football feat in every World Cup match, tap into VOA’s multilingual, multinational analysis.

Click here to follow the action live, or follow along on Facebook, or on Twitter with #WorldCupVOA.

And for even more exclusive VOA coverage with a special focus on Africa’s national teams, check out VOA’s Francophone blog.

Who Will Win the 2014 World Cup?

It’s finally here – today marks the start of the 2014 World Cup! The tournament kicks off with the opening ceremony at 6 PM UTC, followed by the first match at 8 PM UTC: Croatia against the host nation, Brazil.

World Cup mural.

All eyes will be on Brazil in the coming weeks, but not just the country. Brazil’s national team is considered a favorite to win it all – after all, they are on their home turf (literally). But there are many other good teams that could make a run at the title: Germany, Argentina, Portugal, and Spain, the 2010 World Cup winners. Or perhaps an underdog like Nigeria or Ghana will make it out of the group stage and have a chance at advancing.

Who’s your favorite to win the World Cup? Comment below to tell us who you want to win, who you think will win, and which matches you’re looking forward to. And of course, keep up with all the latest World Cup news here at, and on Facebook and Twitter.