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Thursday's World Cup Action Features Pivotal Matches

  • VOA News

Thursday features pivotal matches for four teams at the World Cup in Brazil, as England, Uruguay, Greece and Japan try avoid a second loss that would knock them out of contention.

In Sao Paulo, Uruguay could get a boost from striker Luis Suarez in its match against England. Suarez missed Uruguay's opening loss to Costa Rica as he recovers from knee surgery last month.

England dropped its first match to Italy, leaving both teams in Thursday's Group D contest in need of earning at least a draw to have a chance of advancing to the final round of 16.

In Group C, Japan and Greece have the same challenge, after Japan lost to Ivory Coast and Greece fell to Colombia last Saturday.

Ivory Coast and Colombia face each other on Thursday in a battle for the group lead.

Defending World cup champion Spain was eliminated Wednesday after picking up its second loss in a 2-0 defeat to Chile in Group B.

The win for Chile assured it and the Netherlands will take the group's two spots in the next round.

The Netherlands overcame a goal by Australia in the 51st minute Wednesday, scoring two of its own in the next 15 minutes to win 3-2.
In Group A, Croatia kept its World Cup dreams alive with a 4-0 rout of Cameroon. After two matches, Croatia and its three points sit just behind group-leading Brazil and Mexico, which each have four points.

In other news, Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to be in Brazil for the end of the World Cup. He will take part in a handover ceremony after the tournament championship game on July 13. Russia will host the next World Cup in 2018.

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