World Cup: Brazil to face Croatia in opener

Costa Do Sauipe, Brazil, Dec 6 : Former world champions Brazil will start next year's World Cup against Croatia on June 12 next year.

Friday's draw procedure saw current champion Spain and runners-up Netherlands being put in the same Group B along with Australia and Chile.

Spain will start their campaign to defend the title by playing 2010's opponent Netherlands in Salvador next year.

Uruguay, Italy, England and Costa Rica has been placed in Group D, making it another tough group.

Germany has been put together in Group G with Ghana, USA and Portugal.

Host nation Brazil have Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon in Group A as they will attempt to lift the trophy another time.

Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is the only World Cup newcomer among the 32 teams, is placed along with Argentina, Iran, Nigeria in Group F.

The final will be played in Rio de Janeiro on July 13.

"The Final Draw took place at the luxurious Costa do Sauipe in Salvador. It was conducted by FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke, assisted by Cafu, Fabio Cannavaro, Alcides Ghiggia, Fernando Hierro, Sir Geoff Hurst, Mario Kempes, Lothar Matthaus and Zinedine Zidane, who were representing the eight World Cup winners," the FIFA website said.

The groups are as follows:

Group A: Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon

Group B: Spain, Netherlands, Chile, Australia

Group C: Colombia, Greece, Cote d'Ivoire, Japan

Group D: Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy

Group E: Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras

Group F: Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran, Nigeria

Group G: Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA

Group H: Belgium, Algeria, Russia, Korea Republic

--IBNS (Posted on 07-12-2013)

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