The FIFA World Cup heads into the second day with three pulsating matches slated throughout the afternoon, but none more intriguing than the Group A showdown between emerging powerhouse Mexico and African superpower Cameroon Monday (2:00 a.m Sydney Time) at Estadio das DunasNatal in Brazil.
With the host country already securing three points after scoring a 3-1 victory over Croatia in the opening game, Mexico and Cameroon are expected to go all out against each other, as they try to keep themselves within striking position before their showdown between the Selecao.
After winning the gold medal match over Brazil in the 2012 Olympics, Mexico's crop of talented youngsters had a bumpy journey on their way to Rio as they only mustered a mediocre 2-3-5 win-lose-draw record throughout the World Cup qualification.
The Mexicans, which were losing to Costa Rica on the last day of qualifying, needed a goal from Graham Zusi of the United States in the game against Panama to force a two-game playoff with Oceania qualifier New Zealand for the final berth in the World Cup.
Despite the hiccups, Radio and sports columnist Alfredo Dominguez Muro believe people will eventually forget the nightmarish run Mexico had in the qualifier, because all is important is to qualify.
"For me, it is not a matter of how you get there, as long as you get there, and the real challenge starts now for our team," said Alfredo Domínguez Muro, a radio host and sports columnist in Mexico. "Whoever gets lost in that superficial drama forgets that the 32 teams that get to the World Cup got there however they could."
Meanwhile, Cameroon enters the big stage trying to foil down the infighting back home. Samuel Eto'o is expected to be the indomitable Lions' main weapon on the offensive end, but their defensive line is what makes Cameroon more formidable than any other African team in this edition of the World Cup.
According to ESPN FC writers Andrea Canales and Salim Said, the showdown between former Barcelona mainstays Rafael Marquez of Mexico and Eto'o will provide spectators with some toe-to-toe actions in the match.
"Rafael Marquez and Eto'o is an especially intriguing match-up because both players were teammates at Barcelona for years. As Marquez is a defender and Eto'o a striker, they no doubt went hard at each other in countless training sessions, and may be aware of certain tendencies of the other's game that perhaps can still be exploited," ESPN FC reported.
Live Stream Information
Watch the live streaming match of Brazil and Croatia via the tournament's official site, FIFA.COM, orESPN and ITV. ESPN Radio will also provide audio streaming of the match while Gamecast and Stats are available on ESPN FC.