Sunday’s World Cup action is lining up to be a riveting one.
Following Saturday’s four-game slate that ended a four-day streak of at least one 0-0 game, goals became slightly more common.
Australia’s first-half goal was enough to get three points against Tunisia, Robert Lewandowski got Poland on the board with a 2-0 win over Saudi Arabia, Kylian Mbappé bagged a brace to get France past Denmark 2-1 and into the knockout stage and Argentina survived early elimination with a 2-0 win against Mexico to round out the day.
Now looking ahead to today, all four games have high stakes involved, primarily the 2014 World Cup champions. Let’s look at what games are happening throughout Sunday:
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Japan vs. Costa Rica, Group E
Elimination and potential advancement are both on the line to start the day. Japan, fresh off a 2-1 upset win over Germany in its Group E opener, can get one step closer to knockout stage contention with another three points, depending on what happens in the other Group E affair.
Costa Rica, meanwhile, are on the brink of elimination with a loss. After losing 7-0 to Spain in its opener, Los Ticos could have points and goal differential weighing them down if they can’t get a win or tie against Japan.
Kickoff time is 5 a.m. ET and 2 a.m. PT, which is 1 p.m. locally in Qatar.
Belgium vs. Morocco, Group F
Belgium can also get one step closer to the knockout stage after narrowly defeating Canada 1-0 in its opener. On the other hand, Morocco managed a draw against Croatia to grab a point and are still in the race for a top-two finish.
The Red Devils made it to the semifinals in the 2018 World Cup before ultimately taking home third place, but their performance against Canada left a lot to be desired. Morocco will look to at least snag another point from the other European powerhouse in Group E.
Kickoff time is 8 a.m. ET and 5 a.m. PT, which is 4 p.m. locally in Qatar.
Canada vs. Croatia, Group F
Canadian manager John Herdman turned a matchup between two teams that have never played one another to a potential gritty affair. After Canada’s 1-0 loss to Belgium, Herdman told his players that they belong on this stage and need to “F” Croatia next, which the Vatreni didn’t take kindly.
Zlatko Dalić, the Croatian manager, told reporters in a pre-game conference: “This way of putting words together is not a sign of respect. We are runners up, we deserve respect.”
A loss will make it mightily difficult for Canada to advance after finishing in first place in CONCACAF qualifiers, while a win for Croatia will be huge going into Thursday’s Group E finale against Belgium.
Kickoff time is 11 a.m. ET and 8 a.m. PT, which is 7 p.m. locally in Qatar.
Spain vs. Germany, Group E
The best game is saved for last. The 2010 and 2014 World Cup winners will face off in a game that holds colossal stakes for Germany. A loss would eliminate the side from knockout stage contention for the second straight tournament.
Spain, meanwhile, are flying high with confidence after an easy 7-0 win against Costa Rica. It won’t be as straightforward for La Furia Roja this time around, but a win or tie pushes them closer to advancing to the round of 16, where they fell to Russia in 2018.
Kickoff time is 2 p.m. ET and 11 a.m. ET, which is 10 p.m. locally in Qatar.