By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANIERO, BRAZIL – The 2018 World Cup in Russia opened Thursday, June 14th, and now Brazil fans anxiously await Sunday (June 17th) to see the Seleção take the pitch in their opening match against Switzerland, at 3PM (local Rio time) at the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don, a city in southern Russia.
The group stage of the World Cup includes 48 games, played from June 14th to the 28th. There are eight groups, with four teams in each. They play each other within the group, totaling three matches for each of them. The two best in each group qualify for the second knockout phase in the round of sixteen, with the games being eliminatory.
Brazil is part of Group E, along with Serbia, Costa Rica and Switzerland. If the Seleção qualifies as the first in Group E, they will take on the second seed from Group F. If Brazil finishes second, they will face the first place team form Group F.
The Seleção schedule in the Group stage is as follows:
– Brazil x Switzerland – June 17th (Sunday), at 3PM
– Brazil x Costa Rica – June 22nd (Friday), at 9AM
– Brazil x Serbia – June 27th (Wednesday) at 3PM
In some cities, like Rio de Janeiro, public officials announced work as optional on the days Brazil plays, and retailers expect a holiday boost. For federal civil servants, the Ministry of Planning has issued an ordinance that flexes schedules on game days.
In Rio de Janeiro the city will certainly stop to watch the game, with Cariocas and foreigners alike pitching up at their favorite watering hole or hosting their own private viewings at home.
Managed by American expatriate Alex Barwinski, the Mexican restaurant and bar Blue Agave in Ipanema will be showing all the games. Barwinski shares, “When it comes to excitement, no games are as fun to watch as Brazil, the fans here go nuts!”
Adding, “We’ll be showing all the games of course, but tomorrow’s match with Switzerland will be huge, and we’re expecting the entire street full with everyone cheering on the Seleção!”