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Germany-Ghana match has big implications for U.S. on Saturday

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Yesterday in one sentence: Costa Rica did CONCACAF proud and Honduras tried, but France put on a performance against a fraudulent Swiss side that not many European sides have been capable of in Brazil.

What’s on tap: Argentina vs. Iran, 12 p.m., ESPN; Germany vs. Ghana, 3 p.m., ESPN; Nigeria vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 6 p.m..

What you’ll see: The day’s opener will feature Lionel Messi and the uber-talented Argentine side try to break down a group of Iranians that will park the bus in front of goal under Portuguese manager Carlos Queiroz. I suggest you run errands during this one and watch highlights of what Messi does after the fact.

The real highlight of the day is a match of great import to the United States. No, it’s not our CONCACAF brethren trying to take more World Cup scalps on a quest for Western Hemisphere dominance. It’s Germany against Ghana.

Some are hoping that Germany cruises to victory here as it did against Portugal Monday, which would theoretically allow it to lie down next Thursday against the United States. Ghana, of course, probably deserved some kind of points against America on Monday, and will probably start its two best players — Kevin-Prince Boateng and Michael Essien — rather than keep them on the bench for an hour. If Ghana can steal points off the Germans, it would put an even bigger emphasis on the U.S.-Portugal match tomorrow. There is certainly a lot riding on today’s

And as an aside, for all the citizenship shenanigans America pulls with its soccer team (shout out to John Brooks!), nothing is sillier than the fact that this match will feature two brothers — Jerome Boateng and Kevin-Prince Boateng — playing for different countries.

Nigeria was part of a boring draw with Iran in its opening match, and faces a Bosnian side that understandably lost to Argentina but desperately needs to win Saturday to advance from the group. In what will be a battle between the disappointing European record and the disappointing African record at this World Cup, I choose Bosnia.

jmeoli@baltsun.com

www.twitter.com/jonmeoli

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