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5 things: What to watch for at the World Cup this weekend

By Ben Brumfield, CNN
updated 2:26 PM EDT, Sat June 28, 2014
James Rodriguez of Colombia, center, celebrates scoring his team's second goal and his second during the World Cup game between Colombia and Uruguay in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday, June 28. Rodriguez set the record of most goals by one player in this World Cup with five goals to his name. James Rodriguez of Colombia, center, celebrates scoring his team's second goal and his second during the World Cup game between Colombia and Uruguay in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday, June 28. Rodriguez set the record of most goals by one player in this World Cup with five goals to his name.
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World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
World Cup: The best photos from June 28
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The U.S. gets a break, but there are some magical matches coming this weekend
  • First up, team Brazil, the beauty in the "beautiful game"
  • Mexico plays dogged defense against this year's highest scorers from the Netherlands
  • Looking to score with the right match? Dating apps go ape at Brazil World Cup

(CNN) -- Like what you've seen so far? Well, the World Cup will dish up even more soccer superlatives as the "Round of 16" kicks off on Saturday.

After surviving the "Group of Death," the U.S. soccer team will have to duck a knockout punch this week. Or throw one themselves.

With the complicated math of group play gone, the elimination principal will take to the pitch with the squads. That means it's win or go home. Team USA has to knock Belgium out cold to advance to the quarterfinals.

That's not until Tuesday. But wait! Leave that TV on!

United States fans cheer during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil group G match between the United States and Germany at Arena Pernambuco on June 26, 2014 in Recife, Brazil. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
United States fans cheer during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil group G match between the United States and Germany at Arena Pernambuco on June 26, 2014 in Recife, Brazil. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Nascent U.S. footy fans shouldn't get tempted to take a break along with the home team they've newly fallen in love with, or they'll miss big games like Mexico vs. Netherlands on Sunday -- and the ultimate futbol acrobats on Saturday:

They're the beauty in the "beautiful game," the big kahuna, the unmatched five-time World Cup champions, the team sportscasters call "The Scratch" -- that has proven that soccer can be better than you-know-what: Brazil.

Here are this weekend's four knockout matches with viewing times and channels -- and at bottom, a fun way to find a love match and score yourself at the cup.

1. "The Scratch"

Brazil vs. Chile, noon ET Saturday on ABC, Univision

Despite the home field advantage, the Brazilian team is getting the jitters as rival Chile approaches, Brazil's coach told the BBC. But that's "normal," he said.

It doesn't seem to calm their nerves that FIFA ranks Chile's team 14th and Brazil's 3rd in the world.

-- Or that Brazil has won 48 of the two teams' 68 previous face-offs.

-- Or that it scored 159 goals vs. 58 for Chile in those matches.

-- Or that Brazil has shot seven goals in this tournament so far to Chile's five.

-- Or that Brazil has fired 23 shots on target at the goal at this World Cup compared to 10 for Chile.

Forget all of it. It doesn't matter.

FIFA ranked Spain No. 1, and they've already gone home.

If Chile gets just one more point than Brazil -- just the right ankle-breaking dance to the goal by maestro forward Alexis Sanchez -- or if their impenetrable goalie Claudio Bravo holds off one last goal attempt by Brazil.

Then Brazil goes home, too.

Er, uh, wait. They're home already. But they'd have to sit in the stands in front of the whole country without that sixth championship star on their jerseys.

2. The bite

Colombia vs. Uruguay, 4 p.m. ET Saturday on ABC, Univision

It's almost like Colombia never lost star striker Radamel Falcao to injury even before the cup started.

They ate up their competitors in Group C play and go to the knockout round euphoric.

And at the same time, Uruguay literally lost a lot of its bite this week when FIFA suspended forward Luis Suarez for four months for ... well ... biting another player.

He's a massive scorer -- saved his team after it lost to Costa Rica 3-1 in Group D play. He shot both goals, when Uruguay downed England 2-1.

Uruguay's team is raving mad at FIFA for sending Suarez home. Maybe it will give the team the fire in the belly it needs to keep from joining him at Colombia's hands.

In their previous matchups, Uruguay has come out on top much more often. And they've still got forward Edinson Cavini, whom FIFA calls "a born goalscorer."

And he has a reputation for being much more laid back than Suarez.

Sports clothier Adidas has had some fun with the infamous chomp.

3. Big cheese or whole enchilada

Netherlands vs. Mexico, noon ET Sunday, ESPN, Univision

Call it Offense vs. Defense.

The Netherlands are to Europe what Wisconsin is to the United States in its clichéd role as a cheese maker -- although in reality, the European Union says Germany and France make more of it. But Holland has the stuff to be the big cheese of global soccer this year.

The guys in screaming orange jerseys have shot the most goals in this year's World Cup -- 10, compared to the top two seeds -- Germany's and Brazil -- which have seven each.

They dominated their group, roundly stomping reigning world champ Spain 5-1 in their first game.

Mexico has played more defense than offense, scoring only four goals so far but also allowing only one. They held Brazil to a 0-0 tie.

But Mexico may have just turned up the heat. It looks like their scoring hope Javier Hernandez just got cranked in their 3-1 win against Croatia.

If they beat the Dutch, they would reach the level of their best ever performance at the World Cup. They've only previously made it to the group of eight twice before.

4. Pleased to meet you. Now, please, go home!

Costa Rica vs. Greece, 4 p.m. ET Sunday, ESPN, Univision

They've never met on a World Cup pitch before. And it's no wonder.

This is only Costa Rica's third appearance at a World Cup, and only Greece's second.

Greece has shot only two goals so far this tournament but also allowed only one. Costa Rica has shot twice as many, while allowing only one and putting away major contenders Italy and Uruguay.

Sound like Greece is the underdog? Consider that FIFA ranks the team 12th in the world and Costa Rica 28th.

Remember many good things come from Greece, even if they are from Brazil:

5. Scoring apps

No, no, not apps to keep score of the game. Apps to find the right match -- as in people to date.

Tinder and Blendr are dating apps for smart phones, and they're booming in Brazil at the World Cup.

World Cup fan zone in Sao Paulo
World Cup fan zone in Sao Paulo

With more than 600,000 fans pouring into Brazil for the tournament, Tinder says usage and downloads here have jumped 50%.

Many locals are using it to meet visitors from around the world.

At bars and open-air fan game viewing sites, people are checking their smart phones to see how many new matches they have -- and the apps turn up plenty of people to meet.

Time for a chat. Maybe with a particular goal in mind?

---------------------------------------

CNN's Rick Martin and Shasta Darlington contributed to this report. Fan zone photo by Rick Martin.

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