Tuesday's WCup lookahead capsules

Capsules for Tuesday's matches at the World Cup (FIFA rankings in parentheses):


New Zealand (78) vs. Slovakia (34), 7:30 a.m.
Group F

New Zealand practically qualified by default after Australia left the Oceania region to join Asia.

New Zealand: New Zealand captain and central defender Ryan Nelsen, who plays for Blackburn, is one of the few pros on his national team.

Slovakia: Slovakia coach Vladimir Weiss has his son, also named Vladimir, on the squad. And the coach's father — yes, also Vladimir — played for Czechoslovakia.

Notable Fact: Slovakia is in its first international tournament as an independent nation since the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993. New Zealand is returning to the World Cup stage for the first time since its debut in 1982.


Ivory Coast (27) vs. Portugal (3), 10 a.m.
Group F
Port Elizabeth

Ivory Coast coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, a Swede, twice led England to the quarterfinals of World Cups.

Ivory Coast: Star Didier Drogba broke his right arm in a friendly against Japan and his availability is uncertain. He is the key to Ivory Coast chances.

Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo, the 2008 world player of the year, hasn't scored for Portugal for 16 months, and a continued drought could cause huge problems for his team.

Notable Fact: Portugal features a trio of Brazilian-born players: defender Pepe, midfielder Deco and striker Liedson.


Brazil (1) vs. North Korea (105), 2:30 p.m.
Group F

Coach Dunga has turned Brazil into a more defense-minded team, a style that helped it win the 1994 title when he was captain.

Brazil: With Kaka its main playmaker and Luis Fabiano, Robinho and Kaka as finishers, Brazil should score. But the key players might be defenders Lucio and Maicon.

North Korea: The last time reclusive North Korea made the tournament, it stunned Italy and made the quarterfinals. It's the lowest-ranked team in the tournament.

Notable Fact: Brazil is the only five-time champion and has won the first World Cups staged in Scandinavia, North America and Asia. This is the first World Cup in Africa.