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No U.S.A., but plenty of other key World Cup qualifying games on TV

Just because Saturday night's Honduras-U.S. World Cup qualifying match is not being shown in the U.S. except on closed-circuit does not mean that that small box in your living room is a soccer wasteland.

On the contrary, there are all sorts of interesting games on tap on Saturday. Here, in chronological order, are eight of the potentially most intriguing:

Brazil vs. Germany (Under-20 World Cup quarterfinal) (7:25 a.m., Galavision)

Live from Egypt, the best of South America against the best of Europe in a clash of tradition rivals. Ghana and Hungary reached the semifinals on Friday.

Russia vs. Germany (World Cup qualifying) (7:55 a.m., Setanta Sports USA)

Does Coach Guus Hiddink work his magic again in Moscow and foil the Germans' bid to clinch their place at the South Africa 2010 World Cup?

Bahrain vs. New Zealand (World Cup qualifying playoff) (8:30 a.m., FSC)

This is the first of a home-and-home series, the winner of which will be going to South Africa next year. The second game is in New Zealand on Nov. 14.

United Arab Emirates vs. Costa Rica (Under-20 World Cup quarterfinal) (10:55 a.m., Galavision)

It could be a good day or a bad day for the Ticos and their fans, depending on what happens in this match in Egypt and later in San Jose, Costa Rica (see below).

Denmark vs. Sweden (World Cup qualifying) (11 a.m., FSE; 2 p.m., FSC)

The Danes should have wrapped things up a long time ago. They didn't, and now the Swedes, the Portuguese and the Hungarians are waiting to pounce. Should be a lively time in old Copenhagen.

Portugal vs. Hungary (World Cup qualifying) (12:40 p.m., Setanta Sports USA)

The Portuguese have to win this one or reigning FIFA world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo will not be going to a second World Cup, at least not until Brazil 2014.

Mexico vs. El Salvador (World Cup qualifying) (3 p.m., Telemundo)

El Tri can secure its place in South Africa with a victory at Estadio Azteca, and Coach Javier Aguirre is expecting nothing less, even with Giovanni Dos Santos and Cuauhtemoc Blanco injured.

Costa Rica vs. Trinidad and Tobago (World Cup qualifying) (7 p.m., GOL TV)

The visiting Soca Warriors have nothing to play for except pride, but for Costa Rica this match means everything ahead of its Wednesday finale against the U.S. in Washington.

-- Grahame L. Jones

 
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