Football Language: To face
The verb to face someone or something really means to challenge or to go against. When we say that a team is facing another team we mean that they are playing against them. So, England will face Tunisia in their first World Cup match in Volgograd on June 18th – their first game is against the Tunisian side. Sometimes it is used with a player’s name rather than a team, so for example, Iceland’s fans are delighted that their team will face Messi in the World Cup.
Example: Hosts Russia face Saudi Arabia in the opening game of the 2018 World Cup next summer.
Example: ‘Germany… will likely face three robust examinations against Mexico, Sweden and South Korea as they try to retain the title for the first time since Brazil did so in 1962.’ (BBC.co.uk December 1st 2017)