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So you can pretend you watched the games ( spoiler )
The Main News .
No more “Hope and Glory”, England have crashed out of the 2014 World cup in Brazil after only 9 days and two matches.
Costa Rica have qualified for the knock out stages after beating Italy 1.0 .
Italy will now face Uruguay in a crunch death match to decide who will progress.
The red, blue and white from Europe however is still been waved by the French who have qualified impressively after they demolished the Swiss.
Results from last night
Costa Rica 1 – 0 Italy
France 5 – 2 Switzerland
Honduras 1 – 2 Ecuador
The Actual Stats
Costa Rica produced their second stunning upset in a week to beat a very poor Italian side and confirm England were following Spain back to Europe earlier than hoped.
Apart from the returning Buffon in goal the only talking point for the Italians was Mario Balotelli wasting what was probably Italy’s best chance when he ran on to Andrea Pirlo’s superb pass and shot wide.
The Central Americans controlled most of the first half and as it wore on deserved their lead. It nearly came when Campbell checked inside and ran at the Italian defence. His run was ended in the penalty area, as Chiellini cut across him as he prepared to shoot.
It looked a clear penalty, but Chilean referee Enrique Osses waved play on to the disbelief of most in the crowd and those watching at home .
Thankfully for Costa Rica the next decision involved technology and this time it was on their side as Bryan Ruiz, the Fulham striker,, headed against the crossbar and saw the ball bounce over the line. (confirmed by the new goal line technology )
In the second half Italy improved but only marginally and they could make no impact on a very well oragnised Costa Rican side.
Italy will need to improve or they will be likely to be joining the Spanish and English heading back to Europe with their tails between their legs .
What a difference for European hopes the next match was!
Of course it was an all European affair so it must be viewed accordingly , but , the French are building up a head of steam and have successfully chartered their way into the next round already with a very impressive demoltion of Switzerland.
Les Bleus, seeking to reach a third final in five World Cups, annihilated a poor Swiss team and sent out a clear message of intent to their rivals.
At least thanks to the Premier league there is still some interests for the English club supporters . It was Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud who broke the deadlock fro France with a stunning header which was then 66 seconds later followed up by a screamer from Matuid after some poor goalkeeping.
Mathieu Valbuena added a third before Karim Benzema made up for his earlier penalty which was saved. Sissoko completed the thrashing and made it 5-0 before the two late consolations from Blerim Dzemaili and Granit Xhaka as France took their foot of the pedal a little .
The last game of the day saw a fine performance from Enner Valencia of Ecuador as he scored two goals to give his country a great comeback win 2.1 over Honduras.
Carlo Costly , the man with the name for puns , latched onto a long ball and thrashed in a low shot from 20yards to give Honduras a lead after half hour. Ecuador came back quickly and equalized when a deflected cross fell for Valencia who slotted home
Honduras did press for an equaliser but the goal eluded them and they have now lost both of their first two group games.
So as Day 10 begins tonight’s matches will see two of the early favorites continue their campaigns to reach the next stage as both Germany and Argentina start their second matches knowing that some big teams have already fallen. The matches are coming thick and fast and there are still some shocks and surprises to come ! What a good World Cup.
Argentina v Iran
Germany v Ghana
Nigeria v Bosnia- Herzegovina