THE DAY REPLAYED - Day nine of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ was high on colour - with blue featuring heavily. In the day’s opening game, Italy’s Azzurri were made to pay for their profligacy in front of goal by an enterprising and solid Costa Rica side, who scored a famous win to check into the Round of 16.
Wearing white shirts on Friday, France’s Bleus are close to joining them following their five-goal demolition of Switzerland in Group E, where Ecuador moved back into contention by coming from behind to beat Honduras, the eighth time already that a team has fought back from a goal down to win at Brazil 2014.
Italy 0-1 Costa Rica (Budweiser Man of the Match: Bryan Ruiz, CRC)
Switzerland 2-5 France (Budweiser Man of the Match: Karim Benzema, FRA)
Honduras 1-2 Ecuador (Budweiser Man of the Match: Enner Valencia, ECU)
More fireworks in Salvador: The Arena Fonte Nova was yet again the place to be on Friday. The scene of the Netherlands’ spectacular comeback against Spain a week ago and of Germany’s emphatic defeat of Portugal, the stadium hosted another goal-fest as France overwhelmed Switzerland, taking the tally of goals scored at the ground to 17 in three games. In contrast, the Estadio das Dunas in Natal – the only other venue to have hosted three games to date – has seen just four goals in three games. The French led the Swiss 3-0 at half-time, the first time they have scored three goals in the opening 45 minutes of a World Cup match since beating Hungary 3-1 at Argentina 1978.
Ticos pass the test: Costa Rica joined the Netherlands, Chile and Colombia in the last 16 of the tournament courtesy of their surprise defeat of the Italians. The Group D underdogs were in no way overawed at facing La Squadra Azzurra, who ended a world-finals match goalless for the first time since drawing 0-0 with the hosts in the last eight at France 1998. Regarded by many as the toughest pool of the competition, Group D has held no fears for Los Ticos, who have made it to the knockout stages for the second time in their history, 24 years after Italy 1990.
Lights out for England: Costa Rica’s unexpected victory was bad news for England, who are now out of the competition. Making their 14th world-finals appearance, the English were hoping for an Italy win, having lost their first two games 2-1. It was not to be, however, as the men in white, who now only have pride to play for in their final match against Los Ticos, fell in the opening round for the first time since Sweden 1958.
Catrachos back on target: In opening the score against Ecuador, Honduras’ Carlos Costly claimed his country’s first World Cup goal 32 years to the day since their last, struck by Eduardo Laing against Northern Ireland at Spain 1982. Costly’s father Allan was on the pitch that day, which came just a few short weeks before La H’s latest goalscoring hero was born.
Argentina-Iran, 13:00, Belo Horizonte
Germany-Ghana 16:00, Fortaleza
Nigeria-Bosnia and Herzegovina, 18:00 Cuiaba
100 - Lucien Laurent of France was the FIFA World Cup’s first ever goalscorer at Uruguay 1930. Some 84 years on, Olivier Giroud scored Les Bleus’ 100th goal in the competition.
Tweet of the day
France midfielder and scorer of
second goal today, Blaise Matuidi tweeted his joy from the changing room after the match.
"In the dressing room after this great victory, congratulations to the guys and thanks to the fans for your support
Dans le vestiaire après cette belle victoire,bravo les gars et merci aux supporter pour leur soutien#AllezLesBleus pic.twitter.com/JdKSQGiTwr
— Blaise MATUIDI (@MATUIDIBlaise) June 20, 2014
Have your say
Will it be Uruguay or Italy who takes the second qualifying slot in Group D?