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Costa Rica took down Italy, advancing to the round of 16 for only the second time in World Cup history. France tied their record of 5 goals with 5 different scorers against the Swiss and Ecuador heated up Group E with a win.
Group D: Italy v Costa Rica, 0-1
Costa Rica are making quite a name for themselves in this World Cup. Having only won 4 games in all their previous World Cups, they took down giants Italy, securing their place to the round of 16, which they have only done once before.
As The New York Times pointed out, Italy were unable to deliver crisp passes or figure out a way to score against their oppoment, but on the flip-side Costa Rica wouldn’t allow them to get anything started either. Coming in just before the first half, Los Ticos' Bryan Ruiz would score the game winner. England fans were also rooting for Italy to win, which would have kept them alive with a still very long shot to advance. Costa Rica now sit at the top of the group for now.
Group E: Switzerland v France, 2-5
France pretty much had their way with Switzerland, and scored 5 goals on them throughout the 90 minutes. Coming in quick succession, France’s Olivier Giroud headed one in from a corner at the 17th, then after kick-off, the Swiss gave the ball away mid field, and France capitalized on the mistake giving them a 2-0 lead in just over a minute. The beating seemed to continue at the 33rd with Karim Benzema taking a penalty kick, but the Swiss goalkeeper was there with the block, and the rebound was missed. Just before the half Frenchman Valbuena would score, and Benzema would get his at the 67th. At the 73rd they would score again (!) with Moussa Sissoko scoring the 5th and final goal for his side. The Swiss were goalless but made an attempt scoring at the 81st and 87th minute, but it just wouldn’t be enough. The Swiss would now look to the late game between Honduras and Ecuador to see where they would stand at the end of the day.
Group E: Honduras v Ecuador, 1-2
The back and forth of defense and offense didn’t stop until the half hour mark in the first half with Carlo Costly of Honduras netting one. Three minutes later though Ecuador’s Enner Valencia would answer back, and at the 65th, a brace for Valencia, Ecuador would take the lead through to the end of the game.
SB Nation noted both sides needed the win to stay alive, and with Ecuador’s win and goal differential, they are now sitting second in the group behind France with 3 points. The Swiss now have a lot of ground to cover as they face Honduras on Wednesday. Ecuador have plenty of calculations to do to of their own to stay in second place as they play France the same day.
June 21: All four teams from Group F play, Argentina v Iran and Nigeria v Bosnia-Herzegovina. Argentina can secure the round of 16 with a win. Group G, Germany v Ghana, with Germany trying to secure a spot in the next round with a win, which would also knock Ghana out.