By TIM FONTENAULT
After shocking Uruguay in the opening match, Costa Rica has a chance to do more damage in Group D, as all of England will be rooting for Italy in the first match of the day Friday at the World Cup.
Costa Rica can clinch a spot in the Round of 16 by defeating Italy, who cannot clinch a knockout stage spot with a win. Even if they fail to win, a draw would eliminate the Three Lions, who have lost to Italy and Uruguay already. Los Ticos come into their second match on the back of a 3-1 win over heavily-favored Uruguay. To reach the knockout stage would be an incredible accomplishment for Costa Rica, especially considering that they are playing without one of their main strikers, Alvaro Saborio. Joel Campbell has filled in nicely, pulling the strings in the opening win.
The day continues with the two top teams in Group E jockeying for position. France had no trouble taking care of Honduras, cruising to a 3-0 victory. For Switzerland, things were not so simple, but thanks to a brilliant run and cross by Ricardo Rodriguez, the Swiss grabbed three points against Ecuador with only seconds left in stoppage time.
Group E’s two losers from the opening match will square off to try and give themselves a fighting chance. Ecuador and Honduras are going to have a tough time getting into the Round of 16 at this point, with France and Switzerland the heavy favorites. A winner today, however, would give themselves a fighting chance on the last match day.
If you will be watching today’s matches, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.
Enjoy the action (TV listings after the jump):
TODAY’S WORLD CUP SOCCER ON TV
12 p.m. – Italy vs. Costa Rica – ESPN
3 p.m. – Switzerland vs. France – ESPN
6 p.m. – Honduras vs. Ecuador – ESPN