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World Cup 2014

World Cup Day 9: Your Running Commentary

CostaRica1-Uruguay2014 (Getty)

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

319 comments
    • usaalltheway

      +1

      This has to be one of the greatest Cups in the history of the game, right?

      So much scoring, so many huge upsets, so many unmet exceptions along with so many underdogs coming up huge.

      I am loving it all!!

      Like

      • slowleftarm

        This happens in every world cup, guess this is your first. Scoring is up but that’s the only valid thing you’ve said.

        Like

      • usaalltheway

        You and Nate Dollars are totally in love with me! Seriously, why the intense, undying need to harass and attack me?

        This isn’t my first World Cup. I would like it if you would please leave me alone. Stop being a bully and nasty. I don’t have to put up with it on any level.

        Like

      • Nate Dollars

        i don’t harass or attack you. there are a couple things you do that frustrate me (your overreactions, and your condescension to people who disagree), but i agree with you far more often than not, and i certainly haven’t ever treated you disrepectfully.

        i think you may be taking disagreements personally. that’s crazy, especially on the internet.

        Like

      • Fast Eddie

        So oh wise one. This is hot the first time in history that tha holders were eliminated after the 2nd group game? It has happened before?

        Like

      • beachbum

        I’m loving the Costa Rica win, that’s what I meant specifically

        fun World Cup too

        Like

      • Adi in Oregon

        +10

        I agree with you! I have followed many WC events and this one is having some of the most upsets with some games ending with high scores. I hope the US pulls off another upset on Sunday (& also against Deutschland) with or without many goals!!!

        Like

  • Stinky Pete

    So if heat is such a big issue, can you imagine how bad Qatar is going to be!

    Like

    • Benjamin C.

      The humidity has concerned physios just as much as the temperatures. That won’t be present in Qatar.

      Like

      • slowleftarm

        Neither will the world cup. That thing is getting moved in short order. Hopefully here.

        Like

      • Benjamin C.

        I think the dream is that the U.S. and some of the more influential European nations simply say they will not even attempt to qualify for a Cup held in Qatar. You have the bribes, the fact Qatar has basically no soccer history, the repressive society, the horrors of the guest worker program being used to build infrastructure and stadiums . . . the list goes on and on, really.

        Like

      • bbstl

        Ummm, you’ve never been to Qatar, have you? Its humid as hell there.

        Like

      • Benjamin C.

        Thankfully, I haven’t. Guess I didn’t do my proper research. Thanks for the info.

        Like

  • JayAre

    I remember talking to an English fan yesterday and he seemed so confident that England still had a chance he said “Costa Rica got lucky, Italy will dismantle them and we will beat Costa Rica”

    Maybe England’s horrible friendlies in Miami should have been a dead give away.

    Like

    • Mr_A

      Well, they’re just an island of cockeyed optimists. But in the end, it’s still: na-na-na-na, na-na-na-na, hey, he-ey … cheerio!

      Like

    • Jack

      Thierry Henry on BBC, They were talking about how England just isn’t producing the quality of players or “World Class players” then he comes back with “sure but you guys didn’t know a single player on this Costa Rica team, you have to play as a team”

      Like

      • slowleftarm

        Yeah but England, right or wrongly, expects to be winning world cup or at least challenging for them. And you do need world class players to do that. They should do far better considering England is a rich country with a decent size population that is obsessed with the game. England has made the knockout stages at the previous four world cups so I don’t think they need to emulate Costa Rica.

        Like

    • bryan

      English friend after i posted CONCACAF is underrated:

      “Lets be fair, it is still sh!t”

      /facepalm

      Like

      • JayAre

        Thats exactly whats wrong with the English set up, they think they are better than they are they all suffer from delusions of grendeur

        Like

  • MidWest Ref

    I recall lots of comments about how CONCACAF didn’t deserve 3 or 4 teams in the WC. Good start by Costa Rica, as the first qualifier out of a tough group. Lets hope the US plays well in the humidor against a Portugal team weakened by injury and stupid cards. Mexico has a tough final to get out of group. And hopefully the Honduras team from their home qualfiers shows up for their 2nd and 3rd games.

    Like

    • Mr_A

      Yeah, but the backstory on Honduras is that they foul too much and too often, so I don’t see them switching to finesse by next game. And I think Ecuador has them outclassed, but that’s why they play the games. We’ll find out.

      Like

    • jefpal

      What’s more, Costa Rica has a good shot to advance to the quarters. They will face either Ivory Coast, Japan or Greece in the next round.

      Like

  • El Comandante

    If USMNT plays like Costa Rica today, we advance. If we don’t, then we play Germany. This is another lesson for USMNT on how to play and become a factor at the world stage. Good job Costa Rica, the first from CONCACAF to advance. Vamos Mejico. Let’s go USA.

    Like

    • beachbum

      USMNT has bee a factor on world stage before, led our region forward the last decade, what are you talking about?

      Like

      • El Comandante

        Let’s go USA. Maintain possession and dominate midfield like Costa Rica today. We can be like our CONCACAF neighbors.

        Like

      • Nate Dollars

        don’t mind him, he’s another newly-arrived troII. i think sbi had the same thing happen last world cup.

        Like

      • El Comandante

        So, this site is for the group of your cronies? Ignore me if you want, but you can not ignore the truth. USMNT must learn from our neighbor teams that have represented CONCACAF so positively during this WC if “we” are to advance. Does it really hurt you that Costa Rica has dominated 7th and 9th in FIFA rankings to advance to next round?

        Like

      • usaalltheway

        Nate Dollars has anointed himself the “cop-on-the-beat” and is labeling everything in sight that doesn’t please him a “troll”.

        This is normal banter on the Internet. Ignore it man.

        He has his ego wrapped up in the USMNT and can’t see how immature and unhealthy it is. Let him wallow in that hell.

        For those of us in reality still, who support the team but recognize it’s faults, we can have a back-and-forth AND enjoy the game at the same time. Sans all the BS and negativity.

        He and many others are bullies. That move in groups and are live sad, unhappy, miserable little lives and look to drag those around them in the mud.

        Like

      • Nate Dollars

        i don’t make personal comments about you, usaalltheway. who’s the obsessed one here?

        Like

      • Sharkbait

        You’re getting ahead of yourself for starters. Also Portugal is ranked 4th so I’m not really sure why you’d bother bringing the horrible FIFA rankings up. Your posts might make sense if we’d just lost badly to Portugal but seeing as that hasn’t happened you pretty much just sound like a troll.

        Like

      • Fast Eddie

        When has the US ever been a “factor on the world stage”?

        Like

      • usaalltheway

        Great question.

        Apart from an amazing, and in some ways lucky, 2002 run and being Spain in 2009, what exactly has the US ever done? Copa America? Okay, that wasn’t bad either.

        Why not just enjoy the game and also be a peace with the reality?

        Like

      • El Comandante

        Mexico has two (2) Runner-up and three (3) Third place finishes in Copa America, versus one (1) Third place USM finish in the 90’s.

        Like

    • usaalltheway

      I agree El Comandate.

      The US looked flat and inexcusably bad for most of their match against Ghana.

      Hopefully JK proves to be a decent coach and change tactics to get the win against what is shaping up to be a completely deleted and demoralized team.

      I bet they steal the win but I also predict another horrible showing. It’s amazing how dependent they are on Bradley, Altidore and Howard.

      Like

      • Joey Chestnut

        So JK should change his tactics because they don’t please your eyes? How bout he just use tactics that win games.

        Like

    • slowleftarm

      These trolls are all the same guy. Same predictable trolling style – pretend to be a USMNT fan who can’t believe how amazing Mexico and CR are playing.

      Like

      • American Outlaw

        Don’t worry, we all recognize it. Just hoping Ives takes note and blocks the trolls soon. Don’t want another Goal.com

        Like

      • El Comandante

        Although I have similar point of view with some true USMNT fans on this site, I am only El Comandante.

        usalltheway is right, you need to grow out of the Gold Cup mentality.

        Like

  • beachbum

    ARs get a tip of the cap. Costa Rica did not get hosed on missed offsides calls, could have the way they play but the ARs stepped up, made the calls

    great defensive display again from Costa Rica, that’s just what they do!

    Like

  • Benjamin C.

    The Men in Blazers Boot Room recap tonight should be pretty good. CONCACAF rolling, England out, a revived Suarez v. Italy in a do or die game . . . what a World Cup.

    Like

  • Dr.K

    If Italy plays Pirlo against Urugay, bet against Italy. The game has passed him buy. The commentators know bupkis

    Like

  • El Comandante

    Every soccer game has a turning point. In this one it was the second miss by Tacobelli.

    Like

  • Jack

    This comparison of what this means for the US is getting annoying. All this means is Costa Rica is a good side. Something alot of US fans have thought for awhile.

    Like

    • Sharkbait

      Exactly, thank you. Regardless of how good the teams Mexico, Costa Rica, and the US are playing the fact is they’re all different teams. All the Mexican fans keep crowing about Ghana giving us such a hard time but given the style that the play I honestly think Ghana would take it to Mexico. To me Ghana is a vastly superior version of Jamaica and didn’t Jamaica give Mexico (and us, haha) fits last year?

      Like

      • American Outlaw

        Dude Mexican fans are still butthurt and know they are only at the World Cup because of help from the U.S. (Graham Zusi)

        Like

      • Mason

        JAM tied Mex 0-0 in Azteca and lost by a goal in Kingston.

        Like

    • slowleftarm

      These are just trolls. There’ll be plenty of time to evaluate every team at the world cup after it’s over. At this point, I’m just excited for Sunday and hoping the US can get a result and ultimately move on. Couldn’t care less either how they get that result. If Portugal dominates twice as much as Ghana did and we win, I’d gladly sign up for that.

      Like

      • QuakerOtis

        Trolls or not, they’re still fun and not entirely incorrect.

        Like

      • QuakerOtis

        And dude, glass houses… stones… “foreigners.”

        Like

      • Ted Tran

        You must have nerves of steel. Watching the US play like that against Ghana was nerve racking.

        Like

    • Nate Dollars

      if only these concacaf countries ever played each other, then we could really see who is the better team. i guess we’ll never know.

      Like

    • Mr_A

      Not me! I care at least a little bit more than you, because my wife is Ecuadoran. So I guess it’s better if France wins, so they will rest the best against Ecuador, but either way Ecuador will have to beat them. If each team plays as well as their first games, France ought to win. Unfortunately their European flair might produce a 0-0 snoozer, but France looked better than that last time.

      Hoping for a good game… you never know ’til you watch!

      Like

      • QuakerOtis

        True. I’m still watching, but the emphasis is on work… during this game.

        Like

  • Citronomics

    Hey Seattle SBI peops, props 2 Cafe Presse for an awesome WC atmosphere. So cool to be a part of the FRA v. SUI crowd and passion here.

    France looking fluid and deadly on the break.

    Like

  • DB

    France hasn’t played the best sides, but man, do they look dangerous offensively….up 3-0 and that’s with a missed PK and butchered follow-up on an open goal…lol

    Like

    • Citronomics

      When France has been on the break in the 1H, the pace and precision of their movement has been lethal. Really fun to watch them today.

      Like

  • Andy in Atlanta

    This result is giving Honduras an open door, another goal for France would be huge for the Catrachos…they can certainly beat Ecuador….then a draw vs the Swiss would carry them through…

    Like

      • Mr_A

        It’s all talk until they pass through “el pupo del mundo.” Pupo is Quechua for Ombligo, for all the Catrachos out there.

        Like

  • Luke

    Even despite Switzerland getting destroyed and showing how laughable FIFA’s seeding system is, they could still advance from one of the weakest groups.

    Like

    • William the Terror

      Yep. This group was a gift to France. The Swiss had no business being seeded. Honduras played with ten men and kept it closer than this.

      Like

    • Andy in Atlanta

      the late goals for the Swiss were actually huge for their goal difference…

      They know sit @ -2
      Honduras is @ -3
      Ecuador is -1

      Ecuador will likely lose to France…

      If Honduras were to beat Ecuador tonight by only 1 goal (and not something crazy like 5-4)… The Swiss could draw Honduras and advance on even goal difference but more goals scored…

      If Honduras wants to advance they need to win by 2 or more goals tonight then draw… (or of course just win both remaining matches)

      Like

  • Mason

    There’s a Maginot line joke to be made about the Swiss goal, but I don’t have it.

    Like

  • DB

    Consolation free kick goal for Switzerland.

    I’m pretty sure that one set the record for most skips on the ground by a free kick that still found the back of the net…lol.

    Like

  • comowhat

    OK, This is actually my first time posting here. I’ve been reading this site for a while because even though it’s a site for fans of the “enemy”, there are a lot of objective futbol fans here, that clearly love the game and appreciate good play no matter who it’s from. But I just wanted to come out and say that commandante and usaalltheway are doing a huge disservice to us Mex fans that aren’t complete douches. I think it might actually be the same person, but that’s beyond the point.

    Anyways, that will be the first and last time I feed the trolls.

    On a separate note: Go CONCACAF! We are rocking this world cup. (minus Honduras)

    Like

    • Jack

      Exactly, we can debate who the best in Concacaf is some other time. What’s important right now is the region does well, so that being the best in Concacaf actually means something.

      Like

  • jefpal

    All this positivity, slick midfield play and scoring appears to indicate Spain’s influence on the style of play in this World Cup, especially among the UEFA and CONCACAF sides. Ironic that they themselves have bowed out so early.

    Like

    • Tom_in_So_IL

      Was just talking about this a the watch party I’m at now. It’s funny how everybody sorta catches up whether its soccer, art, or businesses.

      Like

  • El Comandante

    I will be rooting for our comrades Los Castrachos for the next game, so that our boys in the USMNT can have one more inspiration from CONCACAF teams to destroy Portugal. By destroy, I mean just win; that’s all we need. Go USA.

    Like

  • El Comandante

    Guys why do you think I’m a troll? Just because I support all the teams in CONCACAF? Costa Rica has made our region look great and Ochoa helped Mexico hold on in the face of a relentless attack. The US owned CONCACAF in qualifying, let me see their true colors! Let go USA!!

    Like

    • usaalltheway

      I agree with El Comandante. The only reason Mexico is even at the World Cup is because of help from the U.S. Let’s see the U.S.A. from the qualifiers!!!

      Like

      • usaalltheway

        I didn’t write this.

        I guess I see why everyone is getting so angry…

        Like

      • El Comandante

        I know that wasn’t you usaalltheway. However, the statement must be corrected. The reason that Mexico is in the WC is because they placed 4thin CONCACAF with more points than Panama and then defeated in home and away games the best Oceania team handily. The reason that Panama is not in the place of Mexico is because when it mattered they failed to beat Mexico and tie the USMNT. I am proud of our athletes in the USMNT.

        Like

      • usaalltheway

        Since I and El Comandante are the same person, we (I) have been exposed as a troll and nothing I post has any relevance. I will crawl back under my bridge at Goal.com

        Like

    • El Comandante

      I did not write this. That wasn’t me, I am the real El Comandante, USMNT fan.

      Like

      • Gary

        Funny you and usaalltheway post the same comment seconds apart. hmmm, very interesting!!

        Like

  • Golazo

    Different tactics for different games folks. We could obviously dominate possession and the flow of the game with CONCACAF teams but when you are in the Group Of Death at the World Cup your tactics change to give you the best chance of winning. If you’re going to be a top class team you need to be able to recongize this.

    Like

      • Golazo

        I wouldn’t call launching shots from outside the box “bringing it.” I call that desperation, they tried that junk against the U.S. and got smoked 2-0 (Should have been 3-0)

        Like

      • El Comandante

        Dude, even in that game Mexico dominated possession. The U.S. need to be more dominant in possession to be able to control the game. You can’t just sit back and hope to counterattack. That might work for one or two games but not long term.

        Like

      • bryan

        uhhhhh, nah:

        USA 51.4% Possession 48.6% Mexico

        cite: Opta

        but sure, they dominated possession!😉

        Like

      • El Comandante

        That wasn’t me, I am the real El Comandante, USMNT fan. I never said Mexico dominated possession. But, the statement confirms what I said, 48.6 against Brazil, I never seen that from USMNT even in Confed 2009, the closest we ever came to beating five world champion Brail. We, USMNT, must improve in that category.

        Like

      • bryan

        Italy won multiple World Cup with that counter attacking style. it’s referred to as Catenaccio.

        Like

      • El Comandante

        That wasn’t me, I am the real El Comandante, USMNT fan.

        Like

      • Gary

        Funny you and usaalltheway post the same comment seconds apart. hmmm, very interesting!

        Like

  • Gary

    Honduras have cut their teeth against the likes of the U.S. They are battle hardened.

    Like

  • El Comandante

    Some moron here is usurping my name and posting nonsense in my name. Is there an administrator here?

    Like

    • usaalltheway

      Yeah man, how are we gonna troll all these U.S. fans all day. It’s so boring on Goal.com because literally everyone is a troll there.

      Like

  • El Comandante

    Honduras a very disorganized team. Their coach is to blame. USMNT, do not play like that. Also, nearly everything Alexis Lalas is diarrhea.

    Like

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