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World Cup Day 9: Your Running Commentary

CostaRica1-Uruguay2014 (Getty)


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):


12 p.m. – Italy vs. Costa Rica – ESPN

3 p.m. – Switzerland vs. France – ESPN

6 p.m. – Honduras vs. Ecuador – ESPN


    • wha– but i thought *we* were in the group of death! i mean, that’s an official thing that people fight over, right? why you little–

      • We’re in the Group of Death. Costa Rica is in the Group of Champions. TOTALLY different. Pretty sure those are official FIFA group names too.

  1. Ohhh, that’s bonus time wasted on a sub. Sub out the captain and he HAS to give away the arm band. Give it to the keeper and its like a minute walk back to him


  2. Watching this game convinces me even more. We will see a totally different US team on Sunday no more having a target forward, or two.

    It is false 9 any Julian time!

      • Please don’t. I would feel bad if you did.

        But you won’t see me giving up and start posting those stupid line-ups and …………..

      • Good one. Reeducate yourself on the basic mechanics of playing with a false nine. But I’m sure JK has been spending precious training time practicing playing a false nine with Green all while trotting out a 4-4-2 and 4-3-2-1 for the warm up games. That makes perfect sense.

        Its funny because I know you’ll be conveniently m.i.a when a false nine doesn’t happen. I just hope you don’t have to change your name again

      • OK Chris. Maybe it won’t be a pure 9 but it will be unlike anything you have see them play in the friendlies or against Ghana.

      • pretty sure a lot of commenters think that ‘false 9’ means you get to have an extra player on the field.

  3. Can we just go one game without anointing a team the best or worst in it’s region? Remember when mexico won the olympics and became the best? And then hit qualifying and were suddenly the worst? And then drew brazil and are the best again, at least until costa rica win this game?

    Oh and all these other teams have somehow made the usmnt poor again, not just now, but for the foreseeable future.

    • also, remember that we beat spain in 2009, and became THE BEST IN THE WORLD (until the next game, and then we sucked again)

      • Kinda cool though that “good enough for CONCACAF” has suddenly become the highest compliment you can pay a player.

    • hahahaha so true. could say the same about our players. i can’t even count the number of times Jones was the worst player in the US pool and then the best and then the worst and then the best again.

  4. ha! what foul? the ref was blinded, saw the result and gave that free kick to Italy from 30 yards out. Fortunately Pirlo’s strike was punched away. dangerous

  5. Having hard time telling but it appears like a lot of empty seats at this game? I’ve seen a number of games and this appears the least attended I’ve seen.

  6. The Ticos look great this World Cup, but what their future holds is unclear. Junior Diaz and Bolanos are 30, Ruiz is 28. Campbell will be terrorizing defenses for a long time, but who will step up as the supporting cast? This WC may be their best shot for a while.

    I’m not convinced after less than half of the group stage games are played, that the U.S. will be third-best going forward in CONCACAF. It may pan out that way, but the recent past doesn’t bear it out.

    • CONCACAF will always be running uphill in a world cup game against a traditional power.

      Heck the Deuce can take a boot to the schnozzel against Ghana that results in a no call; we have to expect Costa Rica to play against 12 in a game with Italy.

  7. We might have to beat GER to keep up with the rest of Concaf. I wonder how panama would do against Algeria or Iran.

    • If we’ve put the work in in the first two games to punch the ticket to the second round, why would we worry about keeping up with the rest of CONCACAF? Four points playing against GER sitting on six needs a draw to put both sides through in their respective positions. Germany won’t risk injury or silly cards to get meaningless points, and neither should we.

      • Which part? The draw against POR or the GER-USA nonaggression pact. Germany has a history of stuff like that.

      • Why does everybody assume Germany just gonna beat Ghana. I hope they do, but I doubt it. I was being scarcadtic because all these people acting like were the 3rd team from our region. Our group is freaking ridiculous, right! If you put any of the other 2 (PortUgal and Ghana) teams in group they’d be favored to advance. I really wouldn’t be surprised if Ghana beat Germany. OK rant over…

      • Why should GER beat GHA?

        Defensively, they can basically utilize the tactic that USA used to neuter (!) GHA’s attack. Force crosses and clean them up. GER can do it better than the US because their CBs and FBs are better, so they’ll probably have to deal with fewer crosses. Alternatively, they can press high with three and cause GHA’s backs to make quick decisions on the ball. In the opening minutes of USA-GHA Alitidore did that, and it worked rather well.

        Offensively, they won’t give the ball away nearly as much as the USA did against GHA’s high pressure.

        I’m not saying that GHA can’t beat GER, but GHA will have to play a nearly perfect game and GER will have to play poorly.

      • I hope Ghana wins bout I doubt it but Ghana is capable. France is overrated too. Winning with 10 men by 4-0 doesn’t really mean anything IMO.

      • Umm…I admit that is a very good point. I thought Portugal was starting find the game and then here comes that wild and crazy guy!!! Pepe! You’re probably 99% right but it was a little quiet in here. I live in part of the country where Baseball overtakes the world cup and NBA finals…

  8. It is clear that the coaching for England was abysmal, just look at how Costa Rica is approaching this game. Pirlo is a BIG liability here, 0 defense and very soft if you kick his butt. You must KICK him on defense and attack thru him on offense. Its like playing 11 v 10. also the Italy defense is not very athletic so you must pressure them.

  9. Great game.

    Balotelli terrorizing the defense but can’t seem to score. I am guessing that he and Jozy ware very similar players with Jozy being the lesser of the two, right? The hold-up play, the back to goal, the strength, the simple but dangerous movement.

    That was a PK against Campbell, right? How could it not have been?

    I say Costa Rica at least steals a point out of all this. They are winning but the Italians look more dangerous in mid-field and seem to have had more chances in front of goal. Going to be hard to maintain this lead.

    The US is looking more and more like one of the lesser teams in our region.

    • I like most of what you said… but that last sentence? Gold Cup, Qualifying, and let’s wait until Sunday at 5pm pacific to evaluate whether the US is the weakest performer in the Cup. Oh, and Honduras.

    • Trolling is tiresome, especially when said troll pretends to be a USMNT fan. True, I responded this time, which just encourages him so I guess I’m to blame partially.

      • sla,

        i don’t think he’s a troII, just excitable. (it doesn’t help that he responds to disagreement with some condescending ‘lost soul’ crap.) if we look good the next game, he’ll think we’re ‘world class’.

      • Keep in mind that anyone can use a screen name. I think yours and mine have been hijacked before as well. I think, as Nate said, he just expresses himself in hyperbole, wishes the US had looked better in that was ultimately a win. Don’t we all?

      • That is it.

        And no, I don’t use other people’s names. I use only this one.

        The US looked terrible and I would like it if they hadn’t. That is it.

      • I know you don’t… but some people have. Someone (I think Baptista) used my name to troll once. Maybe slow saw someone trolling with your name.

      • He is definitely a troll. Mexico fan using a pro-usa name tag. I also think usaalltheway and ted tran are the same person.

      • Its not that difficult. Havent you noticed that where ever ted tran comments so does usaalltheway? And they always agree/compliment each other.

    • Really? The US looks more like one of the lesser teams based on….what? Costa Rica beating an out-of-form and under strength Uruguay team? 45 minutes of this game? Mexico drawing Brazil due to an otherworldly performance from Ochoa?

    • Too many people on here have WAY TOO MUCH of their egos and personal worth invested in the USMNT.

      Out of the four teams from our region in this Cup the US is easily third. Costa Rica is first and Mexico second.

      I am not a “troll” and most of you are lost souls. It’s just a game for God’s sake. You guys need to some serious reevaluating of your lives and your value systems.

      Get over it already. The US looked terrible while Mexico and Costa Rica are looking great.

      • You’re annoying because you’re wrong. Ochoa looked great. Mexico looked Mexican, and you seem to think it’s some huge revelation. Aimless, toothless possession is Mexico’s game.

        Oles are nice. Goals are better.

      • agreed. Mexico hung on due to Ochoa. they didn’t look bad but it wasn’t that great of a performance from anyone outside of Ochoa.

      • I definitely see your point. But your conclusion is odd, which makes your reasoning seem flawed, hence the trolling accusation from slow. You don’t seem to be accounting for styles, group difficulty, and the fact that a lot of us respect both Mexico and CR. We all know the US could have played better… but give Ghana credit too! And we did win after all.

        Uruguay and (apparently) Italy just flat underestimated CR, who are doing very well imho. No one in our group is looking past us, certainly not Ghana, who almost needed to beat us.

      • Well, it is good that someone sees my point. Thanks for recognizing it.

        As for the comparisons and all that, it is simple: Costa Rica just got out of the real Group of Death, ahead of the 4 time World Champions, England and the current South American champs and the 4rd placed team of the last World Cup.

        Mexico played very well against Cameroon and held Brazil in Brazil in a spectacular way. What is more shocking about Mexico is how quickly they turned around their poor form from qualification.

        The US has a difficult group but doesn’t compare to Costa Rica’s. They scored quickly and they proceeded to get man-handle for 70 minutes. They looked horrible and it’s amazing how dependent the team is on just a few players. Clearly, they are not the better team in the region.

        My general point though is this: comparing the play on the field, both Mexico and Costa Rica have faired much better, played quicker, more beautiful, attractive and effective soccer than the US.

        What is truly shocking is how the vast majority of the posters on here get totally bent out-of-shape when someone says anything they don’t like. They have their egos and personal value confused with the USMNT and because of that I recognize a confusion of values. Hence, they are “lost souls”.

        At the end of the day, it is just a game and no matter who wins or loses I am enjoying it all.

        It’s a bummer that so many of those on here (though clearly you are different) carry on in such a low, puerile and unhealthy way. The personal attacks, the name-calling and the general nastiness is all a reflection of them, not me.

      • I just wonder why you were so enthralled by Mexico knocking it around the middle of the park. That’s what they always do against better competition. Most of the time, they lose, but Ochoa had a great game.

        I think the static you’re getting is a manifestation of the same static that Tri Fans get after Dos-a-Ceros where they had 60% or more of possession. They say, “We played better than you, we had more shots, more of the ball..”

        The response is, “Yeah… But dos a cero, so pound sand.”

        As time passes, only fans of the losers look back and say, “We played a better game than the winners.” Everyone else just see the score and moves on. Pretty play is nice. Pretty play is entertaining. Pretty play isn’t the only way to win, and winning is the goal.

      • You’re still not accounting for match-ups, imo, still relying too much on world rankings and such. But ok.

      • I didn’t even mention World Rankings. They are utter garbage and mostly useless.

        In fact, I specially did mention match-ups.

        I am getting so much flak because posters on here are confusing their personal worth and egos with the USMNT. They have them confused. Hence, when the US does poorly and others do well, they get angry. It’s very common in sports.

        I enjoy the game and love the USMNT but no one can claim that the US played well on ANY level against Ghana, while Costa Rica just got out of the Group of Death in first place and Mexico has had the turn-around of the century.

        I hope by the time Sunday’s game is over thing will look different for the USMNT but I highly doubt it.

        At any rate, it is a game and it is just that. It’s a hell of a lot of fun but most of those on here are unpleasant and down-right nasty.

      • Both MEX and USA would kill for 1-0 Bunker Bob (TM) wins in their next matches.

        Beauty is overrated.

      • usalltheway,

        I don’t think play in the World Cup against other teams necessarily translates to Regional dominance. I haven’t checked how the brackets work out but if/when the US meets Mexico or Costa Rica to challenge for a place in the final or the semis then we can talk about regional supremacy, and, believe me if that happens I’d be very happy to debate the matter.

        Mexico were horrible in qualifying but in the end got through. Their World Cup team is practically a new team which you might expect with different management and different players.

        As for Costa Rica, the Snow Bowl was a one off game and of course, Costa Rica won at home but the US lost Mikey just before kickoff And their performance in Brazil is nothing short of sensational. I would pick them along with Chile as teams to watch.

        So the order of finish in Qualifying was all well and good but other than insuring participation in Brazil, it had nothing to do with how these teams play the World Cup.

        The Ghana game was not pretty soccer but the US lost Jozy early and then Dempsey was neutered by injury. So the US team you saw for most of the Ghana game were offensively neutered. Yet, they still got through on grit and smarts. Imagine if Mexico had lost Peralta or Costa Rica had lost Campbell after 20 minutes in their first games.

        And Uruguay did not have Suarez. Is there a more influential player at this World Cup?

        I don’t think you can compare Costa Rica’s and Mexico’s task with their groups to the US’ task with their group until group play is finished.

        Will the US be able to compensate for the loss of Altidore?

        Will Portugal, with their Stud questionable, be more like the Uruguay that lost to Costa Rica or more like the Uruguay that beat England?

        The World Cup is all about how teams finish up in the tournament not how they start.

        If you don’t like what you perceive to be personal attacks on this site then you should quit posting here. SBI has never primarily been about intelligent, informed, reasoned discussion.

        It is mostly about hysteria, the ability to “own” the other guy, bigotry, racism and the unfettered ability to rip players and managers for their failures. The “attacks” on you are part of the territory and is allowed by whoever manages this site. If you don’t like the heat, leave the kitchen.

        There is an old saying about getting what you pay for, after all.

      • “SBI has never primarily been about intelligent, informed, reasoned discussion.

        It is mostly about hysteria, the ability to “own” the other guy, bigotry, racism and the unfettered ability to rip players and managers for their failures.”

        i disagree, gw. or, at least, i’d call it 50/50. and i might be mistaken, but i think you’ve been here long enough to remember when it was even better than it is presently.

        there’s a reason i don’t comment at goal or *shudder* espn.

      • You’re right about one thing – there is someone on this thread that needs to seriously reevaluate his life and value system.

      • Well, it was a different set of games. Costa Rica did (and is doing) what they had to do. Their 170′ minutes of play look prettier than our 90′. And Mexico is punching above the weight they brought to the Gold Cup and the qualifying campaign. So they both look pretty good. By contrast we had a grueling game, and managed to take it out in an ugly fashion. But our team is still good. We’ll see where we are in a few more games.

      • Mexico ties Brazil on the back of MOTM perfromance from GK.

        “Mexico is the best team in the region.”

        CR beats an underwhelming (and they have been their last four matches) Italy.

        “Costa Rica is the best team in the region.”

        Can’t wait to see where Honduras will rank if they get a scoreless draw vs. Ecuador. I’m guessing ahead of at least one certain team…

        If you wanna call them “CONCACAF Power Rankings,” then fine….but you can’t go passing around the “Best in CONCACAF” title on a match-to-match (and matches not even amongst two CONCACAF teams, no less) basis like it’s the WWE Heavyweight Championship.

      • You could at least wait until after the USA plays Portugal before you post all of this garbage.

        You are perhaps the single worst poster on this site.

  10. GO COSTA RICA…..GO CONCACAF. Wow, right after a controversial call Costa Rica keep their cool and keep pressing to score a goal, like a top 10 team. Unbelieveable….if you beat Uruguay, then beat Italy and keep a team like England from qualifying your world cup is grand and you have made you mark…doesn’t matter what else happens

      • Always a shot at the US! For someone who hates the US teams so much you sure spend a lot time with US fans. I guess you are hoping our never say quit attitude will rub off on el Tri????

      • Did the USA get out of the group of death beating two former world champs? No but they did reach the quarterfinals and knocked out Mexico along the way.

      • Portugal featured Figo and Rui Costa and South Korea was at home. I guess they were lucky to get an easy team like Mexico in the second round but they took advantage of that good fortune.

      • now ted here is the subtle troII.

        i don’t mind responding to him, though, because i feel bad for him. he’s obviously a fan of another country (mexico, i think, but not sure), but he spends so much time here…not sure he has anyone else to talk to about soccer.

      • What has portugal won? They have always been overrated, S. Korea had the refs on their side and Poland…enough said.

      • That they failed doesn’t a minnow make. Is Spain a minnow?

        The US lost to POL, ted. That’s why I didn’t mention them. That said… Poland lost one match in its 2002 qualification, so they’re not really a minnow either.

      • Maybe, maybe not. Close calls like that are the AR’s to make. I’d have to watch a replay that has the AR in it to see how he reacts. If his flag went up immediately or he starts running up the line, he saw the ball behind the goal line. If he kept tracking the play, then he didn’t and it was only GLT that saw it.

        Off the crossbar with backspin into the ground behind the goal line and back out. That’s exactly the type of goal GLT is meant to catch. Hopefully the successful introduction of technology in this WCF will soften up IFAB and FIFA’s reluctance to add more.

    • That’s “offside” — no “s” from the British English being “off the side” as in “not-part-of-the-team” when in an offside position and guilty of an offside offense.

  11. Costa Rica came to play, higher lines than normal the first 15 minutes looking to press, now settling in to their more familiar look defensively

  12. Ives, please address these MegaRed ads. they won’t stop auto-playing with sound when i open a thread. appreciate it!

    come on Costa Rica!

      • i see that it appears to be the ‘puto’ yell (as mason demonstrated). had no idea that was supposed to be discriminatory toward any one group. is there some subtext i’m missing?

      • yeah, i didn’t think it was a big deal but i guess in a lot of countries it is the same as USA fans yelling, “fa**ot” during goal kicks.

      • No its not. Its all about context. Yes the word can mean f*****, but much more often its used to call someone a b**** or calling a situation a b****. Thats how they use it when they say it in stadiums

      • sure, that’s what i thought it meant to. but MANY of my south american friends have told me replacing the “a” with an “o” turns it into a gay slur. i’m not saying that is what it means in ALL spanish speaking countries, but when i have friends from multiple countries in South American tell me that, i tend to take their word for it.

        FIFA’s supposed point is that using it when it’s known it DOES offend a lot of people is not okay.

      • Doesn’t matter Maykol. Ugly and derogatory no matter how you slice it. It’s classless. BTW I’m half Mexican

      • p*to or pato?

        Pato in brazilian or portuguese means f*got. It actually means duck, but it can also mean the other.

      • i’m referring to Spanish, not Portuguese. and yes, “p*to” is the word FIFA is investigating.

        never knew Alexandre Pato had such a controversial name!

      • No it depends on the context. Yes the word can mean f*****, but much more often its used to call someone a b**** or calling a situation a b****. Thats how they use it when they say it in stadiums

      • I lived in Mexico for two years and while you are right about context, it is still bad. One does not call his father a “puto” and say, “Sorry, you took it out of context pops.”

    • Watching CONCACAF’s performance thus far has led me to one conclusion: the unwritten rule to always rotate the WC back to Europe after 2 cycles is a joke. European teams are consistently worse playing abroad, yet think the rest of the world are unaffected by playing in Europe. Yes, CONCACAF (and the rest of the world) is getting better, but there’s no doubt that teams like Costa Rica are more comfortable in Latin America than in Europe. Bringing the WC back to Europe despite it not being their “turn” is a massive advantage to UEFA.


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