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World Cup Day 4: Your Running Commentary



The World Cup continues into it’s fourth day on Sunday and if it’s anything like the previous three, we’re in for plenty of goals and drama.

The day’s action begins at noon as a young Switzerland side takes on an Ecuador hoping to defend their home continent. Swiss winger Xherdan Shaqiri and Ecuadorian winger Jefferson Montero are two players to watch as these two nations open their World Cup campaigns.

Up second on Sunday is France vs. Honduras, with a completely rebuilt France starting lineup taking on the battle-tested Catrachos at 3:00 p.m. Paul Pogba, Raphael Varane, and Antoine Griezmann have led a youth revolution but France will have to prove they can play without Franck Ribery in the team.

Finally, the day’s action ends at 6:00 p.m. in the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro as Argentina face Bosnia and Herzegovina, who are in their first ever World Cup finals. Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero taking on Edin Dzeko and Vedad Ibisevic means there should be plenty of goals on the menu for tonight’s match.

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. – Switzerland vs. Ecuador – ABC

3 p.m. – France vs. Honduras – ABC

6 p.m. – Argentina vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina – ESPN


  1. Am I only the person noticing these strange formations?

    The Christmas tree, 4-3-2-1. The 3-5-2. What is that all about?

    Is the 4-3-3 dead? I at least saw the 4-4-2 used.

    What kind of formation is Argentina using?

    • ALL HAIL THE GREAT!!!!!!!

      This is definitely one game I have been waiting for.

      GOD I LOVE THE WORLD CUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. That last goal was amazing. To hit it at that angle is something.

    I usually don’t care for Benzema but he is proving his worth today.

    But really, who is really for Messi? That is all I care about today. I want to see him take this Cup. He deserves it IMHO.

    • Incredibly overrated. Would love to see him fall on his face, but the team around him (like at Barcelona) is too good to have that happen unfortunately.

      • Can’t wait for everyone to drool over him for knocking in 5 PK’s this tourney, though. SUCH STUNNING PLAY BY MESSI! ANOTHER PK/TAP IN!

      • JJ, Benzama plays for Real Madrid.

        And yes, he is very overrated. But the team around him is amazing. Makes you wonder about Jozy in a way. Could he be scoring hat tricks if he was surrounded by such class? Just musing aloud…

  3. Why do you use your last sub to take off Valbuena when Evra is sitting on a yellow and has been hurt already 2-3 times this match and you’re up by 3 goals?

  4. Theres gotta be something in the water in Brazil causing all these goals and Since it seems goals with be the narrative of the tournament the US better not play the same conservative counter attack non sense tomorrow

  5. Had this been a concacaf official I doubt palacios would have even received a yellow card. It’s amazing how unbiased and competent officiating changes the look of a game against Honduras

  6. Wow… Could 1 player do more harm to his team’s chances at the tournament in less than a half of play than Palacios has just finished doing?

    • I should say, though, that Costa Rica played smart and disciplined yesterday and deserve the applause for their win. They did not resort to hacking down opponents and feigning injury.

    • Yes so far it seems that if Honduras is “representing” CONCACAF, here, it’s in the silly rolling over and over (and over and over and over) after contact…

    • Speakers don’t work. Of all the things that weren’t ready I’d think the speakers should be ready because it would be a pivotal part of evacuation in case of an emergency.

  7. On the offside call in the second half. It is the correct call, just as the the second called back goal against Mexico. An attacking player in an offside position can not gain an advantage on an incidental touch by a defender. This has been in effect for at least 8 years. It is unfortunate that the experts on TV are unaware of this interpretation and have not explained. Only Steve Nicol on ESPN FC has correctly discussed this on TV.

      • It’s hard to tell from that video, but at :40 it looks like he may have had a head offside when the ball was played. Or not, and he moved into offside position by the time the AR turned his head and looked at him.

        Either way, this is a good example of “gaining an advantage”.

      • yeah, video isn’t great. most of this is from memory. but he looks onside to me. the other CB seems to be keeping him on when the pass is made. then Gooch appears to “clear/deflect” the ball but it goes into the path of the other player. some said it was a bad back pass and therefore not offsides. US fans at the time argued it was just a deflection/clearance and that Gooch can’t be punished for that incidental touch.

      • That’s clearly a deflection. My only question on it is the onside-offside position. It’s very close, and I suspect the deflection caused the AR to look at the CAN player a little late (and thus after he had drifted into offside position).

    • Thanks, Matt, looks like that answers my question above. I looked around but could not find a clear answer on defender deflections.

    • Wrong. The point in time at which a players offside position is determined is when the ball is last played BY A TEAMMATE. The decision/clarification you are referring to applies to a situation where the attacking player (A1) is in offside position when a ball is played by a teammate (A2) and the ball deflects from a defending player (D1) to A1.

      That doesn’t apply in this case because when A2 played the ball, A1 was in onside position. A3 dummied the ball, but crucially, did not play it, meaning that you don’t reconsider A1’s onside-offside position. The AR thought A3 did play the ball, so he mistakenly considered A1’s position at that time. A1 was in offside position at that time, and got the the ball off a deflection from B1, so the AR judged A1 offside.

      He was wrong because he didn’t recognize/see the dummy and so he assumed that the ball had been played again by the SUI.

      • It is the position of the attacking player at the moment the defender is actively playing the ball, as he is initiating a new play. The only time this does not not apply is if the defender intentionally plays the ball in that direction. This all stems from passive offside rulings and being able to not gain advantage from an offside position, either for the defender or attacker

      • Matt: Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I know that you don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to Law 11 because you refer to defenders gaining advantage from being in an offside position. That concept makes no sense because of the conditions that are required to be in an offside position, namely, that a player must be in the opponent’s half.

      • I think your confusion is stems from the nature of the offside offense vs offside position. Everyone knows what it takes to be in offside position: opponent’s half, ahead of the ball, behind the second to last D. The offside offense, however, requries offside position when the ball was last played by a teammate and one of interfering with play, interfering with an opponent, or gaining an advantage.

        In this case, it is not offside because the player in question was not in offside position when the ball was last gained by a teammate. It doesn’t matter that he gained an advantage from his position, because his position was onside. The deflection from the opponent does not change that.

      • Sorry… Second ‘graf, bolded should be: “was not in offside position when the ball was last played by a teammate.”

      • You are so incorrect. From Laws of the Game:

        “A player in an offside position is only penalised if, AT THE MOMENT THE BALL TOUCHES OR IS PLAYED BY ONE OF HIS TEAM, he is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play.”

        Dos Santos was in an onside position at the moment the corner kick was taken by one of his team, so the fact that it took an incidental deflection by a defender is completely irrelevant.

      • Technically, even if you are in offside position (yes, it’s barely possible) there can be no offside offense from a CK. Otherwise, spot on.

  8. That sucks for Ecuador. Whats the appropriate punishment for Michael Arroyo? Not pulling the trigger on that shot and then not getting back on defense was absolutely criminal.

      • Really so all the players out there should be perfect 100% of the time since they are paid to make the right play?

      • all i’m going to say is the ref blew another call. it’s that simple. blame FIFA for a lack of tech or blame the man himself…i don’t care. the POINT is the call was WRONG. again.

      • Are kidding me? It was blatantly obvious xhaka dummied it and an Ecuador player touched it. The center ref was right there

      • Sorry buddy Im talking about before the replay. The ref was right there and should have known there was a possibility the AR thought it touched a Swiss player and should have talked to him

      • But does that settle it, Chris? This is very confusing to me, and this one and also the Mexico goal that was called back on the corner were called back for what seems the same reason.

        Here, when ball is played, goalscorer is onside, that’s clear from replays. If the AR is then calling offside for the deflection off the defender as you say, then it appears the right call. That’s what it seems FIFA says to do.

        The problem is, does the deflection count as a “reset” of some sort to the play. If so, goalscorer is indeed offside (at moment of deflection.) But if it’s part of the original play, which began when the ball was initially played to the goalscorer (when he was onside), then the goal should count.

        See examples 11&12 here to see what I mean.

      • A player’s offside-onside position is determined at the time the ball is played by a teammate.

        In the Mexico case, the AR mistakenly though that the ball had deflected from a MEX head. Had it, Dos Santos would have been offside. Since it didn’t, you consider the last time the ball was played by a MEX player, which was a CK, and you can’t be offside from a CK.

        In the SUI case, the when the ball was last played by the SUI by A1, A2 (scorer) was in onside position. A3 dummied, but did not play the ball. This should not have caused the AR to reconsider A2’s postiion (which was now Offside position). The AR did reconsider at that point, and mistakenly called A2 offside when he gained an advantage from the deflection off of D1.

        Basically, while the “gaining an advantage” clause of the offside offense was present, the offside position was not. Hard call though…

  9. In an age of Escherian tactical schemes, it is refreshing to watch a side that plays a 1-2-3 Go formation. Only one direction on the compass:north. Only one speed in the gearbox: overdrive. Go for it Ecuador.

  10. The worst excuse for a seeded team Switzerland losing and looking very average against Ecuador. How did they get seeded over Portugal, England and Italy?

  11. That was too easy on the Ecuador goal. Figures that an ex-Arsenal center back would loose his marker to gift an uncontested header. 🙂

  12. How stupid of the Ref. Don’t draw the little half circle if you are gunna let him take it from anywhere.

    Sloppy defense even then by the Swiss.

  13. Looking at some sporting events not just the WC, MLS tv production seems low quality. Local broadcast included. There should be rules if you want to broadcast MLS games.


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