World Cup, Brazil 2014: Day 3, Open Thread.

AW, no-one wanted to swap shirts with Mike Jedinak. Never mind Mike, Timmy still cares. - Stu Forster

Up today, England vs Italy, and some lower profile matches that will probably be a lot more entertaining.

Well then. Shit got real in a big way for Spain yesterday. This wasn't the same as hilariously losing their first game in 2010 to Switzerland, that was a comprehensive takedown by the Dutch, all quick and incisive with some very well taken goals and helped by some comically bad goalkeeping. It's not all over for them of course, there's still a couple of games to go to pick up points for 2nd place, or even first as let's face it, as impressive as they looked yesterday, the Netherlands are always likely to implode at any point so it's all very much up for grabs still. With decent options on the bench it might well be the end of an era though for Iker Casillas who looked particularly shoddy out there. If he does get replaced, well at least that amazing double save near the end will provide a happier last memory than the rest of that 2nd half. As for the Dutch, if they can avoid that implosion and if Van Persie and especially Robben can keep playing like that then they could be in with a chance of going a long way here.

As for the other 2 group B teams, that was a hell of an entertaining game they put on. Looked like Chile were just going to crush the Aussies, 2-0 up early, but it was a great fightback led by Tim Cahill, yay for MLS content, making the vaunted Chileans look pretty ordinary until they ran out of gas in the last 20 minutes or so, letting in a 3rd that they really didn't deserve. As much as you look at the Australian lineup and think, well they're not much better than Canada really, we could totally do this, it just seems impossible to imagine that Canada would put in that kind of performance after falling behind 2 quick goals in an important game, and that's probably the main reason why that no, no we can't do this yet.

The earlier game, going back to Group A, saw Mexico get shafted by the refs before finally scoring one they couldn't disallow to get the 3 points over Cameroon.

Today it's 4 games! Bloody hell. The highest profile is of course England vs Italy at 6pm eastern, two old European powers going at it, trying to convince themselves they still matter and have a chance at doing something here, big league players all over the place. Basically there's nothing more predictable than that after some cracking games yesterday, it's just setting it up for this 'big' game to be an absolute snoozefest. Maybe it won't be, who knows but at least it will be important as there's a very very big chance one of those teams won't make it beyond the group stage. I'll put aside my distaste for so many of the England players (though as the 'Golden Generation' dwindles that's getting to be less of a factor) and give a half hearted 'come on England'.

The other group D game is Costa Rica vs Uruguay at 3pm, a match without Luis Suarez, sadly still working his way to fitness.  Much like Australia, you've got to feel a bit sorry for Costa Rica, already up against it but none of the other teams will be taking it easy against them knowing it'll be a tough group that could come down to goal difference, they could well get a few hammerings. Hopefully not, but...

Those 2 games are sandwiched between two group C games, first up at 12 it's Colombia vs Greece. Not a whole lot to say about that one really, they're definitely 2 teams I've got a lot to learn about, but you'd think Colombia would have enough to get by the greeks.

Finishing off the day at 9pm, it's Japan vs Cote d'Ivoire, which I feel like should be a very good game, hopefully the half time birthday cake slices that Yaya Toure demands won't slow CIV down too much.

Today's games would really have to be spectacular to top yesterday's entertainment, You've got to think that won't happen, but hopefully somewhere amongst it all there'll be something worth watching, and hopefully the refs won't get in that way as much as they have been so far.

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