World Cup Brazil 2014: Day 9 Open Thread

Matthias Hangst

Colombia are through, England are more or less out, Today, that can be confirmed if Italy don't beat Costa Rica. Also, group E action as France take on Switzerland and Ecuador play Honduras.

So then, yesterday. Can we all just move on past that? No? I'm contractually obligated to half arsedly mention everything that happened there? huh.

Alright, well first it was Colombia vs Cote d'Ivoire, a game that didn't really get going (at least by this World Cup's lofty standards) but once again cometh the hour, cometh the man, Didier Drogba! Sadly for him, this time he inspired the wrong team as Colombia swiftly moved into a 2-0 lead. Cote d'Ivoire got right back into it though through a lovely individual effort from Gervinho, but alas it wasn't enough and Colombia held on to the lead to go to 6 points and all but assure themselves of qualifying.

That qualificiation was assured in the evening game as Greece took on japan in what was a bit of a snoozer really, Greece's defensive tendencies amplified after the sending off of their captain in the first half, and Japan not quite sharp enough to break them down. Those two teams now have 1 point, with Cote d'Ivoire on 3, so still all to play for there.

Between those 2 games was England taking on Uruguay: Suarez's revenge. That may have seemed like a simplistic plotline for this game, but he really drove it home with his post game interviews, apparently there's plenty of people within the english game that Luis thought he owed a big Fuck You to, and he gave them it with 2 goals, the second wonderfully assisted by Steven Gerrard's flick on. England didn't look terrible, the game was fairly even really, and you could argue that england have played ok against two good teams and just come up short so there's no disgrace there, but really, meh is all I have to say about them. I never really got the impression that they were going to win either game, they just look like the same old same old, uninspired and nowhere near clever enough to cause problems. But hey, there's some good young players there so there's hope for the future, maybe, somehow, until you think about all the good young English players that just never really seem to improve and become the players they should for whatever reason (Rooney, Owen, Lennon, all those 'Golden Generation' players, pretty much every goalie we've tried since David Seaman retired etc etc ad infinitum).  Qualification is still very much a possibility, if Italy can beat Costa Rica, then beat Uruguay, and England can beat Costa Rica, then all 3 teams would have 3 points, England would be ahead of Uruguay on goal difference, and all England would have to do is beat Costa Rica by 2 goals (maybe even just 1 depending on how heavily Italy defeat them) and they'd sneak a dishonourable 2nd place, then who knows what might happen (lose on penalties, that's what'll happen). Meh.

Anyway, moving on to today, and first up we have Italy vs Costa Rica at 12. Anything other than an Italy win and England is definitely out, so Forza Azzuri for that one I guess. I really can't see Costa Rica pulling off another upset, so I'm fairly comfortable the agonising hope will be stretched out for another few days.

Then it's on to Group E, starting with Switzerland vs France at 3. Both these teams won their first game, France satisfyingly crushing Honduras 3-0 and Switzerland providing perhaps the move of the tournament to go from their own penalty box to scoring at the other end via a perfect tackle, a great counter, a wonderful advantage by the ref and a lethal finish, all in the last minute of injury time.  Much like Colombia yesterday, a win wouldn't guarantee qualification, but to all intents and purposes it does, so hopefully they'll both be going for those 3 points.

Then at 6, it's the 2 group E teams with 0 points, Ecuador vs Honduras. Depending on what happens earlier, this could well be a lose and go home game, so there's a good chance of this being a cagey defensive one, which would probably suit Honduras and their sneaky concacaf ways.

Anyway, let's see what happens shall we? As always join us here for chat throughout the day.

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