The quality just keeps on coming from this World Cup, everyone keeps writing that, expecting it to settle down at least briefly into mundanity but it doesn't, yesterday more than lived up to what had come before. First up was Costa Rica vs Italy, not a great game but another shock result, and a deserved one really, for Costa Rica who clinched qualification from the group everyone assumed they'd finish 4th in, and they still haven't played England yet. The goal came from Bryan Ruiz in the 44th minute, just after Los Ticos had had an obvious penalty turned down. Costa Rica hung on to the lead, but not by luck as it wasn't in any way like Italy were all over them, it was a curiously subdued performance. Co they now have 6 points with Uruguay and Italy tied on 3 and England on 0 and officially out.
Then it was on to group E action, starting with France and Switzerland and France ran riot, two quick goals blew the game open in the 17th and 18th minutes, they missed a penalty but still made it 3 before half time, got it up to 5 before allowing 2 late goals to give it a semblance of respectability. France almost added a 6th, but the ref blew the final whistle as France were attacking, a mere second or two before Karim Benzema's shot went in, amusing, and in the context of this game meaningless, but if qualification from this group comes down to goal difference, which is very very possible, it could play a big part.
After that it was Honduras vs Ecuador, both team starting on 0 points so desperate for a result, and it was a surprisingly open game, nowhere near the amount of shenanigans you'd expect from Honduras. They took the lead through Carlo Costly, and were definitely the better team in the first, though Ecuador equalised through Emer Valencia. The back and forth continued in the second half, Honduras letting fly with a lot of well struck long range shots that just missed, and Ecuador getting the winner through Valencia again. They now have 3 points as do Switzer;land while Honduras has 0, but can still qualify.
Sp what's today, well it's mainly group F, what might be the most uninspiring group of all. The action gets underway with Argentina vs Iran at 12 Eastern. I'll lazily assume this will be a walk in the park for the Argentinians, another chance for Messi to show us all what he can do on the world stage.
At 6 eastern it's Nigeria vs Bosnia and Herzegovina, you've got to think Nigeria sees this one as a must win given they still have Argentina to play. Hopefully that will inspire them to better than the 0-0 draw with Iran that's easily the dullest game of the tournament so far.
Sandwiched between those games is some group G action. G is for Germany, and also for Ghana and that's who'll play here. After crushing and thoroughly dispiriting the Portugese, Germany could all but sew up qualification here, whereas Ghana desperately need a win, though a loss wouldn't be fatal to their hopes, no matter what happenes in the toher game tomorrow.
So, open wide for yet more soccer. I'm nowhere near feeling full yet.