This World Cup proves that anything can happen and any team can win.
Here is Day 9:
ITA 0-1 CRC | Full Recap
England became Italy's biggest fans today because their World Cup hopes were in the hands of the Italians.
Right from the beginning you could see the belief in Costa Rica. They started the match with a couple of quick corners in which Italy's goalkeeper, Buffon, was unsure about coming off his line. Columbus Crew's Gonzalez got the start today for CRC and made his presence know quickly with a tackle on Italy's Mario Balotelli right on the edge of the box. This proved to be the way the match went for Balotelli; Costa Rica completely shut him down.
Italy did have a stretch in the 30th minute with a couple of chances including an attempted chip over the 'keeper and a rocket shot from Balotelli at the top of the box. Both shots we blocked by Costa Rica's goalkeeper Navas who had a wonderful match.
In the 43rd minute Costa Rica had a great arguement for a penalty kick when Joel Campbell had a breakaway and was tripped up in the box as he cut inside two defenders; however the referee waived it off and the entire CRC bench was incensed. Sixty seconds later, in a "ball-don't-lie" situation, Júnior Díaz sent a ball over top and found Bryan Ruiz whose header off the crossbar and down over line put the underdogs up 1-0 just before half.
In the second half Italy had their closest chance with a 30 yard free kick from Pirlo which bent over the wall but was pushed wide by Navas. From that point on Italy's frustration showed through 11 offside calls and all but one of their shots came from outside the box.
Today's result eliminates England from the World Cup even with one more match left in the group stage. Italy and Uruguay are tied; however, Italy have the tie breaker if their match ends level. For now there is a party in Costa Rica and we couldn't be happier for our CONCACAF family!
SUI 2-5 FRA | Full Recap
Both teams won their first match and so a win here all but guarentees a move to the Round of 16.
It a strange beginning Giroud and von Bergen clash in the 9th minute leaving the Swiss player with a bloody face. He was subbed off for Senderos.
France took a hold of the game for much of the match scoring the quickets back-to-back goals in the 2014 World Cup. The 17th minute header by Giroud off a corner and 67 seconds later Benzema steals a ball and sets up Matuidi for the goal.
Swiss thought they caught a break after Benaglio stopped the first PK of the World Cup and the follow up by Cabaye bounced right of the crossbar. However France went up 3-0 right before half when Giroud broke free and crossed perfectly to Valbuena who shot it right to the back of the net.
The second half started right where the first one ended with Benzema getting back in the Golden Boot race with his third goal of the competition putting France up 4-0. Minutes later Sissoko gets his first goal for France extending the lead to 5-0.
The 3 games played at Salvador were all large margin victories including Netherland's 5-1 win over Spain and Germany's 4-0 win over Portugal
The Swiss hadn't give up completely and scored back-to-back goals in the 81st and 87th minute. But it wasn't quite enough and France finish the match off with the 5-2 win and put themselves top of Group E. They will move onto the Round of 16 as long as Ecuador does not win. That match is coming up at 4pm.
HON 1-2 ECU | Full Recap
Ecuador came into this match needing to win because a loss would mean elimination after France got their second win today.
Honduras came into this game without scoring a goal in a World Cup since 1982 vs. Northern Ireland. They had the second longest scoring drought in World Cup history (512 minutes).
Within the first minutes both teams had a chance with Ecuador sending a ball in and Bernárdez (HON) clearing it off the line. One minute later Honduras' Costly broke free of the Ecuadorian defense and shot a ball right across goal with no teammates to clean it up. Costy broke the scoring drought in the 31st minute after a mistake in the defense and a shot from the top of the box to put Honduras up 1-0. However, three minutes later Ecuador's Valencia reaches around Beckeles and pokes in the shot to tie up the match.
The second half started with Ecuador pushing forward and not allowing Honduras many touches on the ball. In the 62nd minute Bengtson (HON) broke free and scored but the referee waived it offsides after the celebrations had already started.
The game winning goal for Ecuador came after Houton Dynamo's Boniek Garcia fouled Valencia just outside the box. That free kick led to Valencia coming off his defender, rising above, and finishing it off to put Ecuador up 2-1.
This result leaves Honduras in a must-win situation in their next match vs. Switzerland. Although France has 6 points they are not guarenteed the Round of 16 without a Honduras win/tie or a win/tie for themselves.