Who would have thought it? Following just two games Costa Rica have the maximum six points after beating both Italy and Uruguay. The Central Americans, who were given little chance of even scoring a goal in the fearsome Group D, secured their passage into the knockout phase thanks to a first-half Bryan Ruiz header which called goal line action into play. The result was enough to ensure England will not make it through the World Cup’s opening phase for the first time since 1958.
Les Bleus cemented their status as tournament dark horses against Switzerland with a convincing 5-2 victory. Goals from Olivier Giroud, Blaise Matuidi, Mathieu Valbuena, Karim Benzema and Moussa Sissoko handed the French a convincing lead heading into the final 15 minutes, but some slack defending then allowed Blerim Dzemaili and Granit Xhaka to pull two back. Controversy did strike when Benzema saw his second, and France’s sixth, ruled out at the end as the final whistle had already sounded.
Ecuador nudged themselves back in line to make it out of Group E with a 2-1 win against lowly Honduras in the late game, but they had to come from behind to do so. Carlo Costly opened the scoring on the half-hour mark, but Enner Valencia pegged them back within a few minutes. The South American then netted again in the second half to leave the Hondurans reliant on securing their first win of the tournament and other results going their way to sneak through.