Italy 0 – Costa Rica 1
Costa Rica may not have been expected to do much in Group D with the likes of England, Uruguay and Italy as their competition. But after their 1-0 win over Italy on Friday, they won their second straight game in the tournament and secured their place in the next round. Despite Italy dominating possession for 58% of the game, it was a Bryan Ruiz goal at the 44’ that was the difference. Both teams had 10 total shots and 6 shots on target, but nothing aside from Ruiz’s goal found its way to the back of the net. The outcome of the game also resulted in England being eliminated from the tournament as well.
Though the small country of Costa Rica may not have been favored going into the tournament, they now find themselves at 50/1 odds to win the 2014 World Cup. Italy still is at 28/1 odds, but they certainly struggled and had a hard time getting any scores on Friday. Costa Rica has one more game against England next Wednesday and the second spot for advancing from this group will go to the winner of the Uruguay and Italy game. Be sure to check back with sportspicks.com for handicap insight into both of these games before kickoff.
Switzerland 2 – France 5
France won its second game of the tournament on Friday and cemented their place in the next round at the same time with their 5-2 win over Switzerland. The French scored three goals in the first half alone. Oliver Giroud started things off in the 17’ and Blaise Matuidi followed it up just one minute later. Five minutes before halftime, Mathieu Valbuena scored as things started to get out of hand. Karim Benzema scored in the 67’ and Moussa Sissoko put in the final goal at the 73’ mark. Switzerland would score twice in the final ten minutes, as substitute Blerim Dzemaili put one in at 81’ and Grant Zhaka scored at 87’.
The French are playing incredibly strong and have looked impressive in both of their outings. They are at 9/1 odds to win it all this year. Switzerland is at 150/1 and they may have an easier time advancing to the group of 16. The second spot in Group E will go to them or Ecuador. However, Switzerland will play a winless Honduras, while Ecuador will have their work cut out for them against France in the final group game.
Honduras 1 – Ecuador 2
Speaking of the other teams in Group E, Ecuador earned their first win of the World Cup with a 2-1 over Honduras. Carlo Costly scored the first goal of the tournament for Honduras at the 31’ mark. However, Enner Valencia would follow it up three minutes later with his first goal of the match. Valencia scored another goal at the 65’ mark to send his country into a frenzy. Honduras had 16 shots in the game, 9 of which were on goal. Ecuador had only 8 shots and 5 of them were on goal. The time of possession was just slightly in favor of Ecuador at 51%-29%.
As mentioned, Ecuador will have to get a huge win over France if they hope to advance to the next round. They’ll also have to hope that Switzerland loses their match against Honduras. Ecuador is currently at 150/1 odds and Honduras as the lowest odds in the tournament at 4000/1.