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Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 1 December, 2015


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IT’S THE TURN of teams from Groups C and D to book their tickets to the knockout stages. 

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Good afternoon, one and all. After yesterday saw Brazil, Mexico, the Netherlands and Chile assure themselves of at least one more game at these finals, four more nations will earn places in the second round today.

First up, Italy and Uruguay, both level on four points in Group D, battle it out in Natal while the already eliminated England face group leaders Costa Rica in Belo Horizonte. Both matches kicked off at 5pm and are currently 0-0.

At 9pm, it’s Greece v Ivory Coast and Japan v Colombia.

There has been a fair amount of love for Uruguay’s national anthem ‘Orientales, la Patria o la Tumba’ on Twitter this afternoon.

Here’s a clip of the 2010 team singing along:

Source: SuarezFtw/YouTube

I’m a big fan of Italy’s myself, while Brazil and France also get mentioned during a quick debate at HQ.

So, tell us… what is your favourite national anthem at this World Cup? 

So Roy Hodgson insists he is sticking around for the Euro 2016 qualifiers. Is he the right man for England? Who are the realistic alternatives?

Soccer - FIFA World Cup 2014 - Group D - Costa Rica v England - Estadio Mineirao Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

He has gone with an experimental side for their final game and fans have clearly come to terms with their early exit…

If Italy do make it to the last 16, they will be without their first choice striker Mario Balotelli, who has picked up a yellow card for this crazy challenge.

Why always him indeed…

If, like me, you’re watching Italy v Uruguay, I feel for you. Other than a whole lot of play-acting and a couple of attempted lobs on Gigi Buffon, there has been little to report as we come up to the half-time whistle.

Moments ago, Luis Suarez caught Andrea Pirlo late and took a trailing arm to the face in the process. As you would expect, he didn’t take to kindly to it.

They are also yet to break the deadlock in the England – Costa Rica game but here’s a piece of neat footwork from Costa Rica captain Bryan Ruiz.

Many childhood years and a large chunk of pocket money was spent on collecting and swapping World Cup and Premier League stickers.

According to this report, the craze has never been more popular in Brazil. Have you got any fond Panini-related memories?

Source: SNTV - Inside every story/YouTube

RED CARD FOR ITALY! Claudio Marchisio gets his marching orders for a dangerously-high challenge on Egidio Arevalo Rios and the Azzurri are down to ten men for the final half hour.


Roy Hodgson has brought on Steven Gerrard so he will get one more shot at playing alongside Frank Lampard. He’s not exactly looking to the future with that one, is he?

Oh my word, he didn’t… did he? We’ve had a couple of mad minutes in Natal. First, Luis Suarez appears to bite Giorgio Chiellini when the pair come together in the box.

Uruguay then take the leads through a heder from Diego Godin and Italy are going out.

It’s full-time in both games.

  • Costa Rica 0-0 England
  • Italy 0-1 Uruguay 

Costa Rica go through as Group D winners on seven points while Uruguay are second on six. That means Italy and England are out.

That’s my lot but there’s still a whole lot of football to be played this evening so stick around.

Cheers for joining me and check back in later in the week when we will be giving away a number of prizes thanks to Budweiser.

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