On Day 4
Lionel Messi ended a typically mazy dribble with a low, side-footed finish to spark Argentina in their 2-1 Group F win over Bosnia & Herzegovina at the Maracana. Under-fire for not always producing his best when it counts, Messi rattled in his 39th international goal to augment a stop-start Argentine performance. Vedad Ibisevic headed in what proved to be a consolation for B-H.
Switzerland may be ranked sixth in the world, according to FIFA’s cloistered boffins, but they have yet to win over the likes of Brian Kerr and Ronnie Whelan. Regardless of the dissenting voices from the Irish jury, Valon Behrami’s late show inspired the Swiss to a 2-1 win over Ecuador.
Goalline technology pushed the Honduras’ agricultural tackling out of the headlines in Group E’s other game as France won 3-0. Karim Benzema scored two goals and his shot off the post bounced of hapless goalkeeper Noel Valladares and over the line. The survey said… Goal.
Karim Benzema - Charged with scoring the bulk of France’s goals now that attacking star Franck Ribery is watching from home, Benzema did not disappoint. He slotted home a penalty, sparked the goalline-assisted own goal fumble and roofed his second to start his tournament in style.
Wilson Palacios - The former Spurs midfielder hardly featured for Stoke City last season yet was crucial to his country’s hopes of stifling France. He did so by kicking everything in dark blue that moved. This included studding each one of Paul Pogba’s shins and lumping into Mathieu Valbuena. He then bundled into Pogba to give away a penalty and earn a second yellow card in the process.
Marcos Rojos needed to make a defensive clearance for Argentina and decided it was time to treat us all to a rabona.
What have we got to look forward to today?
- One of the tournament favourites, Germany get their World Cup underway at 5pm against Portugal.
- Iran take on Nigeria from 8pm in Curitiba as end round one of fixtures in Group F.
- A fascinating game kicks off at 11pm between Ghana and USA.