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Here are the best and worst XIs of the World Cup’s second round of games

Luis Suarez, Karim Benzema and James Rodriguez are among those who have caught the eye.

Suarez scored a brace to end England's World Cup hopes.
Suarez scored a brace to end England's World Cup hopes.
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico): OCHOA PLAYED AN integral role in helping his unfancied side secure a 0-0 draw with hosts Brazil, pulling off a number of fine stops to keep Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men at bay.

Junior Diaz (Costa Rica): Provided the assist for Bryan Ruiz’s goal and generally performed solidly as the Costa Ricans shocked Italy.

Giancarlo Gonzalez (Costa Rica): Despite coming up against a formidable striker in Mario Balotelli, Gonzalez got the better of the ex-Man City player and helped guide his side to a surprise victory in the process.

Gary Medel (Chile): The Cardiff City player was a rock in the centre of defence as Chile dumped Spain out of the World Cup, continually putting his body on the line to ensure his country prevailed.

Mario Yepes (Colombia): The 38-year-old centre-back was making his 100th international appearance and delivered a majestic performance worthy of the occasion as Colombia overcame Ivory Coast.

Brazil Soccer WCup Switzerland France Source: Sergei Grits

(France’s Blaise Matuidi celebrates scoring his side’s second goal during the group E World Cup soccer match against Switzerland)

Blaise Matuidi (France): The PSG star shone as France delivered a five-star performance to ease past Switzerland, scoring the all-important second goal to help instigate an emphatic victory.

James Rodriguez (Colombia): The Monaco man scored one and created another, and generally looked a class apart as Colombia narrowly beat Ivory Coast.

Arturo Vidal (Chile): Created the first goal and generally had a superb match against Spain, adding some guile to Chile’s relentlessly robust play, in addition to epitomsing their energy, continually pressurising Sergio Busquets in the process.

Luis Suarez (Uruguay): Uruguay are an entirely different proposition with Suarez in the team, as highlighted by their contrasting fortunes in their opening two World Cup matches. His fantastic brace against England proved to be the difference between the sides and reminded viewers why he’s considered as being among the world’s top players.

Emmanuel Emenike (Nigeria): Undoubtedly Nigeria’s standout player, Emenike made an assist for Peter Odemwingie’s decisive goal against Bosnia and generally tormented opponents — particularly Emir Spahic, who simply could not cope with the 27-year-old attacker’s pace and power.

Karim Benzema (France): Produced an imperious performance despite missing a penalty, as France outclassed Switzerland, with Benzema causing opponents countless problems and getting his name on the scoresheet to boot. Manager Didier Deschamps described the striker as “world class” after the game, and it was difficult to argue with that assessment on such evidence.

Subs: Sergio Romero (Argentina), Christian Bolanos (Costa Rica), Rafael Marquez (Mexico), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Ivan Perisic (Croatia), Juan Cuadrado (Colombia), Mario Mandzukic (Croatia).

Flops XI: Iker Casillas (Spain), Benoit Assou Ekotto (Cameroon), Phil Jagielka (England), Emir Spahic (Bosnia), Johan Djourou (Switzerland), Alex Song (Cameroon), Xabi Alonso (Spain), Steven Gerrard (England),  Paulinho (Brazil), Diego Costa (Spain), Fred (Brazil).

Who would you have included?

Here are the best and worst XIs of the World Cup’s first round of games>

Steven Gerrard ‘needs more time’ to decide England future>

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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