The World Cup, it just keeps going.
Italy vs. Costa Rica… Costa Rica jumped on a plodding Uruguay team. While Italy are not fleet of foot, they have far more skill and ability to maintain possession. Heat and humidity will be a concern, with an afternoon kickoff. Italy should push for mandatory water breaks, after Claudio Marchisio complained of hallucinating during the England match. England need an Italy win, a fact not lost on Mario Balotelli. Gigi Buffon is back in goal which is excellent news for the Azzurri.
France vs. Switzerland… Both these teams should go through. The winner gets Bosnia Herzegovina, Iran or Nigeria in the Round of 16. The loser gets Argentina, probably. Didier Deschamps’ young French squad impressed against Honduras. Though it was Honduras and, for much of the match, a 10-man Honduras. Switzerland came from behind to beat Ecuador 2-1.
Honduras vs. Ecuador… Honduras has pledged to make changes. It’s not clear whether one of those changes will be trying to play soccer. Ecuador showed a bit more in the first leg, and deserved a point. If you need some narrative sizzle, Ecuador’s coach used to coach Honduras and Honduras’ coach used to coach Ecuador.
In Other News… The long rumored Kaka to MLS move appears to be on. The Brazilian star will leave AC Milan on loan to his youth club, Sao Paolo before joining Orlando City SC when they begin play in 2015.
Luis Suarez says England coach Roy Hodgson’s refusal to call him “world-class” was his motivation for scoring his brace against the Three Lions. Nice job, Roy.