News / Americas

Nigeria, Switzerland, France Advance to World Cup's 2nd Round

Nigeria's Ahmed Musa celebrates after scoring his team's second goal against Argentina during their 2014 World Cup Group F soccer match at the Beira Rio stadium in Porto Alegre June 25, 2014.
Nigeria's Ahmed Musa celebrates after scoring his team's second goal against Argentina during their 2014 World Cup Group F soccer match at the Beira Rio stadium in Porto Alegre June 25, 2014.
Mike Richman

Switzerland, France and Nigeria secured spots in the coveted round of 16 in World Cup action Wednesday in Brazil.

 

France played Ecuador to a scoreless draw in Rio de Janeiro to finish first in Group E with seven points. 

 

Afterward, Ecuador's coach Reinaldo Rueda complained about a referee's decision to dismiss Ecuadorian team captain and midfielder Antonio Valencia on a questionable red card. The red card for Valencia's challenge to France's Lucas Digne caused Ecuador to play most of the second half with 10 men.

 

With the loss, Ecuador became the only South American team not to advance beyond the group stage to the round of 16, also known as the knockout round.

 

"We lost a very important man for our structure," Rueda said. "It was difficult against France with all the virtues and abilities that team has."

 

Swiss Player Scores Three

 

In Manaus, Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri provided all of the scoring in a 3-0 win over Honduras that lifted the Swiss into the second round. The Swiss finished behind France with six points.    

 

Despite losing to Argentina in Group F play, Nigeria advanced to the knockout round after Iran fell to Bosnia-Herzegovina in Salvador, 3-1.

 

Wednesday's Argentina-Nigeria match in Porto Alegre was action packed from the start, with Argentine captain Lionel Messi and Nigeria's Ahmed Musa scoring in the first five minutes of play. The two scored again before a goal off Argentina's Marcos Rojo's knee remained unanswered for a 3-2 finish.

 

Argentina, which qualified for the knockout round last week, finished first in Group F with nine points, followed by Nigeria with four, Bosnia with three and Iran with one. 

 

Competition Wednesday was overshadowed by a controversy that surfaced the day before involving Uruguay's star striker, Luis Suarez.

 

On Tuesday, Suarez appeared to bite Italy's Giorgio Chiellini in the shoulder during Uruguay's 1-0 win in a Group D match that sent the Uruguayans to the knockout round.

 

The governing body of international football, FIFA, said Wednesday it is investigating the incident, which has since been the talk of the football world.

 

Urgent Matter for FIFA 

 

"I think the disciplinary committee understands the urgency of the matter," said Delia Fischer, FIFA's head of media. "It is working to get all and assess all elements in order to make a decision as early as possible, particularly given the fact that Uruguay is still in the tournament."

 

Suarez's teammates played down the incident.

 

"We're good, we're calm, we don't want to dramatize anything," Uruguay's Gaston Ramirez said. "They made too much out of it. There have been other situations that have happened during the World Cup, and I don't know why we should focus on this one.  They had their backs turned, so we didn't see anything, and for us it looks like they want to exaggerate something that happened on the pitch and ended there, that's it."

 

Suarez has had several bouts with controversy. In club play, he has been suspended twice for biting opposing players, and once for spewing racially abusive language at an opponent. He is likely to be suspended again if Tuesday's biting incident is confirmed.

 

Uruguay's next match is on Saturday against Colombia in the round of 16.  A decision by FIFA is expected before then.

 

On Thursday, group play closes with pivotal matches in Group G and Group H.

 

All four Group G teams are still bidding for spots in the knockout round.  Germany and the United States., tied for first with four points, clash in Recife.  Portugal and Ghana, with one point each, meet in Brasilia.

 

With victories in its first two games, Belgium is the only Group H team that has qualified for the round of 16.  The Belgians play South Korea in Sau Paulo, and Algeria and Russia face off in Curitiba.  Algeria is second to Belgium with three points, while South Korea and Russia have one point each.

You May Like

ASEAN Ministers Set to Push for South China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs

More Americas News

Republican Candidates Focus on Immigration Ahead of First Debate

Fourteen of the 17 major Republican contenders took part in a forum ahead of the party's first official debate; Donald Trump did not participate
More

Venezuela Prevents Opposition Leader From Running

Election officials reject Maria Corina Machado's attempt to register as a candidate Monday for upcoming congressional elections
More

Mexico City Mayor Vows Full Probe of Journalist Slaying

Journalist groups had expressed fears authorities would not consider Ruben Espinosa's murder as being related to his work, even though colleagues say he fled state he covered fearing for his safety
More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession
More

Brazilian Police Arrest Lula Minister in Bribery Scandal

Jose Dirceu is one of most senior members of ruling Workers' Party to be detained so far in corruption scandal engulfing state-run oil company Petrobras
More

Poll: Disapproval of Chile's Bachelet Hits Record High

Chileans have soured on president as slow economic growth and scandals involving money in politics have marred her message of addressing deep inequality
More