News / Americas

Friday World Cup Winners: Costa Rica, France, Ecuador

Costa Rica's forward Bryan Ruiz celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during a Group D match between Italy and Costa Rica at the Pernambuco Arena in Recife during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, June 20, 2014.
Costa Rica's forward Bryan Ruiz celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during a Group D match between Italy and Costa Rica at the Pernambuco Arena in Recife during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, June 20, 2014.
Mike Richman
Costa Rica qualified for the World Cup's round of 16 with a 1-0 upset of Italy Friday, while France virtually assured itself of a spot in that round by dominating Switzerland, 5-2.

Costa Rica's win ruined England's chances of reaching the round of 16, also known as the knockout round. The last time England failed to qualify for that stage of the World Cup was 1958.

England, the world's 10th-ranked team according to FIFA, has suffered 2-1 losses to both Italy and Uruguay.

In Friday's Group D match in Recife, Costa Rica's Bryan Ruiz scored on a header just before halftime. Junior Diaz supplied the cross from the left, and Ruiz headed the ball onto the underside of the crossbar and over the line to beat goalie Gianluigi Buffon.

Fans of Costa Rica danced in the sunshine at Pernambuco Arena after their team's second victory.

A 'beautiful' match

"We kept up our heads; it was a beautiful match," Costa Rica's coach Jorge Luis Pinto said. "The people of Costa Rica deserve this. They supported the team and me. This was for them."

The last team to keep Italy from scoring at the World Cup was France in 1998. Italy then scored in 15 straight World Cup games before Friday's loss, after which Italy's coach, Cesare Prandelli, tried to remain positive.

"Right now, I don't think we need to be negative," he said. "We need to think about recovering our energies because we have another game in a few days' time. We play against Uruguay, and whether we qualify depends on that."

Costa Rica leads Group D with six points, followed by Italy and Uruguay with three each. Uruguay and Italy play each other on Tuesday in their final group match, which will decide which team advances to the knockout round along with Costa Rica.

In Group E play Friday in Salvador, France cruised to a 5-0 lead and held on for its three-goal win over Switzerland, the world's 6th-ranked team.

France overwhelms Swiss in first half

France's Olivier Giroud and Blasie Matuidi scored a minute apart in the first half, and Mathieu Valbuena made it 3-0 after a nifty pass by Giroud. The French outshot Switzerland in the first half, 11-4. Karim Benzema of France made up for a penalty miss in the first half with a goal in the 67th minute, then created Moussa Sissoko's score six minutes later.

"It was a great day for us," France's coach Didier Deschamps said. "We were 5-0 up against a good Swiss team after 75 minutes, and we really had a lot of pressure in midfield. There were a few turning points in the game, but to be able to reach 3-0 at halftime really helps. At 2-0, opponents can still turn things round, but 3-0 makes a difference. We have to continue in the same vein. We have now scored eight goals and have been very effective; there's no doubt about that."RFE

France leads Group E with six points, while Ecuador and Switzerland trail with three points each.

In Friday's last game, Ecuador beat Honduras, 2-1, in Curitiba. Honduras took the lead in the 31st minute with its first World Cup goal in 32 years; but, Ecuador's Enner Valencia responded with two goals, including the game-winner in the 65th minute.

The win kept Ecuador in contention for the knockout round. Ecuador and France clash on Wednesday in their last group game.

There are two Group F matches on Saturday. Argentina, which leads that group with three points, takes on Iran and Nigeria faces Bosnia-Herzegovina. Germany, which is tied with the United States atop Group G with three points, battles Ghana.

Some information for this report comes from AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

800-Pound Man Determined to Slim Down

Man says he was kicked out of hospital for ordering pizza; wants to be an actor More

Australia Prepares to Resettle 12,000 Syrian Refugees

Preference will be given to refugees from persecuted minorities, and the first group is expected to arrive before late December More

S. African Miners Seek Class Action Suit Against Gold Mines

The estimated 100,000 say say they contracted the lung diseases silicosis and tuberculosis in the mines More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs

More Americas News

Drug Lord Mask Topping Halloween Sales

Mexican authorities continue search for escaped Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzmán, but manhunt for Sinaloa cartel leader could be tough - many plan to dress like fugitive

Panama Condo Owners to Trump: You're Fired!

Directors of luxury condominium development say mismanagement, overspending and undisclosed bonuses executives paid themselves prompted decision

Rescued Chilean Miners Were 'Battle-Scarred,' Author Says

Despite becoming celebrities after their improbable rescue in 2010, the men were deeply wounded, said writer Hector Tobar

Celebration of Peru's Economic Boom Comes Late

World Bank, IMF policymakers this week call country a prize pupil of financial stability, however, plunging prices for minerals have cut annual growth dramatically

Guatemala Landslide Death Toll Tops 220; Another 350 Missing

Loosened by heavy rains, hillside collapsed onto Santa Catarina Pinula on southeastern flank of Guatemala City October 1, burying scores of homes

Report: More Than 58,000 Violent Deaths Last Year in Brazil

Annual report on public security says number of violent deaths up nearly 5 percent last year from 2013, when country suffered a then high of 55,000 such deaths