I think we all need to take a minute to just think about how great the World Cup has been so far. We aren't even in a week yet and it's already had a ton of memorable moments. There has been beautiful attacking play, dramatic finishes and upsets. The U.S. kicks off later today versus Ghana but before that happens, here's a recap of yesterday's action.
Switzerland 2, Ecuador 1
The Swiss are always a hard team to figure out. They have a respectable roster but they aren't a team that strikes fear into many teams. Yet they have had steady success recently and look to be in pole position to get out of the group. Both teams exchanged first half close range headers off of corners. Both teams will look back the goals and be disappointed in their marking.
The game ended in a dramatic finish when in the 93rd minute of stoppage time, Valon Behrami blocked an Ecuadorian shot that looked to be goal bound. The Swiss quickly broke out and highly-rated left back Ricardo Rodriguez whipped in a beautiful cross for Haris Seferovic to sweep home at the near post. Credit needs to be given to the referee who played the advantage for the Swiss after Ecuador fouled the Swiss in the middle of the field but didn't stop the counter. Ecuador will now face an uphill climb to get out of the group and will look back at this last minute with regret.
France 3, Honduras 0
France cruised to easy win over Honduras with some help from Wilson Palacios. From the start it was obvious that Honduras wanted to be physical against France. Palacios took that message to the extreme and earned two first half yellow cards and being called for a penalty. Karim Benzema cooly finished the penalty and France was in the driver's seat for the rest of the game up a man.
The French looked to banish the demons of 2010 and looked impressive throughout the game. They have a great set of young players on the team who did not look intimidated by being on the world's stage. Karim Benzema was responsible for the second goal but was not credited with it because it cannoned off the frame and off the Honduras goalie. For the first time ever, the goal line technology was used to confirm the goal. Benzema eventually added a third as France cruised to an opening win.
Argentina 2, Bosnia-Herzegovina 1
In the Maracanã, Argentina was backed by a pro-Argentina crowd that made it seem like a home game in Buenos Aires. Argentina was lucky to go ahead in the 3rd minute when a free kick unluckily bounced off of Bosnia defender Sead Kolasinac and went in for an own goal. Bosnia responded well but after half time, Argentina brought on Fernando Gago and Gonzalo Higuain to switch from a 5-3-2 to a 4-3-3 which paid immediate dividends.
Messi was everywhere in the second half and showed the rest of the field what Argentina is capable of. They had several good chances which all came through Messi but in the 65th minute, he scored a goal that will be replayed for years to come. After combining with Higuain, Messi danced his way through the Bosnia defense in a way only he can and drilled a low shot in off the post. Bosnia didn't pose much of a threat but scored their first ever World Cup goal through St. Louis University alum Vedad Ibisevic. With great support from their fans and Messi looking to be healthy and resembling the player he is at Barcelona, Argentina has the looks of a favorite.
What were your thoughts on the games? Who stood out for you?