Costa Rica Beats Italy, Advances to Round of 16

  • VOA News

    June 21, 2014 09:45

    Costa Rica secured a spot in the World Cup's second round with a 1-0 upset of Italy in a key Group D match on Friday.

    The win in Recife 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 round in the World Cup was 1958.

    Costa Rica's Bryan Ruiz scored on a header just before halftime for the only goal. 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.

    Costa Rica's Bryan Ruiz (10) watches as the ball goes past Italy's goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon to score his side's first goal during the Group D World Cup soccer match between Italy and Costa Rica in Recife on June 20, 2014. /AP

    In a Group E match in Salvador, France cruised to a 5-0 lead and held on for a 5-2 win over Switzerland, the world's 6th-ranked team according to FIFA. The victory virtually assured the French of a spot in the knockout round.

    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. 

    France is in control of Group E with six points and can qualify for the round of 16 if Ecuador and Honduras draw in Friday's final match.

    A loss by Ecuador or Honduras would end their chances of qualifying for the next round.

    The French end their group play against Ecuador on Wednesday. 

    The last team to keep Italy from scoring at the World Cup was France in 1998. Since that 0-0 match, Italy scored in 15 straight World Cup games before Friday's loss.

    Costa Rica now 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

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

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