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World Cup Today: Sunday
by Paul Kennedy, June 15th, 2014 2:43PM
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[BRAZIL 2014] Lionel Messi thrilled fans at Maracana Stadium with a great goal to lead Argentina past Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2-1, in their opening game the World Cup. France and Switzerland opened play in Group E with wins on Sunday.

WORLD CUP SCORING: 11 games, 37 goals, average: 3.36.

Argentina-Bosnia-Herzegovina

Lionel Messi delivered at the Maracana Stadium, scoring what proved be the winning goal in Argentina's 2-1 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina to open up play at the World Cup.

Argentina needed the goal when sub Vedad Ibisevic, the former Soccer America Freshman of the Year at Saint Louis, scored a late goal for BiH.

Group F
June 15 in Rio de Janeiro
Argentina 2 Bosnia-Herzegovina 1. Goals: own goal 3, Messi 65; Ibisevic 85.
Argentina – Romero; Rojo, Garay, F. Fernandez, Campagnaro (Gago 46), Zabaleta; Di Maria, Mascherano, Rodriguez (Higuain 46); Messi, Aguero (Biglia 87).
Bosnia & Herzegovina –
Begovic; Kolasinac, Spahic, Bicakcic, Mujdza (Ibisevic 69); Besic, Hajrovic (Visca 71); Lulic, Misimovic (Medunjanin 74), Pjanic; Dzeko.
Referee:
Joel Aguilar (El Salvador).

Group F Standings:
PTS GAME W-T-L GF/GA
3 Argentina 1-0-0 2/1
0 Iran 0-0-0 0/0
0 Nigeria 0-0-0 0/0
0 Bosnia-Herze. 0-0-1 1/2



France-Honduras

Karim Benzema scored two goals and had a third goal ruled an own goal by goalkeeper Noel Valladares as France opened with a 3-0 win over Honduras, which finished with 10 men after Wilson Palacios was red carded for his second yellow just before half time for taking down Paul Pogba on the play that led to Benzema's first goal from the penalty spot.

Benzema's brace was the first by a Frenchman since Zinedine Zidane's two goals in the 1998 World Cup final. The Bleus had not opened the World Cup with a win since recording a 3-0 win over South Africa when they hosted in 1998.

Group E
June 15 in Porto Alegre
France 3 Honduras 0.
Goals: Benzema pen. 45, 72, own goal 53.
France --
Lloris, Debuchy, Varane, Sakho, Evra, Cabaye (Mavuba 65), Matuidi, Pogba (Sissoko 56), Valbuena (Giroud 78), Benzema, Griezmann.
Honduras -- Valladares, Beckeles, Figueroa, Bernardez (Osman Garcia 46), Izaguirre, Palacios, Espinoza, Najar (Claros 58), Garrido, Bengtson (Boniek Garcia 46), Costly.
Yellow Cards France -- Evra Pogba 28, Cabaye 45+2; Honduras -- Palacios 26, Palacios 43, Boniek Garcia 53.
Red Card: Honduras -- Palacios 43.
Referee: Sandro Ricci (Brazil).

Group E Standings:
PTS GAME W-T-L GF/GA
3 France 1-0-0 3/0
3 Switzerland 1-0-0 2/1
0 Honduras 0-0-0 0/3
0 Ecuador 0-0-1 1/2



Switzerland-Ecuador

Haris Seferovic scored in the last minute of stoppage time give Switzerland a 2-1 win over Ecuador in a stunning end to their Group E opener in Brasilia. The comeback win for the Nati was the fifth in nine games and the World Cup and marked the ninth straight game that produced three or more goals.

Both Swiss goals came from their substitutes in the second half. Admir Mehmedi came on for winger Valentin Stocker to start the second half and scored three minutes later on a header off a pass from Roberto Rodriguez.

The match looked to headed to the first draw of the World Cup when Michael Arroyo's last-gasp charge was broken up by Valon Behrami at the top of Swiss penalty area. Behrami led the Swiss counterattack and played on after being fouled. The ball came to Rodriguez on the left and he again lifted the ball in for Haris Seferovic to score the dramatic winner.

Group E
June 15 in Brasilia
Switzerland 2 Ecuador 1.
Goals: Mehmedi 48, Seferovic 90+3; E.Valencia 22.
Switzerland -- Benaglio, Lichtsteiner, Djourou, von Bergen, Rodriguez, Behrami, Inler, Shaqiri, Xhaka, Stocker (Mehmedi 46), Drmic (Seferovic 76).
Ecuador -- Dominguez, Paredes, Erazo, Guagua, Walter Ayovi, A.Valencia, Gruezo, Noboa, Montero (Rojas 76), Caicedo (Arroyo 71), E.Valencia.
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan).



Monday ...

June 16 in Salvador
Group G: Germany vs. Portugal
ESPN, Univision/UDN noon ET
June 16 in Curitiba
Group F: Iran vs. Nigeria
ESPN, Univision/UDN 3 p.m. ET
June 16 in Natal
Group G: Ghana vs. USA
ESPN, Univision/UDN 6 p.m. ET


1 comment
  1. Ginger Peeler
    commented on: June 16, 2014 at 9:53 a.m.
    Honduras will play Switzerland in Manaus. I wonder if the heat and humidity will make a difference. Switzerland can't be used to that kind of weather. I think teams can prepare for playing in heat, but high humidity added in is difficult to recreate. It should be interesting.

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