Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
France's scoring touch disappears, Swiss put Argentina on notice
by Paul Kennedy, June 25th, 2014 9:33PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  ecuador, france, honduras, switzerland, world cup 2014

MOST COMMENTED

By Paul Kennedy
(@pkedit)

Just about everything went in for France against Honduras and Switzerland, but the Bleus' luck ran out as they peppered Ecuador keeper Alexander Dominguez for 20 shots but could not put past him for a 0-0 tie.

Still, the result gave France first place in Group E and eliminated Ecuador, making it the only South American not advance when Switzerland beat Honduras, 3-0, to take second place. For a look at how Group E finished up ...

FRANCE SPUTTERS. After 3-0 and 5-2 wins, the Bleus were all but mathematically through to the round of 16, so Coach Didier Deschamps made six changes from the lineup he fielded against Switzerland for the final group match against Ecuador at the Maracana Stadium. They created a ton of chances but could not beat Alexander Dominguez, who made 13 saves.

Karim Benzema was the only forward kept in the lineup for the third game in a row but after scoring three goals and three assists in the first two games, his touch eluded him, bringing back memories of his drought when he went 15 games in 2012 and 2013 without a goal for France.

France missed the inventiveness of its two little men, 5-foot-8 midfielder Yohan Cabaye, who was suspended, and 5-foot-6 Mathieu Valbuena, who gave way on the wing to Antoine Griezmann.

France, which will play Nigeria in the round of 16, was lucky not to lose anyone with serious injuries. Defender Mamadou Sakho was taken off as a precautionary measure with an ankle injury, and stand-in left back Lucas Digne was the victim of a studs-up tackle by Antonio Valencia that earned the Ecuador captain a red card.



SWISS PUT ARGENTINA ON NOTICE. The seeding of Switzerland was arguably the most controversial of the pre-draw decisions taken by FIFA's World Cup organizing committee. No, the Nati did not win its group. But at least it did better than two other seeds. Defending champion Spain and Italy have headed home.

In 2010, the Swiss went out after scoring one goal in three games -- the Gelson Fernandes goal that gave them a 1-0 win over Spain in their opening game -- but this time they've shown plenty of firepower. Blerim Dzemaili and Granit Xhaka scored from distance to pull the Nati back from 5-0 down against France, and Xherdan Shaqiri scored a hat trick against Honduras, the first with a blast from 25 yards and the second and third set up by Josip Drmic.

The Swiss were dominated in terms of possession, but they showed they can score with lightning quickness. They will have no pressure going into their round-of-16 match against Argentina on Tuesday, and Shaqiri, Drmic and Xhaka could give the suspect Argentine defense all kinds of problems.

CATRACHOS WINLESS IN NINE GAMES. In 1982, Honduras earned draws in its first two games before losing and going home. In 2010, the Catrachos held Switzerland to a scoreless draw in their final game to return with at least a point in their picket. This time, the Swiss put three goals past Honduras, which exited with three losses in three games, putting its winless streak at nine games, the most by a team that has never won a match at the World Cup

The Catrachos' performance is all the more embarrassing because their Concacaf counterparts Mexico, Costa Rica and the USA are unbeaten in eight games (five wins and three ties) heading in the USA-Germany match in Recife.


2 comments
  1. David Crowther
    commented on: June 26, 2014 at 1:49 a.m.
    This Swiss counterattacks could definitely cause Argentina problems. On the other hand, if their defense allows Argentina even half the chances they allowed Honduras, they are going to get blown out.

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: June 26, 2014 at 4:05 p.m.
    Poor performance by the French..Pogba looks set to join the MLS.


Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
Three takeaways from AFC Asian Cup final    
The AFC Asian Cup treated fans to thrills throughout the three weeks of the Asian championship ...
Americans take stock of 2015 opener    
The USA twice took the lead against Chile Wednesday but lost for the third straight time. ...
Tony DiCicco: Hope Solo has used up her bonus points     
Tony DiCicco coached the USA to crowns at the 1996 Olympics, 1999 Women's World Cup and ...
Three takeaways from Chile-USA    
In their first match of 2015, the Americans twice took the lead on the road but ...
Chile-USA Player Ratings     
The USA scored two fine goals but otherwise failed to impress while falling 3-2 at Chile ...
Diskerud can't wait to begin new adventure    
For a lot of players, January camp is not their idea of fun. Getting up early. ...
Tab Ramos' next chapter begins     
An important victory, the 2-0 win over El Salvador that qualified the USA for the 2015 ...
Three takeaways from USA-El Salvador    
In the end, the USA got the job done, but it was hardly impressive. It is ...
Will this Tab Ramos team find its rhythm?    
On Saturday, we'll find out whether the USA will qualify for the U-20 World Cup. The ...
Zusi: Complacency and injuries stung Sporting KC    
One of the most concerning injuries for Jurgen Klinsmann's 2014 World Cup group is the foot ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives