World Cup Daily: Group E wide open on final day

World Cup Daily: Group E wide open on final day
June 25, 2014, 9:30 am
Share This Post

Game of the Day: France vs. Ecuador, 4 p.m. ET (ESPN)

France and Ecuador currently sit first and second in Group E, but both have a lot on the line. A win secures top of the group for France, while a win would guarantee Ecuador a spot in the round of 16. A draw helps Ecuador, but it far from guarantees them anything. France demolishing Switzerland did Ecuador a huge favor in goal differential, but with Ecuador needing a win in their final game against France they could be in for a massive disappointment with a loss.

Enner Valencia is a star in the making for Ecuador with his three goals in two games so far for Ecuador, but he'll need the game of his life to defeat the French. The Ecuadorians have been underdogs all along, so this role is nothing new for them. The French, meanwhile, tinkered with their lineup for their game against the Swiss and it worked to perfection, we'll have to see if they sit Paul Pogba and Antoine Greizmann again or insert them back in the starting lineup.

Player of the Day: M Ashkan Dejagah, Iran

Ashkan Dejagah has been the most dangerous player going forward for Iran in the World Cup -- well, in their limited forays up the field. However, Dejagah has the ability to create and do damage in the final third against what has been a suspect defense for Bosnia-Herzegovina, who are already eliminated. If Dejagah can make something, anything happen for Iran they may just be able to sneak in on goal differential if Argentina scores enough versus Nigeria.

Best of the Rest: Switzerland face Honduras in what should be a game they can take advantage of Honduras' porous defense. A win for Switzerland could put them in as the second team from Group E as long as Ecuador doesn't defeat France. It should be a very entertaining 4 p.m. slate of games tomorrow. 

Argentina and Nigeria have a similar game to France and Ecuador in that both sit in the top two spots, but Nigeria is in a much more comfortable spot than Ecuador. Argentina struggled against Iran in their 1-0 win and took some late magic from Messi to secure the three points, will they be able to breath easy at the end of the game or will Nigeria spring the surprise upset?

World Cup Rewind: Uruguay needed a late corner and a red card to take down Italy. It was unfortunate for Italy as they had been parking the bus so efficiently before the red, they seemed likely to go through on a scoreless draw before the red card changed the whole dynamic of the game. Costa Rica and England played to a scoreless draw so England finally earned a point at the World Cup! 

Ivory Coast got a late equalizer from Wilfred Bony against Greece only to give up a penalty kick in stoppage time, which Greece converted and sent Ivory Coast home. It has to be a massive disappointment for the Ivorians that they were unable to make it out of this group after being in the Group of Death the previous two World Cups. Colombia pounded Japan to end their hopes of advancing, and won the group convincingly in the process.

Football Follies: Luis. Suarez. The star Uruguayan forward bit Giorgio Chiellini and will now faces charges from FIFA and could face a lengthy ban. It's the third time Suarez has taken a bite out of an opponent, and far from the first time he's had an issue on the field. You may remember (or you may not) that Suarez was charged with making racist remarks in a game against Manchester United and used his hand to block a goal against Ghana in the World Cup in 2010. He's the ultimate villain. 

Suarez reportedly said after the game "These situations happen on the field. I had contact with his shoulder, nothing more, things like that happen all the time." 

I'm sure.

Predictions: Bosnia-Herzegovina 1, Iran 0. Argentina 3, Nigeria 1. France 3, Ecuador 2. Switzerland 2, Honduras 0.