2014 FIFA World Cup: Day Four Recap

Swiss celebrate last-second goal

Switzerland Beats Clock, Breaks Tie with Ecuador

The game was a bit of a mess, but a spectacular finish made the previous 90 minutes worthwhile. The Swiss seemed determined not to win throughout much of their match against Ecuador—midfielder Valon Behrami in particular couldn’t seem to get a pass within reach of any of his teammates. Ecuador took a lead into halftime on the strength of a header by Enner Valencia that put a finishing touch on a corner kick. But Switzerland came out of the break fired up and quickly knotted the score—Admir Mehmedi was the only player in a red shirt close to the Honduran goal, but he still managed to convert a corner kick. But the real excitement began after the 90th minute, as Switzerland pushed forward on an advantage played by the official, quickly outnumbering their opponents and creating an opportunity for Haris Seferovic to net the winner just seconds before the referee’s final whistle.

Understaffed Honduras Can’t Keep Up with France

Honduras followed their game plan and played very physically against France, but it cost them dearly in the 43rd minute as Wilson Palacios earned a red card while the official granted France a penalty. Karim Benzema converted his shot to put France ahead, and undermanned Honduras had no chance to level the playing field. France returned from halftime and Benzema immediately bounced a shot off the upright that Honduran keeper Noel Valladares just barely touched into his own goal—FIFA’s goal line technology made the difference in confirming the goal. Benzema struck again at the 72nd minute, collecting a ricocheted set piece and depositing it in the top of the goal.

Argentina vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina

Argentina didn’t quite look like contenders in a 2-1 victory over their stiffest group-stage competition, but they managed three points against Bosnia-Herzegovina nonetheless. The Argentines benefitted from the fastest own goal in World Cup final history when Lionel Messi sent a set piece into the area that deflected in off Sead Kolasinac’s shin just 2:08 into the first half. Argentine keeper Sergio Romero kept his squad in the match with a handful of key saves before Messi finally notched a goal he could put his name on. In the 65th minute Messi weaved across the top of the area and pointed a shot at the bottom corner—the shot grazed a defender and the inside of the post, but settled on the far side of the goal line for his first World Cup Final goal since 2006. Bosnia-Herzegovina narrowed the gap in the 85th minute when Vedad Ibisevic fit the ball through Romero’s legs with just enough momentum to carry it across the goal line, but that was as close as they could come.

Tags: World Cup 2014

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