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World Cup Round Up: Match Day 9

Another day, another round up.

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The first matter of the day was to see if England's slimmer than slim chances of qualification would have more life breathed into them, with Italy facing off against Costa Rica.

Unfortunately, luck wasn't on our side and the astounding Costa Rica battled hard to beat the Italians, 1-0.

And the upmost credit must go to them, the majority of people, including myself, though that Costa Rica would be the whipping boys of this group, but they're most certainly not, a combination of good passing, great movement and sturdy discipline has got them through to the next round, and they completely deserve it.

Mario Balotelli had two chances to take the lead for Italy, the first occasion he couldn't get his lofted shot on target and the second Navas, in the Costa Rican goal, got down well to deny him.

Costa Rica should have been given a penalty too: a wayward pass from an Italian player, ended up being a perfect through ball for Joel Campbell, who after beating Barzagli, was tumbled over by Chielini, but the ref waved play on.

It mattered not however, for on the cusp of half time, Junior Diaz swung in an excellent, deep cross into the box, which was met by Bryan Ruiz, of all people, and he headed in the opener via the cross bar.

That was it really, Italy were slow, lethargic, sapped of ideas and had no fight. They lost the game and they didn't deserve anything better.

So, with Costa Rica through to the last 16, it sets up a shit or bust game between Uruguay and Italy for that second spot, and it dooms England to their first ever World Cup group stage exit, but ah well, we didn't deserve any better and to be completely honest, a small part of me is relieved we won't be seeing James against Gerrard or Cuadrado against Baines.

Congratulation Costa Rica, I hope they go far.

Full Time: Italy 0-1 Costa Rica

MOTM: Christian Bolanos

France continued their dominance of Group E in the second game of the day, brushing a very poor Switzerland team to the side, in a 5-2 victory, which kind of flatters the Swiss.

The first goal arrived 17 minutes in, Oliver Giroud, back in the team for Griezmann, got the run on his defender and headed in brilliantly, despite Benaglio's clawing efforts.

Less than a minute of play later, it was 2-0 to le Bleu. Valon Behrami, gave away possession straight after kick off, Karim Benzema slipped through Blaise Matuidi, who slotted past Benaglio, at his near post.

Benzema had a chance to add a third goal when he was brought down in the area by Johan Djourou. The striker stepped up to take it, but Benaglio got down well to save it, and Yohan Cabaye cannoned the rebound off the crossbar, when a simple tap in would have sufficed.

It would matter little though, a blistering counter attack from the French, with Varane playing a beautiful pass to Giroud, who after getting to the byline, squared the ball for Valbuena, who smashed it home, resulted in a goal.

It would be the 67th minute when we'd see another goal, a sensational lofted pass from Paul Pogba, was met by Benzema, who hit a sideways volley through the legs of Benaglio, for the fourth.

Six minutes later, Benzema turned provider, when he layed off the ball for Mousa Sissoko, who had all the space and time in the world, to pick his spot and side foot it in.

Switzerland began their little 'comeback' when former Wanderer, Berlim Dzemaili, hit a free kick from some 40 yards out, which went under the wall and into the bottom left corner.

Granit Xhaka then added a second for the Swiss, he met Inler's lobbed pass to volley in expertly and get himself on the score sheet.

Karim Benzema thought he'd got his fourth goal of the tournament, when he scored with a stupendous volley, but to everyone's dismay, the referee blew up for full time as he was mid-shot, so it didn't count.

That rounded up a great game of football, with some wonderful goals and pieces of play. The best thing? Seven goals, seven different goal scorers.

France look formidable, they've got great balance, depth, quality players all over the park and probably most importantly, they're a happy camp that has been unified and are working together. This could be their tournament, you know.

Full Time: Switzerland 2-5 France

81 - Dzemaili   17 - Giroud

87 - Xhaka      18 - Matuidi

40 - Valbuena

67- Benzema

73 - Sissoko

MOTM: Karim Benzema