The first match of today pits Italy against Costa Rica, both teams winning their opening games of the tourney (Italy over England 2-1, Costa Rica trouncing Uruguay 3-1) in a game that could decide who comes out on top of Group D. England’s hopes of advancement ride on Italy winning this game outright, leading the colorful Italian forward Mario Balotelli to send his best wishes to back to the country where he won the Premier League with Manchester City.
If we beat Costa Rica i want a kiss,obviously on the cheek, from the UK Queen.
— Mario Balotelli (@FinallyMario) June 19, 2014
Isn’t that just a pretty picture?
Costa Rica hopes to keep the magic going after it’s surprising victory over Uruguay and hope their acclimation to the brutal Brazilian climate gives them an advantage over the Italians in the midday heat.
Next up is France-Switzerland in a battle of cheese, chocolates and condescension. The soccer part? France routed Honduras in their opening match and the Swiss side needed stoppage time to score their winning goal over Ecuador, but these two teams are pretty evenly matched with the betting lines looking for a draw or a slight Swiss advantage.
Last game of the day features a weird storyline where the manager of Ecuador was the manager of Honduras in the 2010 World Cup and the manager for Honduras was the manager of Ecuador in the 2006 World Cup, which is some weird Bill Parcells coaching tree nonsense right there. Ecuador looked strong enough against the sixth ranked Swiss team a few days ago while Honduras was sloppy on defense and even allowed an own-goal in their game against the French. Both teams are hoping for a win to save them from elimination with Ecuador having an edge over Honduras, but if we have learned anything this World Cup, it’s that you cannot predict anything this World Cup. (Also that it’s very hard to make jokes about Honduras, but that might be specific to the KSK Liveblogification, like coming up with good Arizona Cardinals jokes.)