Shaqiri fires Swiss past Honduras

Shaqiri fires Swiss past Honduras

Xherdan Shaqiri scored a hat-trick as Switzerland sealed their place in the last 16 of the World Cup by beating Honduras 3-0 in Manaus.

France and Ecuador play out draw

France and Ecuador play out draw

Ten-man Ecuador failed to get the win they needed to progress to the World Cup last 16 as they were held 0-0 by Group E winners France.

Valencia comes to Ecuador rescue

Valencia comes to Ecuador rescue

Never mind tiki-taka, false number nines and midfield diamonds. Ecuador and Honduras kept it plain and simple as they served up a rustic feast of hoofed clearances, lunging challenges and lofted balls in the penalty area in their World Cup Group E match on Friday.

France sparkle against Swiss

France sparkle against Swiss

Rampant France sparkled in a 5-2 mauling of neighbours Switzerland in World Cup Group E on Friday to move closer to knockout phase four years after one of their darkest days.

France beat physical Hondurans

France beat physical Hondurans
France held firm against a physical 10-man Honduras side to open their FIFA World Cup campaign with a 3-0 win in Porto Alegre on Sunday.

Last gasp Swiss pip Ecuador

Last gasp Swiss pip Ecuador
A pair of inspired substitutions from coach Ottmar Hitzfeld earned Switzerland a 2-1 comeback FIFA World Cup win over Ecuador in Group E.

Ribery could have made finals

Ribery could have made finals

France midfielder Franck Ribery could have played at the 2014 World Cup if he was not afraid of injections, the team doctor claimed.

France ready for rugged Hondurans

France ready for rugged Hondurans

France are bracing themselves for combat against a rugged Honduras side in their World Cup Group E opener in Porto Alegre on Sunday, coach Didier Deschamps said on Wednesday.

Benzema and Giroud can flourish

Benzema and Giroud can flourish

Franck Ribery's injury means that Karim Benzema and Olivier Giroud will likely play together at the World Cup, with coach Didier Deschamps finding a way to accommodate them both by shifting Benzema onto the left flank.

Swiss youth policy comes to fruition

Swiss youth policy comes to fruition

Switzerland’s last two World Cup appearances, in 2006 and 2010, have hardly set the competition on fire. In 2006 they became the first team to be knocked out without conceding a goal after losing on penalties to Ukraine after a sterile 0-0 draw, and they only scored four themselves in as many games. Four years later, they managed one goal for and one against in three outings as they fell at the first hurdle.

The big outsiders

The big outsiders

At the beginning of the qualifiers nobody expected Honduras to book one of CONCACAF’s three direct tickets to Brazil 2014. The golden generation of Suazo, Pavon and Guevara had retired and the new blood didn’t seem to be talented enough to fight against the region’s heavyweights. If anything, the Honduran fans expected to compete with Panama for the play-off spot and then sneak their way in to the World Cup finals.

Ecuador hope to get seven games

Ecuador hope to get seven games
There are seven games in the World Cup,” says Ecuador coach Reinaldo Rueda, “and I want to reach the seventh” – bold words which express the confidence of a country that has taken huge strides in recent times.

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