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Monday, 16 June 2014

Results Round-up: 13th-15th

If 3 more games (including Germany v Portugal) aren't enough to brighten up your Monday, here's a blog post will all the biggest World Cup stories so far...but don't get too excited, we wouldn't want you to dislocate an ankle*...Now I could just list all the results from the weekend's games, but I'm pretty sure you've seen/heard them. So instead here is a link to the BBC World Cup website, where all results are listed along with current tables and upcoming here to see that. In this post I'm going to concentrate on the highlights and surprises of the weekend's plethora of football.

They say Friday the 13th is unlucky for some, and on this date, it was for Spain. Current champions Spain suffered a 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Dutch. After a 27th minute penalty by Xabi Alonso put them in the lead, nobody expected holland to go on and put the game to bed in the manner they did. Van Persie brought them level just before half time with a stunning header (no really, you need to see it if you haven't already). In the second half VP scored another goal, along with Robben scoring 2, and de Vrij. However Spain fans shouldn't feel too disheartened as they lost to Switzerland in the opening game of the last World Cup and we all know what happened.

The second shocker of the weekend has to be underdogs Costa Rica's 3-1 win over Uruguay. Cavani put Uruguay ahead with a penalty in the first half before Costa Rica fought back in style in the second, making the final score 3-1. To put their truly unbelievable comeback into perspective, here's a refresh of the odds going in to the competition: Uruguay 28/1 to win & Costa Rica 2500/1 to win. As always football proves to be unpredictable. This result also leaves Group D wide open and keeps England's chances alive, following their defeat to Italy.

Which brings us to the Italy v England game which took place on Saturday night in Manaus. A later kick off and the dulcet tones of Phil Neville may have been enough to send even the most lively spectator to sleep, but luckily the game was exciting enough to keep everyone awake until the final whistle. As expected Pirlo was a joy to watch, and it's pretty clear that regardless of who you support, you've got to love the man. His dummy to set up the first goal was particularly fantastic, he knew the goal was scored before it had even touched Marchisio's boot. In addition to this, youngster Raheem Sterling started the match and was fantastic from start to finish. Now whilst most 19 year olds are playing Call of Duty and eating Coco Pops with spoons found under their beds, this lad is opening Englands World Cup campaign in front of 40,000 fans and millions around the world and you would never have known. Raheem also featured on our 'Top 5 youngsters to watch out for' list 2 years ago! England were a threat going forward for huge parts of the game, and Daniel Sturridge (24) scored a fantastic equalizer with an assist from Wayne Rooney. However the refreshing performance wasnt enough to stop the Italians, with Mario Balotelli grabbing the winner and securing them 3 points. There are many positives for England to take from the game, in their quest to qualify from the of the main ones being don't let Wayne take corners!

*Seriously though, all jokes aside, we send best wishes to England physio Gary Lewin (who fractured & dislocated his ankle celebrating the Daniel Sturridge equalizer on Saturday night.

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