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World Cup Diary

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

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Every morning throughout the World Cup, evertonfc.com brings you a quickfire update of what's been going on in Brazil...

What happened last night?



Former Everton star Tim Cahill took his impressive personal tally of World Cup goals to four with a trademark leap and header against Chile in Group B. Unfortunately for the now New York Red Bulls star it wasn't enough to stop the Socceroos falling to a 3-1 defeat against a side many are tipping as a dark horse in Brazil.

Cahill's goal - which made it 2-1 after the Chilean's had raced into an early two-goal lead through Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez and Palmeiras midfielder Jorge Valdivia - means he has now registered in three consecutive World Cup finals. It also stretched his national-record haul of international goals to 33.

Wigan Athletic's Jean Beausejour completed the scoring late on but the Aussies could count themselves unfortunate and, despite his eye-catching display, Cahill was none too impressed with the referee. “As for some of the calls, it was beyond me how we didn’t get some calls," he said. "They [Chile] were getting a lot in their favour tonight.”

Earlier in the evening, Group B got underway in shock fashion as the Netherlands thrashed reigning champions Spain 5-1.

Vicente del Bosque's side went ahead in Salvador through a Xabi Alonso penalty before Robin van Persie equalised with a world-class header. Two goals from Arjen Robben, either side of a bundled effort from Stefan de Vrij and a second for Van Persie, completed the unlikely rout.

Elsewhere, Oribe Peralta hit the only goal as Mexico defeated Cameroon in Group A.  


Who caught the eye?



Robben and Van Persie will - quite rightly - be the men on the back pages this morning. Van Persie's diving, looping header was a thing of wonder and Robben's persistence, pace and speed of foot made him simply too hot for the Spanish to handle. We're inclined to give a nod to Cahill though - netting in three successive World Cup tournaments is in no way to be scoffed at.

Robin van Persie

What’s happening today?

Saturday is all about England versus Italy in Group D (11pm UK time). Everton trio Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines and Ross Barkley will all be hoping to start in Manaus, though the latter is tipped to be among Roy Hodgson's substitutes. Before that, Group C gets up and running when Colombia take on Euro 2004 winners Greece (5pm). Those staying up to watch our Blue boys in action for the Three Lions can pass away the rest of the wait by watching Uruguay versus Costa Rica from 8pm. For those bold enough, Ivory Coast and Japan (Group C) kick off at 2am.



Who should I be looking out for?

Do we really need to tell you? All Everton eyes will of course be on the action in Manaus, with Jagielka and Baines hoping to kick off their tournament in style and underline why they have established themselves as first-choice starters under Roy Hodgson. As for Barkley, should a tight game in the hot, humid conditions of the jungle need a late flash of brilliance or invention to win it...? Now that would be worth a watch, wouldn't it?

Blues boss Roberto Martinez is tipping Colombia winger Juan Cuadrado to be one of the stars of the 2014 tournament and the South American's will need a boost after talisman Radamel Falcao pulled out with a knee injury.

Another player José Pékerman's side will look to for attacking inspiration is 27-year-old Jackson Martinez. The striker has notched 46 goals in 60 games since joining Porto in July 2012.

Uruguay are expected to be without Luis Suarez following a knee operation, meaning a likely start for 35-year-old former Manchester United forward Diego Forlan.

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