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World Cup Diary

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

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

What happened last night?

Argentina got their World Cup campaign off to a winning start with an unconvincing 2-1 win over debutants Bosnia and Herzegovina.

A fortuitous own goal inside two minutes took some of the pressure off the South Americans but it required a Lionel Messi goal after a half-time re-jig to make the game safe - and even then the Bosnians ensured a nervy ending with an 84th minute strike from Vedad Ibisevic.

Earlier, France emerged from a bruising encounter with Honduras as 3-0 victors, with Karim Benzema scoring twice and providing the shot which was fumbled over the line for the other goal.

The Central Americans finished with 10 men after Stoke’s Wilson Palacios was ordered off and could easily have been further punished after a series of industrial challenges.

The first game of the day was won in added time by Switzerland as they came from behind to defeat Ecuador 2-1.

Who caught the eye?

Somewhat unusually, several of the day’s best performers were on the losing sides. Miralem Pjanic and Muhamed Besic were outstanding in Bosnia’s central midfield, while defeated Ecuadorian attackers Jefferson Montero and Enner Valencia offered pace and direct running which troubled the Swiss all game.

The France-Honduras game was a different matter. Only the French were interested in playing football and several of their players impressed. Benzema’s brace was the obvious highlight but the creative performances of wide attackers Mathieu Valbuena and rookie Antoine Griezmann shouldn’t be ignored.

What’s happening today?

Tim Howard gets his first fast of action when the USA face Ghana in the day’s 11pm kick off.

Howard and company have their work cut out emerging from Group G, with the other two teams - Germany and Portugal - kicking off at 5pm.

Nigeria and Iran are in Argentina’s group and face off at 8pm.

Who should I be looking out for?

Other than Tim Howard, the obvious answer is Cristiano Ronaldo. The Real Madrid star has been battling injury over the last few weeks but his presence is surely vital to any Portuguese hopes of defeating the Germans.

There’s also some ex-Everton interest with Joseph Yobo in the Nigeria squad and Shkodran Mustafi part of the Germany party.

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