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Thursday 18 September K.O. 20:05

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World Cup Diary

We reflect on a busy Saturday in Brazil.

World Cup Diary

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?



Well, it was busy. Everton had three players on the pitch for England but it wasn't enough to prevent their World Cup bid starting in defeat to Italy. Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines both managed the full 90 minutes despite the intense conditions in Manaus, while Ross Barkley turned in an impressive cameo after replacing Danny Welbeck on the hour mark. You can read more about this game here.

Earlier in the evening, Colombia got their finals campaign up and running with a comfortable 3-0 win over Greece. Any doubts that the South American's would struggle without the injured Radamel Falcao were seemingly erased, as goals from Pablo Armero, Teofilo Gutierrez and James Rodriguez moved them top of Group C.

Ross Barkley, a second-half substitute, goes for goal.Ross Barkley has a shot at goal during England's 2-1 defeat to Italy.

All attention then turned to Group D as Costa Rica, 34th in the world rankings and without injured Everton star Bryan Oviedo, provided arguably the shock of the tournament so far, defeating 2010 semi-finalists Uruguay 3-1, with efforts from Arsenal's Joel Campbell, defender Oscar Duarte and substitute Marcos Urena cancelling out Edinson Cavani's 34th-minute penalty.

The other match in Group C, a 2am kick off in Recife, witnessed two goals in as many second-half minutes from the Ivory Coast as they came from behind to beat Japan.

The Asian nation had led through a fine Keisuke Honda strike but the Elephants snatched victory through Swansea's Wilfried Bony and former Arsenal star Gervinho.

Who caught the eye?

Costa Rica. Few were expecting them to pick up even a point in Group D but they sit top - and deservedly so - following a fine team performance against the much more fancied Uruguay. Campbell was particularly impressive, slamming home his nation's equaliser before laying on the killer third for Urena with an ace slide-rule pass.

For Colombia, James Rodriguez handled the pressure of inheriting Falcao's talisman tag with apparent ease, while Ross Barkley did enough in his 30 minutes to show he can undoubtedly have an impact for England at this World Cup. It said much that after going 2-1 behind, he was the first substitute boss Roy Hodgson turned to.

Colombia celebrate Pablo Armero's opener against Greece.Colombia's players celebrate Pablo Armero's opener against Greece.


What’s happening today?


Today's Father's Day feast sees many people's favourites, Argentina, enter the fray. They take on Group F opponents Bosnia and Herzegovina in Rio de Janeiro's famous Maracana at 11pm UK time. Before that, the first round of matches in Group E sees Switzerland tackle Ecuador (5pm) and France face Honduras (8pm). 



Who should I be looking out for?


Let's state the obvious. In Lionel Messi, Argentina have one of the greatest players of all-time, though a man of whom it is regularly said has rarely dazzled in an international shirt the way he does in the scarlet and blue of Barcelona. That opinion has started to alter somewhat since former Leeds and Sheffield United midfielder Alejandro Sabella took over as manager, with the four-time Ballon d'Or winner playing a key role in qualification. Could this be his time to shine on the biggest stage of them all?

France will be hoping to put a torrid 2010 tournament behind them with a strong start against Honduras. They needed a play-off to qualify (albeit they were in Spain's group), though Group E seems fairly kind. Arsenal's Olivier Giroud is expected to be given the nod to partner Real Madrid's Karim Benzema in attack.

Switzerland are likely to look to the heralded feet of Bayern Munich's Xherdan Shaqiri in their bid to kick off with a win against Ecuador.

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