1st Round Matches at Brazil 2014.
Friday, 20th June
Group Match - Ecuador Turn it Around
Honduras vs Ecuador in Curitiba.
Of the thirteen matches Honduras and Ecuador have played together, eight have been draws; the last being two goals each in Houston (19/11/2013).
This is the first meeting betwen the two teams in World Cup competition.
With both teams without a point before the game, a draw would have been enough for France to qualify, after their avalanche of goals against Switzerland.
Some could be forgiven for thinking that this was a game of the also-rans but one of these teams could turn out to be the king maker.
Carlo Costly opened the scoring for Honduras just after the half-hour, when Alexander Dominguez failed to deal with the ball cleanly.
Within a few minutes, Enner Valencia was on hand to finish what Juan Paredes couldn't and pull Ecuador level.
Carlo Costly headed the ball onto the bar, just before the break, as Honduras looked for their second World Cup goal.
Half-time: Honduras 1 - Ecuador 1
Honduras had a goal ruled out for offside just before the hour, then the tables turned again.
Enner Valencia headed home from a Walter Ayovi free-kick, to set Ecuador up nicely for their final group game.
This result meant that the French weren't yet through and the Swiss weren't out; so everything still to play for in Group E, even for Honduras.
Final Score: Honduras 1 - Ecuador 2
1:0 - Carlo Costly (31 mins)
1:1 - Enner Valencia (34 mins)
1:2 - Enner Valencia (65 mins)
18-Noel Valladares; 21-Brayan Beckeles, 5-Victor Bernardez, 3-Maynor Figueroa, 7-Emilio Izaguirre; 14-Oscar Garcia, 19-Luis Garrido, 20-Jorge Claros, 15-Roger Espinoza; 11-Jerry Bengtson, 13-Carlo Costly.
22-Alexander Dominguez; 4-Juan Carlos Paredes, 2. Jorge Guagua, 3-Frickson Erazo, 10-Walter Ayovi; 16-Antonio Valencia, 14-Oswaldo Minda, 6-Christian Noboa, 7-Jefferson Montero; 11-Felipe Caicedo, 13-Enner Valencia.
5 yellow cards:
7 mins - Victor Bernardez (Honduras)
45 mins - Jerry Bengtson (Honduras)
57 mins - Antonio Valencia (Ecuador)
72 mins - Enner Valencia (Ecuador)
80 mins - Jefferson Montero (Ecuador)
The Road to Rio
Thursday, 12th June
Brazil vs Croatia
World Cup Finals
Uruguay trailed Argentina at half-time (1:2) but replied with three goals in the second half; to win the first ever World Cup Final (4-2) on July 30th, 1930.
Italy were one of the countries who missed out on the vote to host the first World Cup but managed to win the prestigious golden trophy for the home fans.
The third World Cup was held in Europe for a second time, although Germany had annexed Austria, and Spain was in civil turmoil.
Although no cup-final as such, Uruguay and Brazil went into their final game with the winner guaranteed to be champions; a draw would be enough for Brazil.
The fifth World Cup tournament produced a record number of goals, including a 7:5 encounter between Austria and Switzerland in Lausanne.
Brazil presented a 17 year-old Pele to the world; who went on to claim a hat-trick in Brazil's 5:2 semi-final win over France and bag another two in the final.
Czechoslovakia overcame Hungary in the quarter-finals and Yugoslavia in the semis, while Brazil took care of England and the host nation, Chile.
Geoff Hurst scored a hat-trick, in the final against West Germany, as England triumphed in a thrilling game watched by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
1970 belonged to Pelé, who earned his third World Cup winners' medal when Brazil got their hands on the Jules Rimet Cup.... for keeps.
W. Germany 1974:
Johan Cruyff was the player of the tournament as total football became the buzzword of the day, even though Holland lost to West Germany in the 1974 final.
Holland contested the 1978 World Cup Final, in Argentina, for the second time in a row. As in West Germany, they again finished runners-up; to the hosts.
The Spain 82 World Cup finals increased to 24 teams and the format was changed to have two group stages, with four second-round groups of three.
In 1986, Mexico became the first nation to stage the World Cup Finals for a second time; having only staged the competition sixteen years previously.
In 1990, Italy became the World Cup of stalemates. Both semi-finals were drawn out through penalty kicks. In the final itself, the only goal came from the spot.
Once Team US had played a few games most of the nation began to understand they were hosting the greatest show on earth and how the game was played.
France became the sixth nation to win the World Cup on home soil. Thirty-two teams competed in the 16th World Cup; better known as France 98.
The 17th World Cup, held in Korea and Japan, was the first World Cup finals to be shared by two hosts and the first to be held in Asia.
The 2006 World Cup Finals ran from 9th June to 9th July; the opening match in Munich and the final in Berlin. Munich and Dortmund hosted the semi-finals.
South Africa 2010:
Eighty years after the First World Cup Finals in Uruguay, the world's most prestigious football competition was finally hosted on the African continent.
Five times World Cup Champions, Brazil, get a second chance to hold the prestigious World Cup Finals; 64 years after they last hosted the tournament.
VAR made its World Cup debut and set out to change the course of a game with some crucial rule infringement watching and vital on the spot decisions.
When FIFA executives met in Zurich to decide on who would host the 2018 and 2022 World Cup Finals, Qatar was probably the biggest surprise to many.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup Finals will be jointly hosted by Canada, Mexico and the United States. The United Bid won the hosting rights ahead of Morocco.
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