FIFA World Cup 2014: Switzerland 2-1 Ecuador - France 3-0 Honduras - Argentina 2-1 Bosnia-Herzegovina As It Happened
By Nick Howson
World Cup 2014 Predictions: Which Nation Will Triumph?IBTimes UK
00:57: A strange game all, in all. Argentina get the win as they start their pursuit of the World Cup by beating Bosnia but it was an anything but routine victory. Sead Kolašinac's own goal had Argentina ahead and Lionel Messi's individual second looked like opening the floodgates but Bosnia struck back through Vedad Ibisevic and they should enough belief to suggest they could progress.
That's all we have time for on this World Cup live text. Another day full of goals, nine in all, and excitement throughout. When is it going to change? Hopefully never. Three more games tomorrow, including Germany v Portugal. Until then, goodbye.
Full time: Argentina 2-1 Bosnia-Herzegovina
00:49: If Bosnia are to spring a surprise here they'll need some favours from an Argentina side keen on running down the clock. Edin Dzeko has barely had a kick for the debutants as we enter three minutes of stoppage time.
00:46: Vedad Ibisevic writes his name in Bosnian sporting folklore with the first goal for his country in World Cup finals history. A ball played in behind the Argentine back four finds the substitute and Ibisevic gets there first and tucks the ball under Romero. Game on in the final five minutes.
Goal: Argentina 2-1 Bosnia-Herzegovina (Vedad Ibisevic)
00:41: Bit of a training session feel to this final quarter of the game since Messi scored the second. Argentina do get a break on, but Messi chooses the wrong pass, and Aguero's cross is cut out.
00:30: That goal has changed the complexion of this game. Bosnia look something of a spent force, while Argentina are playing with a tinge of panache and confidence since Messi' glorious goal. Will that spark him into life in this World Cup? Let's hope so.
00:26: When you wondered whether he still had it, Lionel Messi scores a breathtaking second in Rio. He picks the ball up 40 yards from goal, exchanges passes with Higuain continues his run towards goal, slaloms past two Bosnia defenders and curls, via a deflection, beyond Asmir Begovic.
Goal: Argentina 2-0 Bosnia-Herzegovina (Lionel Messi)
00:20: Hajrovic is causing all sorts of problems for Argentina and after testing Romero again from range his teasing cross sees Fernandez and Romero converge on the ball and eventually it is clear, albeit nervously. First we've seen of Messi now, who weaves in the Bosnia box but when he feeds Aguero, his cross is cut out by Begovic.
00:10: First chance after the break and it comes for Bosnia. Free-kick from around 25 yards out is hit by Hajrovic but is well held by Romero.
00:05: Gonzalo Higuain and Fernando Gago on for Rodriguez and Campagnaro for Argentina at half-time. Second half under way in Rio.
23:50: Not what many expected in the first half at the Maracana. Argentina ahead but far from convicing after they took the lead after just three minutes. Lionel Messi has been on the edge of the game for long period, although so has Miralem Pjanic and Eden Dzeko for Bosnia and it has
contributed to perhaps the poorest half of the tournament.
Half time: Argentina 1-0 Bosnia-Herzegovina
23:43: Chance for Bosnia and Romero does well to keep it out. Lulic stoops to head Pjanic's corner goalwards, and the Argentine stopper dives to his left and turns the effort away for a corner. Best opportunity to level for the World Cup debutants.
23:39: Clash of heads between aguero and Bicakcic which forces a break in play. Granted, we've had an early goal - and there has only been one half in this tournament which hasn't had one - but I would estimate this has been the lowest quality half we've had in the World Cup so far. Given who is on show, a bit of a surprise.
23:35: Javier Mascherano with a shot from range which is kept out well by Begovic. Not been vintage from Argentina so far, but they'll be content wth how they're dealing with the Bosnia threat which is yet to cause genuine problems. Edin Dzeko gets way from Fernandez but turns and shoots tamely over.
22:29: First yellow card goes to Marcos Rojo for a foul mid-way inside the Argentina half. Chance for Bosnia's aerial dominance to take effect and it almost creates the equaliser as the South American side fail to clear and the ball almost falls to Hajrovic.
23:25: Without wanting to make this live text all about one man, it's noticable how out of sorts Lonel Messi has looked in this opening quarter of the game. Operating mainly on the right-hand channel, the Baca man has picked the ball up on several occasions but has either been dispossessed, lost his balance or given the ball away and there hasn't a great deal of end product so far. Of course there is plenty of time for things to change, but a worthwhile observation nonetheless.
23:17: Bosnia are refusing to roll over and die here and they almost equalise. Pjanic's ball over the top finds Hajrovic, who latches onto the ball but allows it to get away from him and Romero can clear. The debutants win a free-kick 30 yards out by Pjanic can only find the wall with his effort. Not making up the numbers here are Bosnia.
23:13: Keen not to be overawed by the occasion, Bosnia are now on the frontfoot and Romero punches clear a cross from the right with Dzeko lurking. Their physical presence is something they'll be keen to exert at every set-piece, and against the shaky Fernandez and Garay, they may just be able to do that.
23:07: Bosnia-Herzegovnia's World Cup history is barely three minutes old and they fall behind in calimitous circumstances. A free-kick from the right misses everyone but at the back post Kolasinac, facing his own goal, conspires to turn the ball into his own goal. Ideal start for Argentina.
Goal: Argentina 1-0 Bosnia-Herzegovnia (Sead Kolašinac own goal)
23:02: Under way in Rio, which has temporarily become Buenos Aries. Bosnia's World Cup history begins.
22:56: Teams on their way at the Maracana. Thousands of Argentina fans in attendance and there is a sea of blue and white as both sets of players emerge. This, kids, could be a cracker.
22:53: World Cup football returns to the Maracana after 64 years away and this iconic venue will play host tonight to the perhaps the finest player of that lost generation. Can Messi delight? We're about to find out.
22:42: Lionel Messi has achieved everything possible in the club game, a multi-time Champions League and Ballon d'Or winner and among the finest players of his generation. But one thing missing from his footballing CV is a dominant performance at a World Cup with Argentina. The Barcelona forward has just one goal in the major finals and endured a difficult end to his domestic season in La Liga amig some injury problems. Many have billed this as do or die for his legacy in the game and his campaign to join the likes of Maradona and Pele as among the sport's finest individuals starts tonight.
22:27: So what can we expect from our final game of the day? In Argentina we have the second favourites to lift the World Cup in four weeks' time while in Bosnia we have the polar opposite, a team facing their first ever World Cup match in the daunting theatre that is the Maracana in Rio. Lionel Messi will garned all the attention tonight but there is some supporting task behind him, with Angel di Maria, Sergio Aguero and Maxi Rodriguez making up the Argentina front-line, while Bosnia are spearheaded by Manchester City forward Edin Dzeko and have the reliable Asmir Begovic in goal. Look out for Miralem Pjanic too, a magician in the midfield.
Argentina: Romero; Zabaleta, Campagnaro, Fernández, Garay, Marcos Rojo; Mascherano, Maxi Rodríguez, Di María; Agüero, Messi
Bosnia-Herzegovina: Begovic; Mujdza, Spahic, Kolasinac, Bicakcic; Hajrovic, Pjanic, Misimovic; Besic, Lulic, Dzeko
22:09: Time to turn our attention to the final game of the day four of the World Cup and it comes from the Maracana in Rio. Argentina, many peoples favourites for the World Cup face Bosnia-Hercegovina in their first ever appearance in the major tournament. All eyes are expected to be on Lionel Messi as the four-time Ballon d'Or winner searches to enhance his iconic status at the summer final's - the last stage he is yet to truely bless.
21:58: Very, very comfortable for France. Honduras' indiscipline saw Wilson Palacios sent off in the first half and from then on Didier Deschamps' side dominated. Karim Benzema struck twice, either side of an own goal from Honduras goalkeeper Noel Valladares. Probably the most impressive performance from a team in their opening game, but France will face far greater opposition during the remainder of this tournament.
Full time: France 3-0 Honduras
21:51: Three minutes added on in Porto Alegre.
21:46: There has been a shocking attack on the France players in this game and it continues as Garrido goes in high on Mutuidi, a challenge that once again goes unpunished. Since sending off Palacios and awarding that first half penalty, referee Ricci has failed to stamp out the barage of tackling.
21:40: How much we should read into this France performance is unsure. Given Honduras' clear problems, and the fact they have played against 10-men for the majority of this game, there is no doubt bigger tests will come for France later in this competition, but as mentioned earlier, this group represents a good way to play their way into the tournament. One thing that isn't for debate is that after a string of problems for his country, Karim Benzema looks in superb touch.
21:37: Little doubt for me that Honduras are the most limited team we've seen in this World Cup. This is the third time I've watched them in recent weeks, and their approach has been aggressive while as an attacking force they have been weak and futile. They look like cannon fodder in this group to be frank.
21:35: Still 17 minutes to go and France have a third goal. Valbuena's free-kick from the right is pulled back to Debuchy, whose goalbound effort hits a Honduras defender and the ball comes to Benzema who despite being at a tight angle, lashes the ball into the roof of the net. Two for the Real Madrid striker now, who has looked imperious tonight.
Goal: France 3-0 Honduras (Karim Benzema)
21:29: Moussa Sissoko almost finishes off a classic France move and Honduras continue to play a pherpheral role in this game, but the effort hits the side-netting from Benzema's cross. Garcia has a rare effort on goal after Sakho gets into a mess at the back but Lloris makes an easy save.
21:24: Despite the attempts of BBC commentator Jonathan Pearce, from Robot Wars fame, there were very little about the second France goal that was controvercial. It was pretty clear cut once the replays had been shown on the big screen. "There will be much debate over the second goal," Pearce says. Umm, not really Jonathan.
21:19: What has gone forgotten aid all that was the horrendous error from Valladares, who turned the ball into his own net after the ball struck the post. Very poor goalkeeping from the Honduran. He does deny Benzema from close range before Valbuena shapes one wide of the right-hand post. Paul Pogba off for the French, who could pick a number here.
21:13: All sorts of drama in Porto Alegre. Karim Benzema comes in at the back post and strikes the ball against the up-right, and when the ball comes back across goal is fumbled by goalkeeper Valladares and as the ball goes towards the line the referee indicates a goal has been awarded. Replays show the ball first not crossing the line before a second shot shows the ball has crossed the line after the goalkeeping error. There is a bit of confusion, mainly caused by a delay in the television replays which are being shown in the stadium. Both managers look bemused but the main thing is that France are 2-0 up, and coasting in their opening group match.
Goal: France 2-0 Honduras (Noel Valladares own goal)
21:06: Teams are out and we're under way in the second half.
20:52: Incident packed first half comes to an end with France leading by just a single goal. Karim Benzema's penalty has the 1998 champions ahead but Honduras face an uphill task having being reduced to 10-men after two yellow cards for Wilson Palacios. It's been one-way traffic and France could pile on the misery in the second period having broken the deadlock.
Half time: France 1-0 Honduras
20:48: Honduras' petulance spills over and France take the lead with a minute remaining until half time. Palacios takes out Pogba from a cross-field ball, barging him over in the area leading to a penalty and a second yellow card. After a long delay, Karim Benzema steps up and converts his seventh goal in seven internationals by sending Valladares the wrong way.
Goal: France 1-0 Honduras (Karim Benzema)
Red card: Wilson Palacios (Honduras)
Penalty for France
20:43: France have rediscovered their minus touch and the pressure continue to rain down on the Honduras goal. Benzema is found at the back post from a delicious Pogba cross but his shot is deflected behind for a corner. Fernandez is down getting treatement after turning very awkwardly in the box.
20:36: That incident has held up the French unnecessarily after such a good opening to the game. Having not taken advantage of their dominance, will they be made to pay? Honduras, so far, are showing no evidence they can pose a threat in the attacking third however.
20:31: Handbags at dawn as Wilson Palacious and Paul Pogba come together. Palacios clearly fouls the French midfielder and appears to stamp on Pogba in a genuine attempt to get the ball and as he wanders away, the Juve man kicks his legs from under him and he goes tumbling. There is a coming together between both sets of players as the game threatens to boil over. After both players recieve treatment referee Ricci shows both players a yellow card. A different day, a different league, they could both have been dismissed there.
20:26: France hit the woodwork again as Honduras survive. Evra's cross from the left finds Griezmann who smashes the header against the bar. It's one way traffic in all honesty. another chance for France as Valbuena is found via a cross-field ball, and his cross finds Benzema who heads wide.
20:20: Valladares has been shaky so far in this game but that really was an oustanding save to prevent France taking the lead. Deschamps' is in disbelief on the touchline but surely it's a matter of when and not if his side take the lead in Porto Alegre.
20:17: It's all France early on here and Valladares makes a superb save after a free-kick is only clesred as far as Mutuidi who shoots goalwards but the effort is tipped onto the crossbar and over.
20:13: Chance wasted for France as Valbuena's free-kick from the right is pulled back to the edge of the box and benzema heads the ball from the edge of the box but it goes hoplessly wide.
20:10: France on top very early on and Valladares spills a cross from Valbuena from the right but Honduras just get away from it. Good start from Deschamps' side.
20:01: Slight delay as the officials hang aroud to wait for kick-off, given we're running a little early due to skipping the national anthems. And at last we're under way.
19:58: Few gremlins in the system at the moment so apologies for the lack of updates prior to kick-off. Both teams are out but we've not had the national anthems. Slightly bizzarre moment. We're nearly ready to start.
19:53: So what of Honduras. Managed by Luis Fernandez Suarez, they qualified from the central American section and though they aren't blessed with stars from across the globe they are well drilled and aggressive. They won't give the French the moments rest.
19:34: Think the broadcasting standard in teh UK of this World Cup has been stunning, but the analysis of the England-Italy opening game is approaching overkill. And to think, we've got four more days of this until the second match against Uruguay. Goodness me.
19:28: Plenty are viewing France as among the rank-outsiders at this World Cup, and certainly one of the leading contenders from Europe. Didier Deschamps' side are unbeaten since overturning a two-goal deficit to defeat Ukraine and reach the World Cup via the play-offs last November. In a group which contains several of the tournament minnows, the French have the opportunity to play there way into the tournament and set themselves up nicely for a run into the latter stages. With no in-fighting either, which overshadowed their 2010 campaign in South Africa, the foundations are there for a good run in Brazil.
France: Lloris, Debuchy, Evra, Varane, Sakho, Cabaye, Valbuena, Benzema, Griezmann, Matuidi, Pogba
Honduras: Valladares Figueroa Bernardez Izaguirre Palacios Bengtson Costly Espinoza Najar Garrido Beckeles
19:15: Right, so that is one down and two to go and the focus turns to two of the contenders for the tournament. We start with France, who despite being without Franck Ribery, face an easy route through to the quarter-finals and could pose a real threat at the sharp end should they get into their stride. They take on a Honduras side, who if their performance against England is anything to go by are physical and lack a genuine edge in attack. They could be here for the taking against Les Bleus.
19:00: A stunning passage of play, indicative of this World Cup, was the highlight of a game which never really hit the heights of the other group matches. Defeat plucked from the jaws of victory for Ecuador who at one end look like stealing it, before being caught short at the back. Switzerland evoked discipline and solidity, bar the opening goal, throughout and never looked like getting the winner until that moment of magic.
18:56: Unbelieveable. Switzerland win it with virtually the final kick of the game. Ecuador look certain to find the winner but Rojas can't get his shot away before being challenged, and Switzerland break. Behrami hurdles one tackle and the Swiss have a six on four. The ball comes in from the left and Seferovic, totally untracked, hammers into the roof of the net. Stunning smash and grab win and another comeback in this World Cup. We still await a draw in this competition.
Full time: Switzerland 2-1 Ecuador
Goal: Switzerland 2-1 Ecuador (Haris Seferovic)
18:49: Three minutes added on in Brasilia.
18:45: Arroyo right into the action and is free-kick from 25 yards takes a deflection and forces Benaglio into a smart save to keep the ball out.
18:36: Michael Arroyo, scourge of England in the warm-up games, and Joao Rojas come on for Ecuador to freshen up their attacking options. Entering the last 15 minutes here and are we heading for our first draw at these World Cup finals?
18:32: Without wanting to put every decision made in these finals under the microscope, that offside call in hindsight was an error as Drmic looks level when the ball comes through to him. A mistake, but will it prove costly for the Swiss?
18:29: Switzerland have the ball in the net for a second time but it is ruled out for offside. Drmic taps home from close range after a deflected strike from Inler came his way but the official on the far side raised his flag.
18:24: No doubt that since the goal Ecuador have been the better side. Jefferson Montero, who has been comparitvely quiet in this game, has his shot deflected wide.
18:21: Enner Valencia is a real livewire and so comes close to putting Ecuado ahead for a second time with a curled effort which rattles against the stantion behind the goal.
18:11: Naturally, that is the worst possible start to the second half for Ecuado, who lose thir lead within three minutes of the restart. Ayovi heads over as they seek to retake the lead from their first meaningful attack after the goal.
18:08: The Swiss make a change at the break as Stocker is replaced by Admir Mehmedi, and the substitute makes an immediate impact. Xhaka's deflected shot wins a corner which is swung into the near post and who is waiting but the substitute Mehmedi who heads home from six yards as Dominguez flaps at the ball.
Goal: Switzerland 1-1 Ecuador (Admir Mehmedi)
18:03: Under way in the second half.
17:51: Not a cracker by any stretch of the imagination in Brasilia where Ecuador lead by a Enner Valencia header. Switzerland have been otherwise toothless, if not dominant in possession, and particularly wasteful from set-piece situations. A fifth defeat against South American opposition in the World Cup looks on the cards.
Half time: Switzerland 0-1 Ecuador
17:45: Xherdan Shaqiri curls a free-kick from the right which goes out on the full. Switzerland have had a dozen or so chances from set-pieces but have rarely produced a delivery worthy of the competition they are playing in. Ecuardo have been made very few forays into the opposition half since the goal and look intent on holding their lead until the break.
17:40: Gorkhan Inler takes aim from range and Dominguez has to turn the ball behind with his fingertips. Now Xhaka has an effort deflected behind as Switzerland win a seventh corner of the first half. Its not been sustained pressure from the European side, but they've improved since going behind.
17:35: Better from Switzerland as Shaqiri gets a shot away which goes behind for a corner, but Ecuador clear. Now Lichtsteiner gets away down the right but his cross is put behind. Some nice build-up play but not much end product so far.
17:27: Ecuador looking to make it four South American wins out of five take the lead mid-way through the first half. A free-kick from the left is curled in brilliantly and Enner Valencia, as he did against England, heads in powerfully beyond Benaglio. For a Swiss side that didn't concede a goal from a set piece throughout qualifying for the World Cup, that was tame defendeing.
Goal: Switzerland 0-1 Ecuador (Enner Valencia)
17:18: Best chance of the opening 15 minutes and it comes for Switzerland. Shaqiri drifts inside, beats one player before shooting left-footed only to see Dominguez make an easy save. About time we saw a shot in anger.
17:15: Not exactly been a rip-roaring start to this game, both have started very nervously in fact. Switzerland conceeded just six goals in 10 qualifying matches and on the basis of their early showing here you can see why. They're hardly committing many players to the attack while Ecuador, who are all about instinct and pace, are struggling to hold onto the ball for longer than two or three passes. Few nerves out there.
17:06: Early free-kick for Ecuador, who are in their changed shirts of blue, despite Switzerland being in red shirts and white shorts, after Behrami kicks out but the set-piece is wasted as the ball comes through to Benaglio.
17:02: Under way in Brasilia.
16:58: We're in the capital Brasilia for the first time in this World Cup, at the 72,000 Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha, which is asthetically stunning from overhead. Decked in sunshine for this openin game, which just minutes away from kick-off.
16:54: Ecuador are not to be downplayed in this tournment, having finished ahead of Uruguay in South American qualifying (although after yesterday maybe that isn't such an achievement) and gave England plenty of problems in their warm-up meetings. There is bags of pace and verve about this team, and they will have signficant home support in Brazil.
16:42: With France and Honduras the other two teams in Group E, this pair will fancy their chances of reaching the round of 16. Switzerland are playing in a third successive World Cup but they are yet to match their quarter-final showing of 1954, with the country falling at the first hurdle in 2010. Ecuador's World Cup record is slightly more modest, but they did achieve their best ever finish in 2006 when they reached the knock-out phase, only to lose to England. Given the way the draw looks, finishing top of Group E could clear a path to the last eight. Big carrot for the winners of today's opening group games.
16:30: If you're not watching Lee Dixon and Ian Wright sitting in deck chairs, scoring England's players on their performance against Italy, you might be interested on what to expect in our first game of the day between Switzerland and Ecuador. The Swiss progressed top of their group and were seeded in for the World Cup draw. The likes of Shairi, Xhaka and Inler, along with the expeirence of manager Ottmar Hitzfeld, means Switzerland are heavily fancied to progress. Ecuardo meanwhile carry plenty of pace and penetration with Antonio Valencia, Felipe Caicedo and Jefferson Montero leading the attack. I don't fancy either side at the back so this could be another high-scoring game at this World Cup.
Switzerland: Benaglio, Lichtsteiner, Von Bergen, Djourou, Rodriguez, Inler, Xhaka,Behrami, Stocker, Drmic, Shaqiri
Ecuador: Dominguez, Guagua, Erazo, Paredes, Noboa, Montero, W. Ayovi, Gruezo, A. Valencia, E. Valencia, Caicedo
16:15: The post-mortem from England's opening group defeat to Italy continues following the 2-1 loss in Manuas. Wayne Rooney's miss and the defending of Gary Cahill and Leighton Baines are at the top of everyones intray this afternoon but optimism remains that Roy Hodgson's men can progress to the last 16. Expect more of this up until the second match against Uruguay on Thursday.
16:00: Four games yesterday and another three today as the World Cup continues apace. You would think after yesterday's drama we would struggle to beat such tension but we have three games that should come pretty close. We start with two games from Group E, where the seeds Switzerlandtake on Ecuador and France play Honduras is the most open group in the tournament. Later, we have Argentina facing Bosnia - who play their first game in World Cup history. What more could you want?