World Cup 2014: Wins for Argentina, France and Switzerland on Day 4 - LIVE! - Live coverage - The Independent

World Cup 2014: Wins for Argentina, France and Switzerland on Day 4 - LIVE!

Welcome to The Independent's live coverage of day four of the World Cup with Sam Dymond and Marc Williams. We'll have the latest news from Brazil, the reaction to England's defeat last night as well as the build-up to tonight's games Switzerland v Ecuador, France v Honduras and Argentina v Bosnia...

    It's the morning after the World Cup's longest night, and many will be waking up following England's defeat to the Italians in Manaus with sore heads. But, unlike many England World Cup defeats of the past, there are reasons to remain hopeful.

    As The Independent's Chief Football Correspondent, Sam Wallace, explains in his match report, the Three Lions can now offer something different - something exciting - in attack...

    Going forward, England were a very different proposition. They were fast – showing much more pace than the Italians – and exciting. Italy had no answer to it and relied on keeping the ball and trying to keep England in their own half.
    6/15/2014 11:21:46 AM
    Much of England's new-found attacking dynamism was due to the surprise selection of Liverpool's Raheem Sterling. Having been sent off in England's World Cup warm-up with Eduador, the teenager was expected to begin on the bench against Italy with Danny Welbeck getting the nod on the right.

    But news began to break two hours before kick-off in Manaus that Roy Hodgson had picked Sterling ahead of Southampton's Adam Lallana and, as James Olley reveals, the England coach's decision to start the youngster was vindicated, nearly bringing instant dividends...

    At the start, Sterling picked the ball up just inside the Italy half, beat two men and struck a rising effort from 25 yards which hit the side netting in a way that brought half the ground to its feet believing England had made the best possible start.
    6/15/2014 11:34:35 AM
    Another plus for England last night was they managed to come through their fierce encounter with Italy injury-free. Well, almost.

    In bizarre - and frankly worrying - scenes, England first-team physiotherapist Gary Lewin managed to dislocate his ankle while celebrating Daniel Sturridge's equaliser. Lewin required lengthy treatment on the touchline before being stretched away for further assessment. He will be replaced for the remainder of the tournament by his assistant Steve Kemp.

    Still, he had plenty of well-wishers, including some who know all about injuries...


    Not everyone was so sympathetic, mind you...


    And to all those who claim Rio has lost a yard of pace, look how quickly he back-pedalled here...


    6/15/2014 11:56:50 AM
    Argentina v Bosnia

    The 2014 World Cup has been starved of so many of the game's top players. The nations of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Gareth Bale never made it. Radamel Falcao, Marco Reus and Franck Ribery were struck down by injury. Luis Suarez may yet follow suit if he fails to shake off his knee complaint. And yet still, so far, it has been brilliant.

    Now, the best player of the lot - arguably the best ever - takes his places in Brazil as captain of Argentina. Lionel Messi will lead 
    La Albiceleste out this evening against Bosnia and Herzegovina, and can elevate an already thrilling tournament to new heights of hysteria.

    That said, the Barcelona star has yet to shine on this stage. In his two previous World Cup campaigns, Messi has scored just once as Argentina flattered to deceive in Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010.

    Many think this is his time, his World Cup, and he start this evening against the Bosnians.


    Despite a glittering career with Barcelona, Messi has yet to bring his club form to a World Cup and silence those who claim that he will never rank alongside the likes of Maradonna, Pele or Zidane until he does so.

    6/15/2014 2:39:57 PM
    Chelsea Calling Courtois

    There's nothing worse than being let down by those you love. You know the feeling, that gut-wrenching sense of disappointment you get when an actor you appreciate appears on Celebrity Big Brother, or when a favoured musician collaborates with Sting.

    Now, it's happened again with Belgium's sensational shot-stopper Thibaut Courtois. After three seasons on-loan at Atletico Madrid, Jose Mourinho has today confirmed that the goalkeeper will return to Stamford Bridge for the new season meaning that English football supporters - Chelsea fans aside - can no longer truly appreciate the exploits of the 22-year-old.

    Still, it appears as though the Belgian has his mind on matters at hand. His country begin their World Cup campaign against Algeria on Tuesday.
    6/15/2014 3:00:22 PM
    When the draws for these World Cup finals were made last December, much of the talk didn’t revolve around England’s difficult group or the second day rematch between 2010 finalists, Spain and Holland, but just how on earth had Switzerland made it to being one of the top eight seeds.

    It’s a position that isn’t necessarily based on merit with coach Ottmar Hitzfeld and the Swiss FA cleverly taking advantage of the FIFA ranking system, but they are, nevertheless, a very accomplished outfit. Many of their squad have benefitted from successful sustained periods together at U17 and U21 level, and arrive in Brazil with quality flowing through the team; from Juve’s Stefan Lichtsteiner to Napoli’s Goekhan Inler to Bayern’s Xherdan Shaqiri, the Swiss have the talent to go far in this tournament.

    They’ll have to successfully negotiate an Ecuador team, however, who have become use to dealing with adversity. The death of their much-loved striker Christian Benitez last year was a shock to all associated with La Tri, and their players dedicated qualification for Brazil to the former Birmingham City forward. No doubt they’ll wish to follow that up with a strong showing at these finals, and their pacey, direct game will surely lend itself to another open, attractive match this evening.

    Switzerland v Ecuador kicks-off at Estadio Nacional in an hour.

    6/15/2014 3:03:17 PM
    The Switzerland and Ecuador teams are in from Brasilia. Bayer Leverkusen forward Josip Drmic is the man Otmar Hitzveld favours in attack to spearhead his talented Swiss team but there is no place at the back for Fabian Schar of Basle; he is replaced by former Arsenal defender Johan Djourou. Meanwhile, Reinaldo Rueda, has left Michael Arroyo on the bench despite his wonder goal against England in this month's World Cup warm-up while Manchester United's Antonio Valencia and former Manchester City striker Felipe Caicedo both start.

    Switzerland: Benaglio, Lichtsteiner, Von Bergen, Inler, Xhaka, Behrami, Rodriguez, Stocker, Drmic, Djourou, Shaqiri

    Subs: Ziegler, Senderos, Lang, Barnetta, Seferovic, Sommer, Dzemaili, Fernandes, Gavranovic, Mehmedi, Bürki, Schär

    Ecuador: Dominguez, Guagua, Erazo, Paredes, Noboa, Montero, W. Ayovi, Caicedo, E. Valencia, A. Valencia, Gruezo

    Subs: Banguera, Ibarra, Méndez, Rojas, Bone, Minda, Arroyo, M. Ayoví, Bagüí, Saritama, Martínez, Achilier

    Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan)
    6/15/2014 3:07:37 PM
    5 mins: It's been an excellent start from Ecuador, who have been keen to utilise the pace they possess on the wings to attack the Swiss. It's brought a corner on either flank so far, while Enner Valencia's trickery has troubled the European's defence.
    6/15/2014 4:06:38 PM
    Much has been made of Ecuador's qualification on Brazil during which they excelled at home in high altitude but struggled elsewhere...


    6/15/2014 4:08:35 PM
    12 mins: A first sight of goal for Switzerland's Josip Drmic, who was smartly played through on goal by Gokhan Inler, but the Leverkusen forward hesitated at the vital moment, and allowed Jorge Guagua time to gets across quickly to cover and clear.

    Moments later, Granit Xhaka attempts a spectacular 30-yard-volley but it lacks the accuray to trouble Alexander Dominguez.
    6/15/2014 4:15:08 PM
    16 mins: Now Dominguez is called into action, and the LDU Quito goalkeeper has to make a save to deny Xherdan Shaqiri. The Bayern Munich forward made space for himself on the edge of the box before unleashing a fierce effort, but it was straight down the throat of the Ecuadorian custodian.
    6/15/2014 4:18:32 PM
    22 mins: GOAL! SWITZERLAND 0 ECUADOR 1: Ecuador lead in Brasilia! Jefferson Montero, who has caused Stefan Lichtsteiner all kinds of problems with his direct running and trickery, won a free-kick off the Juventus man outside the penalty area on the left-hand side. The Swiss didn't concede a single goal from a set-piece during their qualifying campaign, but who knows how when they defend like this. Walter Ayovi whipped the ball over at pace, and nobody picked up Enner Valencia, who had the simple task of climbing high to head his country into the lead.

    6/15/2014 4:22:35 PM
    27 mins: Lichtsteiner attempts to make amends for his part in the goal by bursting forward and winning his side a corner. When it eventually makes its way into the box, Valentin Stocker got in front of his man at the near post, but is only able to head tamely wide.

    Meanwhile, Clarke Carlisle just let the mask slip while co-commentating for ITV Sport. Forgetting his fancy long words and correct pronunciation, the former QPR defender implored the Swiss goalkeeper to "come and punch it, mate!" Britain's brainiest footballer, indeed...
    6/15/2014 4:30:05 PM
    35 mins: The Swiss have upped their game since falling behind, and have just had a shout for a penalty. Shaqiri decided to take matters into his own hands with a solo run, but his shot was blocked by a defender inside the box. The Switzerland attacker and a couple of teammates are suggesting that it was done so with a hand, but the Uzbekistan referee Ravshan Irmatov is unmoved.

    Moments earlier, Valon Behrami became the latest player to get his head on a corner, but Dominguez got down low to save well.
    6/15/2014 4:38:04 PM
    53 mins: Mehmedi has sparked the Swiss into life since his introduction, and he nearly launches another attack by winning the ball in midfield. However, any hopes of a swift counter are stopped in their tracks by a cynical challenge from Juan Carlos Paredes, who is booked by referee Irmatov.


    6/15/2014 5:10:57 PM
    58 mins: Admir Mehmedi is at the heart of all Switzerland's attacking now, and he nearly finds his way past the last defender after latching on to Lichtsteiner's cross into the box. He's unable to wriggle free, but in the same move, has a claim for a penalty after going over under pressure, but once again the referee is correct to ignore the protests.
    6/15/2014 5:16:46 PM
    60 mins: After soaking up a quarter of an hour of pressure at the start of this second half, Enner Valencia nearly fires Ecuador back into the lead in sensational style. The opening goalscorer drops his shoulder on the edge of the area, helping him to beat two men, and strikes a cracker of a shot just the wrong side of the top right-hand corner of Banaglio's goal.
    6/15/2014 5:18:35 PM
    66 mins: A first sighting of Montero's ability in the second half as he toys with the Switzerland back-line, swerving left and then right as he runs at them, before firing a low shot at goal that Benaglio has to turn behind with his feet.

    The game had just started to loll too, although I only know that because a Mexican wave had started up around the stands; the only reason why Mexico '86 cannot be considered a great tournament.

    Meanwhile, that's not the only thing that's annoying the viewers at home...


    6/15/2014 5:25:58 PM
    70 mins: DISALLOWED GOAL! Switzerland have the ball in the back of the net, but celebrations are immediately cut short by the linesman's flag on the far side. Frickson Erazo gave possession away in defence, and when it was eventually sent back towards goal, Xhaka dummied the ball only for a defender to deflect it into the path of Josip Drmic. The striker was onside when the initial pass was played, and his conversion from close range was unjustly ruled out.
    6/15/2014 5:27:07 PM
    78 mins: Both sides continue to chase a winner in the final stages as they target a place in the last 16. Lichtsteiner remains determined to maraud down the right flank in search of providing such a moment, and Ecuador have responded by sending on a fresher pair of legs in Joao Rojas for the lively Montero in order to exploit the gaps left by the Juventus man at the back.
    6/15/2014 5:37:49 PM
    3 min: Well that didn't take long. If there were any nerves floating around for the Argentines, they'll be gone now. Lionel Messi puts in a great cross, it hits another forward and deflects to Sead Kolasinac who can't help but put it into his own net. Really unfortunate for Bosnia but great start for one of the favourites here in Brazil.
    6/15/2014 10:06:46 PM
    7 min: Bosnia have replied really, really well to going a goal down so early on. They look happy with the ball, playing it around nicely. Argentina have hardly touched it since the goal. Tough on the poor old Bosnians, as if playing Argentina first up wasn't hard enough...
    6/15/2014 10:09:46 PM

    You know, you really shouldn't celebrate a goal like that! 

    6/15/2014 10:11:29 PM
    10 min: Amazing atmosphere here, thousands and thousands of Argentina fans in full voice! Spin-tingling stuff. Not much action to speak of just at the moment but that won't last long. 

    Just take a second to compliment the designer of Argentina's kit. You can't do a lot with stripes but that is a lovely kit! Well done, whoever you are!
    6/15/2014 10:14:03 PM
    13 min: Chance for Bosnia! It was never going to last, was it, and Bosnia have their first chance of the game. A great ball down the middle is aimed at Hajrovic but the Galatasaray man can't quite beat 'keeper Romero to the ball. Bosnia have a free-kick soon after but only find the wall. 
    6/15/2014 10:16:08 PM
    Is this a good thing or a bad thing?


    6/15/2014 10:16:51 PM
    16 min: Well it's all Bosnia here, will there be a sting in the tail soon for them, they are committing a few forward but that's great to see. 
    6/15/2014 10:18:09 PM



    6/15/2014 10:21:30 PM
    20 min: Argentina are getting going again and Messi has his first couple of dribbles at the Bosnia back line. A couple of quick corners but they come to nothing and Bosnia can breath again. Does Messi look a touch sluggish? Perhaps...
    6/15/2014 10:22:46 PM
    22 min: Well that first 22 minutes absolutely flew past! Looking at the goal again and Kolasinac appears to take his eye off the ball for a split second and that is enough for the ball to bounce of his leg and into the back of the net. What a shame for the Schalke man, he has recovered well! 

    Not much action to speak of, lots of passing in midfield from both teams. We do have our first yellow card though as Rojo goes into the book. 
    6/15/2014 10:25:42 PM
    25 min: Bosnia have a couple of attempts to get the ball in the box which are well dealt with by Argentina. The Balkan side need to get Dzeko into this game, he has hardly touched it yet. 
    6/15/2014 10:28:02 PM

    The man we've all come to see! Bosnia doing a job on Messi so far.  


    6/15/2014 10:29:30 PM
    30 min: Half hour gone in the Group F opener and it's still that early OG that separates the too. Begovic is called into action after Mascherano has a shot from way out. He doesn't get many and was never troubling a 'keeper of Asmir's quality with that one!

    Edin Dzeko has his first touch of the game as he blasts an effort ten yards or so over the bar. 
    6/15/2014 10:34:26 PM
    Can someone translate please? I'm guessing everyone in Argentina is happy!






    6/15/2014 10:36:54 PM
    36 min: Aguero and Bicakcic get to know each other a little better and get a nose-full of each other's hair products. A nasty little head clash but both players are fine, tough pair of lads! 
    6/15/2014 10:38:44 PM
    38 min: Argentina have had 63% of the ball and it seems like even more than that but so far, on balance, Romero has had more to do than Begovic. Apart from that Mascherano no-hoper, Begovic has only really had to get the ball out of his net. Romero's made a couple of smart saves.

    Bosnia have a corner...
    6/15/2014 10:41:09 PM
    40 min: Chance for Bosnia. And, just like that they could have been level. Lulic meets the corner from the right with a smart downward header. Romero dives down low and claws it away, good stop. Argentina really are not living up to their big build up and Bosnia are well in this. 
    6/15/2014 10:43:25 PM
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