World Cup Daily Recap: Costa Rica stuns, Colombia dazzles and more
A four-game Day 3 of the World Cup featured some stellar performances, a massive upset and plenty of talking points. Here's what went down:
TICOS TAKE DOWN URUGUAY
As stunning as the Netherlands' 5-1 rout of Spain was on Friday, there was something just as -- if not more -- shocking about Costa Rica's 3-1 win over Uruguay in Fortaleza. Uruguay, which defeated Costa Rica in an intercontinental qualifying playoff en route to its semifinal showing in 2010, took an early lead through Edinson Cavani's penalty, but Joel Campbell stole the show for Los Ticos, who were an afterthought for many in a group that features three past World Cup champions. Campbell's goal and assist sandwiched Oscar Duarte's game-winning header, and it's Costa Rica that tops the tough Group D. Luis Suarez (knee) did not play for Uruguay.
COLOMBIA FINE WITHOUT FALCAO
Colombia began World Cup life without Radamel Falcao in fine fashion, dominating Greece 3-0 behind the star performance of midfielder James Rodriguez. Belo Horizonte's Estadio Mineirao was a sea of yellow and rocked from start to finish, with Pablo Armero's early goal sparking celebrations on the Colombia sideline and in the crowd. Teofilo Gutierrez and Rodriguez polished off the Greeks to take an early grasp of Group C. James Young writes from Belo on Colombia's performance and its greater meaning.
AZZURRI TAME THE THREE LIONS IN THE AMAZON
Playing in the hot and humid conditions of Amazon city Manaus, Italy topped England 2-1 on the strength of Mario Balotelli's 50th-minute game-winning header. Claudio Marchisio and Daniel Sturridge exchanged goals within a three-minute span in the first half, but it was Italy that persevered despite veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon missing the match with an ankle injury. Avi Creditor offers his Three Thoughts on the day's headlining match.
DROGBA INSPIRES LES ELEPHANTS
Japan was in the driver's seat, riding a great Keisuke Honda goal to a 1-0 lead over the Ivory Coast. Then Didier Drogba entered the match, and things changed almost instantly. A 62nd-minute substitute, Drogba helped inspire Les Elephants to a 2-1 win. Wilfried Bony and Gervinho scored in the 64th and 66th minutes, respectively, off crosses from 21-year-old Serge Aurier, and the Ivorians joined Colombia atop Group C with three points.
Colombia is certainly an early front-runner for best team goal celebration:
If there's someone who knows a thing or two about how to beat Costa Rica, it's U.S. forward Herculez Gomez:
Uruguay should have played them on snow… — herculez gomez (@herculezg) June 14, 2014
WHAT'S ON DECK (all times ET)
- Switzerland and Ecuador open Group E play in Brasilia (12 p.m., ABC/Univision).
- France begins life without Franck Ribery, squaring off with CONCACAF's Honduras in Porto Alegre (3 p.m., ABC/Univision).
- Lionel Messi's Argentina takes on Bosnia-Herzegovina in a star-studded Group F matchup in Rio de Janeiro. It'll be the Bosnians' first World Cup match since declaring independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1992 (6 p.m., ESPN/Univision).