Thanks to the Netherlands and Costa Rica, 2014 World Cup groups are already turning out like they weren't supposed to.
On Day 3, Costa Rica pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament yet. Down 1-0 at halftime to Uruguay, Costa Rica and its 5,000-1 odds to win the World Cup, per Odds Shark, scored three unanswered goals en route to a stunning 3-1 victory.
Not nearly as stunning, but just as impressive, was Colombia's 3-0 win over Greece. Colombia held a lead for all but five minutes of the match thanks to Pablo Armero early goal. While none of Greece's eight shots on goal got past David Ospina, nearly half of Colombia's seven shots on goal found the net.
After two blowouts, Italy and England gave defensive fans the show they were waiting for on Saturday. All but two of the first 50 minutes of the match were tied thanks to Daniel Sturridge's quick answer to Claudio Marchisio's opening goal. But a Mario Balotelli header broke the tie and put Italy in command of the stacked Group D.
Perhaps the most exciting match the World Cup saved for last. Japan led the Ivory Coast 1-0 from the 16th minute to the 64th. Then the fastest back-to-back goals in the tournament happened: Wilfried Bony scored to tie the lead, and two minutes later, Gervinho scored to take it.
Here are the updated standings after Day 3's action and a preview of Day 4.
|2||Bosnia and Herzegovina||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Day 4 Schedule|
|12 p.m.||Switzerland vs. Ecuador||ABC||2-2|
|3 p.m.||France vs. Honduras||ABC||3-0|
|6 p.m.||Argentina vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina||ESPN||3-1|
*All odds are according to Odds Shark.
Switzerland vs. Ecuador
Switzerland 6-5 to win, Ecuador 287-100 to win, 219-100 for a draw
Switzerland and Ecuador should be the match of the day, if not the match of the tournament up to this point. Neither team is expected to be a major threat to top teams such as Brazil, Argentina and Germany once the knockout round commences, but the winner of this match will likely advance out of the group stage.
If there is a winner, that is. There has yet to be a draw in this year's World Cup, so it's due.
Switzerland and Ecuador are close enough to each other from top to bottom to end deadlocked.
France vs. Honduras
France 49-169 to win, Honduras 1,341-100 to win, 43-10 for a draw
Honduras has the same odds to win the World Cup as Costa Rica. France should be terrified.
In all seriousness, though, it shouldn't be. If France just plays its game, it'll take care of the significantly weaker Honduras. Everyone can be upset, but more times than not, upsets of this magnitude don't happen. This is why the Costa Ricas of the world are made such a big deal about when it does.
France also has higher odds to win the World Cup than Uruguay, meaning it should be less susceptible to a shocking defeat.
Argentina vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina
Argentina 72-200 to win, Bosnia and Herzegovina 226-25 to win, 383-100 for a draw
Argentina and Bosnia and Herzegovina are both favored to advance out of the group stage to the knockout round. However, few groups have a larger drop-off between its first- and second-best teams than Group F.
While Argentina has the second-highest odds to win the World Cup, trailing only Brazil, Bosnia and Herzegovina ranks 22nd. They aren't on the same level.
This doesn't mean Bosnia and Herzegovina is incapable of pulling off an upset, though. It entered the World Cup with much higher expectations than Costa Rica, which sure wasn't held back by its odds. But against a team led by the world's best player in Lionel Messi, this is just an extremely difficult matchup.
David Daniels is a columnist at Bleacher Report. He tweets, too.
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