After Day 9's results, Costa Rica will never be underestimated in the 2014 World Cup again.
Even after embarrassing Uruguay by the score of 3-1 on Day 3, Costa Rica entered its match against Italy with just 8-1 odds to win, according to Odds Shark. At halftime, though, Italy found itself losing 1-0 after a Bryan Ruiz goal 44 minutes in.
Only six teams started with higher odds to win the World Cup than Italy, according to Odds Shark. Every team except Honduras started with higher odds than Costa Rica. And while Italy had impressed in its opener against a talented England team, Costa Rica's upset of Uruguay seemed fluke-like due to the absence of Luis Suarez.
All this could've increased the tension that led to a conflict between the two as they headed to their locker rooms at halftime.
Italy couldn't harness this frustration in the second half. It possessed the ball 58 percent of the match but failed to attempt more shots on goal than Costa Rica.
Costa Rica's goalie Keylor Navas finished with four saves en route to a shutout of Italy by the same score that they entered to at halftime. This did no favors for England.
It was a painful loss for Italy, figuratively and—for defender Giorgio Chiellini—literally.
Italy will be eliminated if it loses to Uruguay on Tuesday, June 24. Costa Rica, though, has clinched a spot in the knockout round and needs to be blown out by England to not earn the first seed in Group D, which isn't likely to happen, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
The second match of the day wasn't as close. France entered halftime up 3-0 over Switzerland. Olivier Giroud scored with 17 minutes in, Blaise Matuidi scored a minute later and Mathieu Valbuena scored five minutes before halftime to crush the souls of Switzerland.
Switzerland isn't used to surrendering this many goals, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
And it could've been worse. Karim Benzema's penalty kick was blocked, which preceded Yohan Cabaye missing on a wide-open net.
Benzema redeemed himself, though, after halftime with a goal 67 minutes in to increase France's lead to 4-0. Moussa Sissoko made it 5-0 with a goal of his own before Blerim Dzemaili and Granit Xhaka got on the board for Switzerland.
The final scoreboard read 5-2, France. With the win, it clinches a spot in the knockout round and will likely earn the first seed in Group E.
The third match of the day was arguably the most thrilling. After being shut out by France, Honduras finally scored 31 minutes into its match against Ecuador with a Carlo Costly goal. But then Ecuador's Enner Valencia, who scored its only goal in a 2-1 loss to Switzerland, took over.
Just three minutes after Honduras' opening goal, Valencia tied the score at 1-1 with one of his own. Thirty-one minutes later, he scored another goal to put Ecuador on top 2-1.
Ecuador held on to win by the same score. Its victory kept it alive in its pursuit of a spot in the knockout round. Whichever team between Ecuador and Switzerland performs better in its final match will advance.
Here are the updated standings and schedule for the remainder of the group stage.
|4||Bosnia and Herzegovina||0||-1||1||0||0||1||1||2|
|Sat., June 21||12 p.m.||Argentina vs. Iran||ESPN|
|3 p.m.||Germany vs. Ghana||ESPN|
|6 p.m.||Nigeria vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina||ESPN|
|Sun., June 22||12 p.m.||Belgium vs. Russia||ABC|
|3 p.m.||South Korea vs. Algeria||ABC|
|6 p.m.||United States vs. Portugal||ESPN|
|Mon., June 23||12 p.m.||Australia vs. Spain||ESPN2|
|12 p.m.||Netherlands vs. Chile||ESPN|
|4 p.m.||Croatia vs. Mexico||ESPN|
|4 p.m.||Cameroon vs. Brazil||ESPN2|
|Tues., June 24||12 p.m.||Italy vs. Uruguay||ESPN|
|12 p.m.||Costa Rica vs. England||ESPN2|
|4 p.m.||Japan vs. Colombia||ESPN|
|4 p.m.||Greece vs. Ivory Coast||ESPN2|
|Wed., June 25||12 p.m.||Nigeria vs. Argentina||ESPN|
|12 p.m.||Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. Iran||ESPN2|
|4 p.m.||Honduras vs. Switzerland||ESPN2|
|4 p.m.||Ecuador vs. France||ESPN|
|Thu., June 26||12 p.m.||United States vs. Germany||ESPN|
|12 p.m.||Portugal vs. Ghana||ESPN2|
|4 p.m.||South Korea vs. Belgium||ESPN|
|4 p.m.||Algeria vs. Russia||ESPN2|
David Daniels is a columnist at Bleacher Report. He tweets, too.
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