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The Day in 100 Words or Less The World Cup keeps on giving. It was the day that gave us one of the finest World Cup finishes in history. A day that showed off FIFAs fancy goal-line technology tool, saw a French talisman get the start he desperately needed in Brazil and saw Honduras kick out at anything they could. Ultimately, though, the days most defining image was a smiling Lionel Messi celebrating with thousands of Argentina fans inside the famous Maracana. Argentina 2-1 Bosnia-Herzegovina - It will be remembered as the day Lionel Messi scored his first World Cup goal in eight years. - Let the record books state that the ball went in the net at the 64:29 mark. Fifty-five seconds before that he blasted a free kick over the bar and sections of the stadium booed him. - Twenty minutes earlier Twitter buried him. Yes, his first half was average but so was Argentinas, strangely sent out in a 5-3-2 shape that gave absolutely zero width. - What it did do was make Argentina more defensive and although they were better in the second half it is clear how they ended this game that their coach is still nowhere near comfortable playing a back four. - Alejandro Sabella changed it at half-time unleashing Argentina with Fernando Gago and Gonzalo Higuain making them look more like their normal selves in a 4-3-3 shape. - Argentina were better in the second half but far from great. It was, then, a night about Messi, inside one of the worlds most famous stadiums, where a goal finally lifted some of the nonsense pressure that has piled on his shoulders in the build-up to this competition. - To understand the brilliance of the goal it is important to show why Messi struggled to penetrate and Bosnia-Herzegovina played a substantial part in that. Messi drops deep and wants to drive with the ball, keep close control of the ball, take more touches than most when dribbling and use team-mates to help him glide into danger zones. He excels better when starting slightly right of centre and moving inside on his left. Opponents know this and Bosnia-Herzegovinas plan in the first half was to allow Messi space to run into but centrally. Too often Messi picked up the ball deep, had no outlets to combine with and saw a defensive structure in front of him that forced him to only go straight. On the goal things changed. Both subs, Higuain and Gago, came deep to combine and then, importantly, ran on when giving it to Messi as he receives the ball... Messi then got to penetrate and have Higuain to play off, dragging defenders towards the Napoli striker... Then Messi had them where he wanted them, able to dribble into space laterally before shooting brilliantly to make it 2-0. - Argentina would win 2-1 and have many question marks about their World Cup credentials but, at this stage, that is better than peaking really early which is something they have done in recent World Cups. Switzerland 2-1 Ecuador - "The World Cups first draw of the tournament served up another tasty dish." ... That was supposed to be my opening line from this game. How naive of me to write it before a game had ended in Brazil. I should know better by now. - On day four, in the ninth game of the World Cup, we saw another team come from behind and win a match for the fifth time! It happened just four times in 64 games in South Africa. - The drama took place in the 93rd minute. Switzerland were on the ropes, Ecuador had been the better team and rather than sit deep and take a crucial point they sensed a weakness they could take advantage of. Their wide players were excellent, particularly Jefferson Montero and Walter Ayovi who dominated down the left in the final third attacks. - It was, however, on the other flank that started a phenomenal minute of football and when Antonio Valencia charged down the right flank in the final minute, Swiss fans held their breath. Valon Behramis brilliant tackle and then surge into the opponents half started yet another counter-attack. He was cynically fouled but the ref played advantage. Ecuador were now the ones on the ropes, they allowed him to be fouled and pick up the ball unchallenged and as they labored back the Swiss switched the play to the left and the excellent Ricardo Rodriguez. The Wolfsburg dangerman sent in another good cross and a second substitute for the Swiss scored as Haris Seferovics tap in got millions around the globe out of their chairs. - It was a massive goal in the context of this group. Taking a point, with France next, after an average performance would have been very concerning for Ottmar Hitzfelds team. They were outplayed by the South Americans for large stretches of this game and uncharacteristically were far more open than the coach would have wanted. However, a win now sets them to have a shot at winning this group and being paired with Group F in the next round that means Switzerlands dream of making the last eight is a real possibility. - For now, though, the real winner was the sport. This was the perfect scenario for two teams to sit deep and play out for a draw as the second half played out. That didnt happen and it was another game to watch with a huge smile on your face. France 3–0 Honduras - We have had a bit of everything so far in the World Cup. This game gave us some brutality and a first real look at the goal-line technology system at this tournament. - What worked: the ball hit the post and was bundled over the line when goalkeeper Noel Valladares attempted to keep it out. - What confused people: the system first showed the ball not going over the line and no goal came up on the screen seen around the world. Many thought that was the end of it but seconds later it showed the next area of concern that revealed the ball was over the line. - What people need to learn: It was not FIFA or anyones fault that the system first of all said no goal. It is designed to check borderline calls on the line and it took just a second to ensure it wasnt in. Those who got confused and jumped to the wrong conclusion (of which they were many) simply need to be more patient with the system. - What cannot happen next time: it took close to two minutes and 35 seconds from the moment the ball went in to them kicking off again. This is far from ideal and the game does not benefit when a referee has to come over and explain to a teams bench that you cannot argue against technology. Whenever anything is new and is used for the first time it is always going to confuse some. The key thing is the right decision was made. When we are all old and in a pub ahead of the 2054 World Cup just remember what you saw today because it will be on the quiz. - As for the game, the butchers from Honduras were out of their depth and proved to be a perfect foe for a French team looking to draw a line from their qualification playoff. Man of the Day Nominees: Ricardo Rodriguez – It has been a World Cup where young, impressive fullbacks have got the attention they deserve. Bundesliga fans wont be surprised at just how good he was against Ecuador. Jefferson Montero – Another performance like that and he will be back playing in Europe in no time. Karim Benzema – France can go a long way in this tournament but they need their main striker on form and he was excellent against Honduras. Lionel Messi – It wasnt a classic performance but he was the headline-maker in Brazil on this day. Muhamed Besic – the 21-year-old midfielder was excellent against Argentina, drifting in between the lines and causing Javier Mascherano many problems. The winner: Karim Benzema - French football has waited for some time for him to step up and carry them forward. Eight goals in his last seven internationals, after a woeful early qualifying campaign, means the Real Madrid man is dangerously in-form at the right time. What Comes Next? Germany vs. Portugal Noon et/9am pt, Iran vs. Nigeria 3pm et/Noon pt, Ghana vs. USA 6pm et/3pm pt. Burning Question for Tomorrow Can Portugal play as well as they did in the Euro 2012 opener against Germany and this time ensure the result matches their performance? Key Stat of Day 4 Through the first 11 games of this World Cup, 10 games have had three goals or more. Through the first 11 games of World Cup 2010, only one saw three goals or more. Benson Mayowa Jersey . With Bernard hurt, the second-round pick has emerged.Hill ran for 152 yards during a 27-10 win at New Orleans on Sunday, his second big game. He also ran for 154 yards against Jacksonville earlier this season. Brice Butler Jersey . His Brazilian opponents said he produced miracles. There is no doubt that Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was the one responsible for spoiling Brazils hopes of another World Cup victory at its home tournament. http://www.nflcardinalsauthoritystore.c ... ls-Jersey/. Patrik Bartosak turned away 50-of-52 shots for the Rebels (28-26-4), who halted their losing streak at seven games. Trailing 2-1 after 40 minutes of play, Feser forced overtime with his second goal of the game at 5:35 of the third period. Josh Bynes Cardinals Jersey . Ferguson told Uniteds in-house TV channel on Saturday that he has no immediate plans to walk away from the game, and that he still hungers for more trophies even after 25 years in charge of the club. Christian Kirk Jersey . A groundswell for raising the number of playoff qualifiers to seven in each conference figures to get plenty of support from the 32 owners. Most notably, Arizonas Bill Bidwill, who saw his Cardinals go 10-6 and not get in, while Green Bay (8-7-1) qualified by winning the NFC North. DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche are back in the post-season. But they may have to move on without Matt Duchene. If Semyon Varlamov continues his breakout season, the Avalanche might not miss their leading scorer. Varlamov had a season-high 47 saves and Colorado clinched its first playoff berth in four years with a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. Center John Mitchell had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche, who moved past Chicago into second place in the Central Division with 100 points in what might have been a costly victory. Duchene suffered a left knee injury on the opening shift Saturday when he collided with teammate Jamie McGinn near the Sharks blue line. He fell to the ice and then gingerly skated to the bench. He is scheduled to have an MRI on Sunday. "Well know more after that," coach Patrick Roy said. "Its not good news for him and its not good news for us. Its the way its been all year." Despite the injuries -- Colorado has lost top-six forwards Alex Tanguay and P.A. Parenteau -- the constant has been Varlamov. He came through again against the relentless Sharks, who threw 74 shots at him. Colorado blocked 25. "Im guessing he was the first star," San Jose coach Todd McLellan said of Varlamov. "He should be." Down a player, Varlamov made up for it with an outstanding performance. He stopped 20 shots in the third period, many during the final minutes when the Sharks were trying to get the equalizer. His 37 wins are the most in the NHL and a big reason the Avalanche reached 100 points for the first time in 10 years. "Hes been tremendous," captain Gabe Landeskog said. "I think its safe to say we wouldnt be here without him." Colorado was a mainstay in the playoffs when the franchise moved to Denver in 1995. After winning the Stanley Cup for a second time in 2001, the Avalanche reached the Western Conference finals the following season before heading into lean times. Now they have a chance to return to the glory years with a young, eager group. "Were certainly not satisfied with just squeaking into the playoffs, we want to do damage," Landeskog said. Mitchell moved upp to centre Colorados top line, and came through with a big power-play goal to give Colorado a 3-1 lead at 6:32 of the second period.dddddddddddd "It came right to me slow enough so I could get a forehand shot and I just one-timed it into the back of the net," Mitchell said. "I was just at the right place at the right time." Paul Stastny and Cody McLeod also scored for Colorado. Varlamovs strong play beforehand helped Colorado maintain a 2-1 lead. The Sharks outshot the Avalanche 11-3 in the second, many of those coming early when they were trying to tie it. Joe Pavelski and Dan Boyle scored for the Sharks, who are 1-2-2 in their past five games but still hold a slim lead for first place in the Pacific over Anaheim. Goalie Alex Stalock had 19 saves for San Jose before being pulled for an extra attacker in the final minute. "I thought we played extremely well, thought we generated a lot of chances," Joe Thornton said. "Its just sometimes you dont win those types of games." Boyle cut the lead to 3-2 when he took a pass from James Sheppard and scored off Varlamovs left shoulder 2:03 after Mitchell. It was his 10th goal of the season. The Sharks got a chance to tie on a 4-on-3 power play after Ryan OReilly took his first penalty of the season, a minor for playing with a broken stick. Stastnys 26th goal 1:33 into the game gave Colorado a 1-0 lead. Pavelski tied it on the power play less than two minutes later with his 38th. The Sharks had another power-play chance midway through the first, but McLeod sneaked behind the defence, took a long pass from Nick Holden off Boyles glove and beat Stalock to give Colorado a 2-1 lead. "I took my eye off the puck for a fraction of a second to make sure I wasnt going to get drilled," Boyle said. "I just caught a piece of it and missed it. Thats an unfortunate bounce." NOTES: Mitchell returned to the lineup after missing four games with a back injury. ... The Sharks reassigned F Freddie Hamilton to Worcester of the AHL on Friday. ... McGinn played after skipping practice Friday. He took a shot off his foot in Thursdays win over Vancouver. Wholesale Falcons Jerseys Wholesale Buccaneers Jerseys Wholesale Cardinals Jerseys Wholesale Bills Jerseys Wholesale Jets Jerseys Wholesale Panthers Jerseys Wholesale Ravens Jerseys Wholesale Texans Jerseys Wholesale Patriots Jerseys Wholesale Steelers Jerseys Wholesale Cowboys Jerseys Wholesale Packers Jerseys Wholesale Browns Jerseys Wholesale Chiefs Jerseys Wholesale Colts Jerseys Wholesale Rams Jerseys ' ' '