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Shaqiri’s Hat Trick Propels Switzerland into World Cup’s Last 16

Shaqiri’s Hat Trick Propels Switzerland into World Cup’s Last 16

Matthew Lewis/Getty Images(MANAUS, Brazil) -- Xherdan Shaqiri's hat trick propelled Switzerland into the Knockout Stage and past Honduras, 3-0 Wednesday, in Group E play at the World Cup.

Switzerland ends up the second-seed from Group E after France and Ecuador tied 0-0, eliminating Ecuador.

Shaqiri started his scoring quickly, scoring in the sixth minute when he smashed a kick from outside the penalty box and into the top right corner of the net.

Shaqiri put the Swiss on the board again in the 31st minute when he took advantage of a 2-on-1 and slid the ball past a tripped-up Noel Valladares to make it 2-0.

In the 71st, striker Josip Drmic passed the ball to a streaking Shaqiri who struck the ball past a diving Valladares for the hat trick.

Switzerland will now take on Argentina Tuesday in the Round of 16. The match is scheduled to start at 12:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

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Uruguay Eliminates Italy to Advance to Knockout Stage

Uruguay Eliminates Italy to Advance to Knockout Stage

Julian Finney/Getty Images(NATAL, Brazil) -- Uruguayan captain Diego Godin scored the golden goal in the 81st minute of the match as Uruguay advanced to the Round of 16 at the World Cup by ousting Italy 1-0 Tuesday in Group D play.

The game was scoreless in the 59th minute when Italy's Claudio Marchisio was given a red card, knocking him out of the match and forcing Italy to play with 10 men.

Uruguay capitalized on the man advantage in the 81st minute when Godin headed in a corner from Gastón Ramírez.

There was controversy just a few minutes before the goal. Uruguay star striker Luis Suarez was accused of biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini. Chiellini, who complained many times in the game when nothing happened, complained to the referee -- pointing at his shoulder -- but the referee paid no attention. After the game Suarez -- who has been suspended twice in his career for biting the opposition -- didn't confirm or deny the bite.

"These are just things that happen out on the pitch," Suarez said. "It was just the two of us inside the area and he bumped into me with his shoulder, and that's how my eye got like this as well. There are things that happen on the pitch and you should not make such a big deal out of them."

Although nothing was called on the pitch, FIFA has announced it will investigate the alleged bite. If Suarez is found guilty he will likely face a long suspension. 

The loss means Italy is eliminated from the tournament.

Uruguay finishes Group D play in second place and will face Columbia Saturday in the Round of 16. The match is scheduled to start at 4:00 p.m. Eastern and can be seen on ABC.

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Uruguay Eliminates Italy to Advance to Knockout Stage

Uruguay Eliminates Italy to Advance to Knockout Stage

Julian Finney/Getty Images(NATAL, Brazil) -- Uruguayan captain Diego Godin scored the golden goal in the 81st minute of the match as Uruguay advanced to the Round of 16 at the World Cup by ousting Italy 1-0 Tuesday in Group D play.

The game was scoreless in the 59th minute when Italy's Claudio Marchisio was given a red card, knocking him out of the match and forcing Italy to play with 10 men.

Uruguay capitalized on the man advantage in the 81st minute when Godin headed in a corner from Gastón Ramírez.

There was controversy just a few minutes before the goal. Uruguay star striker Luis Suarez was accused of biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini. Chiellini, who complained many times in the game when nothing happened, complained to the referee -- pointing at his shoulder -- but the referee paid no attention. After the game Suarez -- who has been suspended twice in his career for biting the opposition -- didn't confirm or deny the bite.

"These are just things that happen out on the pitch," Suarez said. "It was just the two of us inside the area and he bumped into me with his shoulder, and that's how my eye got like this as well. There are things that happen on the pitch and you should not make such a big deal out of them."

Although nothing was called on the pitch, FIFA has announced it will investigate the alleged bite. If Suarez is found guilty he will likely face a long suspension. 

The loss means Italy is eliminated from the tournament.

Uruguay finishes Group D play in second place and will face Columbia Saturday in the Round of 16. The match is scheduled to start at 4:00 p.m. Eastern and can be seen on ABC.

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Mexico Advances to Knockout Stage with 3-1 Victory Over Croatia

Mexico Advances to Knockout Stage with 3-1 Victory Over Croatia

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images(RECIFE, Brazil) -- Mexico scored three goals in ten minutes of the second half to top Croatia 3-1 and advance to the Round of 16 at the World Cup. Mexico secures the two-seed in Group A and will now take on the Netherlands Sunday in Fortaleza. The score was tied nil-nil going into the second half, but Mexico erupted starting in the 72nd minute when Rafael Marquez sent a header past Croatian goalie Stipe Pletikosa. Just three minutes later, Mexico scored again, when Andres Guardado smashed a left-footed one-timer from 12 yards out into the back of the net. The Mexicans finished their scoring barrage seven minutes later when Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez headed in a shot that deflected off teammate Marquez's head.

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Netherlands Advances with Top Spot in Group B

Netherlands Advances with Top Spot in Group B

iStock/Thinkstock(SAO PAULO) -- Netherlands has advanced in Group B of the World Cup after their 2-0 win over Chile on Monday.

Substitutes Leroy Fer and Memphis Depay scored late to give Netherlands the points needed to secure the top spot in the group.

Fer scored on a header from Darryl Janmaat's cross in the 77th minute, and two minutes later Depay scored his second goal in two matches to put away Chile.

Netherlands only needed a draw to secure a spot in the next round.

Chile was coming into the game fresh after knocking out the defending World Cup champion Spain.

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Varela’s Final-Second Goal Sends Portugal to a 2-2 Draw with U.S.

Varela’s Final-Second Goal Sends Portugal to a 2-2 Draw with U.S.

Christopher Lee/Getty Images(MANAUS, Brazil) -- Portuguese midfielder Valera scored on a cross from Cristiano Ronaldo in the final minute of stoppage time, as Portugal ties the United States 2-2 on Sunday in Group G play at the World Cup.

A win would have sent the U.S. into the Knockout Stage of the tournament. Instead, America will have to beat Germany on Thursday to guarantee it advances to the Round of 16.

"We just go at it the tougher way," U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said to ESPN. "So we got to go and beat Germany, ah, get a result against Germany that's what we got to do."

In reality the U.S. played a great game. After falling behind 1-0 in the 5th minute, the Americans tied the game in the 64th minute when Jermaine Jones bent a ball around a Portuguese defender and into the net.

The game stayed tied until the 81st minute when Clint Dempsey scored off his stomach on a pass from Graham Zusi.

It looked like the Americans were going to win it, but Valera's header three seconds over the allotted stoppage time secured the tie.

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19-Year-Old Origi Nets Game-Winner, Sending Belgium Into Knockout Stage

19-Year-Old Origi Nets Game-Winner, Sending Belgium Into Knockout Stage

KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images(RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil) -- Belgium is advancing to the Knockout Stage of the World Cup, thanks to a 19-year-old. Striker Divock Origi became the youngest player in Belgian World Cup history to score a goal when he scored in the 88th minute to push the Belgians past Russia 1-0 Sunday in Group H play. The only goal of the game came when Eden Hazard zipped a pass from the byline directly to Origi in the penalty box. Origi promptly smashed the ball past Igor Akinfee to break the scoreless tie. Origi was substituted into the game in early in the second half in place of Romelu Lukaku, who had only touched the ball in the opponents' penalty box once in 113 minutes this World Cup.The win clinches Belgium the top seed in Group H, which means it will play whoever finishes with the second seed in Group G in the Round of 16.

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Messi’s Late Goal Lifts Argentina Into Round of 16

Messi’s Late Goal Lifts Argentina Into Round of 16

Jean Catuffe/Getty Images(BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil) -- Lionel Messi was once again the hero for Argentina, scoring an injury-time winner to defeat Iran 1-0 on Saturday. Messi's goal was his second of the tournament, pushing Argentina into the knockout stage.

Both goalkeepers played impressively well, each making multiple saves to keep the scoreless at 0-0. Argentina's best chance came in the first 15 minutes when Fernando Gago fed a ball through to Gonzalo Higuain but Iranian keeper Alireza Haghighi came out from net to deny the opportunity. Haghighi made another athletic save on Sergio Aguera in the first have.

Looking for a stunning upset, Iran played tremendously for 90 minutes. Reza Ghoochannejhad had a pair of chances, both of which were denied by Sergio Romero. After missing a free kick wide of the net, Ghoochannejhad's header was saved by Romero's low dive to keep the game scoreless.

Messi finally broke through just moments into stoppage time. The Barcelona striker received the ball at the top left side of the box, where he made a quick move to the inside and curled a shot inside the far post for the win.

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Klose’s Historic Goal Leads Germany to Draw with Ghana

Klose’s Historic Goal Leads Germany to Draw with Ghana

Martin Rose/Getty Images(FORTALEZA, Brazil) -- Miroslav Klose's goal in the 71st minute tied the game and tied former Brazilian striker Ronaldo's record for most goals in World Cup history with 15, as Germany fights back to tie Ghana 2-2 Saturday, in Group G play.

Mario Gotze got the scoring started in the 51st minute when the German headed in a cross from teammate Thomas Muller. Ghana answered right back three minutes later when Andre Ayew headed one past Manuel Neuer to tie the game.

Ghana broke the tie in the 63rd minute when Asamoah Gyan smacked a ball into the far corner of the net. But the Germans then substituted in their trusty veteran Klose, who scored on a corner when he slid threw a throng of players and struck the ball past Ghana goalkeeper Fatawu Dauda to secure the tie.

The German tie now means the United States can clinch a spot in the Round of 16 with a win over Portugal Sunday.

 

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France Routs Switzerland to Reach Knockout Stage

France Routs Switzerland to Reach Knockout Stage

Adam Pretty/Getty Images(SALVADOR, Brazil) -- France scored three goals in the first half en route to a 5-2 demolishing of Switzerland on Friday in the World Cup. The victory advances France into the knockout stage having won their first two matches of group play.

The onslaught began in the 17th minute with a header from Olivier Giroud before Blaise Matuidi scored 67 seconds later, making it a 2-0 advantage. Karim Benzema then missed a penalty kick in the 32nd minute but was picked up by teammate Mathieu Valbuena who buried the third goal of the half.

Benzema was finally able to score in the 67th minute, his third of the tournament, to give Les Blues a 4-0 lead. The final tally was recorded by Moussa Sissoko before the Swiss were able to get on the board. Blerim Dzemalli scored the first of two consolation goals for Switzerland with Granit Xhaka putting home the other.

France sits atop Group E with six points, and one match remaining, while Switzerland and Ecuador sit tied heading into the final match.

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Uruguay Beats England on Suarez’s Late Goal

Uruguay Beats England on Suarez’s Late Goal

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images(SAO PAULO, Brazil) -- He makes his living playing in England's top tier of soccer. On Thursday, Luis Suarez all but eliminated England from World Cup play, scoring both goals in Uruguay's 2-1 victory.

In his return from knee surgery, the striker continued where he left off in the English Premier League (EPL) by dominating opposing defenses. The first goal came in the 39th minute when Edinson Cavani chipped the ball across the box where Suarez headed it home for the opening tally. That followed a near goal from England's Wayne Rooney off a free kick, but his header ricocheted off the crossbar.

As the second half progressed, England continued to search for an equalizing goal. It finally came in the 75th minute when Rooney finished a low cross from Glen Johnson, which slipped past keeper Fernando Muslera, for the tying strike. It was the first World Cup goal in the career of the Manchester United striker who was playing in his 10th career match.

The joy for England did not last long, however. Just 10 minutes later, Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerard was unable to play a long ball and it fell perfectly to his club-mate Suarez. After making one quick move to his left, the EPL's leading goal scorer broke through again for the deciding goal.

To stay alive in the tournament, England must now defeat Costa Rica in their final group play match and hope that Italy wins both of its remaining games. They must also have a better goal differential than both Uruguay and Costa Rica, both of whom would be tied for the second spot in Group D.

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Brooks’ Header Pushes U.S. Past Ghana, 2-1

Brooks’ Header Pushes U.S. Past Ghana, 2-1

Elsa/Getty Images(NATAL, Brazil) -- Substitute John Brooks' header 86 minutes into the game gave the United States three points in their 2-1 World Cup win over Ghana on Monday.

Brooks was making his World Cup debut and could have played for Germany, who won earlier in the day, but chose the U.S. instead.

The goal by Brooks is the first goal in World Cup history scored by a United States substitute.

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Clint Dempsey scored 29 seconds into the first half to give the United States a 1-0 lead, but André Ayew scored to even things up 82 minutes into the game.

The U.S. national team captain's goal is the fifth-fastest goal in World Cup action.

United States forward Jozy Altidore left the game 21 minutes in with a left hamstring injury and is questionable for their second game against Portugal on Sunday.

Ghana had beaten the United States in back-to-back World Cup games prior to Monday.

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Dallas Clark Calls It Quits

Dallas Clark Calls It Quits

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Tight end Dallas Clark is calling it a career.

The 35-year-old Clark will retire on Wednesday as a member of the Indianapolis Colts, the team with whom he played nine of his 11 NFL seasons.Clark was selected by the Colts in the first round of the 2003 draft. He is a franchise leader in tight end receptions and touchdown catches. His final NFL season was spent in Baltimore, where he caught 31 balls for 343 yards and three touchdowns with the Ravens.The former first-team All-Pro finishes his career with 505 catches for 5,665 yards and 53 touchdowns.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 6/16/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 6/16/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- World Cup: Group G: United States 2 - Ghana 1

Germany 4 - Portugal 0

Group F: Iran - Nigeria - draw

MLB: Boston Red Sox 1 (32-38) - Minnesota Twins 0 (32-36)

Cleveland Indians 4 (36-35) - Los Angeles Angels 3 (37-32)

Kansas City Royals 11 (37-32) - Detroit Tigers 8 (36-30)

Tampa Bay Rays 5 (28-43) - Baltimore Orioles 4 (35-34)

St. Louis Cardinals 6 (38-32) - New York Mets 2 (31-39)

Chicago Cubs 5 (29-39) - Miami Marlins 4 (35-34) - 13 Innings

Philadelphia Phillies 6 (30-38) - Atlanta Braves 1 (36-33) - 13 Innings

Milwaukee Brewers 9 (42-29) - Arizona Diamondbacks 3 (30-43)

Los Angeles Dodgers 6 (38-34) - Colorado Rockies 1 (34-36)

Texas Rangers 14 (35-35) - Oakland Athletics 8 (42-28)

Seattle Mariners 5 (36-34) - San Diego Padres 1 (29-41)

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Seferovic’s Last Gasp Goal Lifts Switzerland Past Ecuador

Seferovic’s Last Gasp Goal Lifts Switzerland Past Ecuador

Stu Forster/Getty Images(BRASILIA, Brazil) -- Haris Seferovic scored less than 30 seconds before the final whistle, giving Switzerland a 2-1 victory over Ecuador on Sunday afternoon. The game-winning goal came in stoppage time on a counter-attack and mad dash down the field.

The game was deadlocked for the majority of the second half with both teams looking for a go-ahead strike. As Ecuador put together a last second attack, Michael Arroyo was dispossessed by Valon Behrami who immediately sprinted downfield. Knifing through the middle of the pitch, and maintaining control through multiple defenders, Behrami eventually got the ball to Ricardo Rodriguez. It was Rodriguez who sent a low cross to the near post where Seferovic blasted a shot into the top of the goal from four yards out.

Ecuador held a halftime lead thanks to Enner Valencia's header on a free kick in the 22nd minute. Joslip looked to have knotted things up but was called offsides and the goal disallowed. Admir Mehmedi would find the equalizer for the Swiss, heading home a corner in the 48th minute. 

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France Blanks Honduras, 3-0, in World Cup

France Blanks Honduras, 3-0, in World Cup

Vinicius Costa/Getty Images(PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil) -- A penalty kick just before halftime opened the scoring before France added two more in the second half, defeating Honduras 3-0 in their World Cup opener on Sunday. Goal-line technology was used for the first time in the tournament, helping to prove the second strike of the match was legitimate.

Les Blues controlled play for the entire first half but could not find a way to break through. It finally happened during stoppage time of the first when Wilson Palacios picked up his second yellow card as he knocked Paul Pogba to the pitch. Karim Benzema stepped up to take the penalty kick and put France ahead 1-0 heading into the break.

The second half spelled doom for Honduras, and quickly. Goalkeeper Noel Valladares had a shot from Benzema ricochet off the post, and then him, before trickling over the line for an own goal. Valladares attempted to swipe the ball out but goal-line technology showed that it just crossed over. Benzema eventually netted his second tally in the 72nd minute, securing the win.

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Messi Scores as Argentina Beats Bosnia-Herzegovina

Messi Scores as Argentina Beats Bosnia-Herzegovina

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images(RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil) -- After being shutout in the 2010 World Cup, Lionel Messi wasted little time getting on the stat sheet in Brazil. On Sunday, Messi netted his first goal of the tournament in the 65th minute, helping to lead Argentina to a 2-1 victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina.

It was the first goal that Messi scored in the World Cup since making his debut in the showcase in 2006. The 26-year-old captain worked a give-and-go with Gonzalo Higuain before receiving the ball at the top of the penalty box. He then maneuvered his way across the face of the goal, and away from defenders, before rifling a shot just inside the post to give Argentina a 2-0 lead.

Bosnia rallied late in the match, getting a goal from Vedad Ibisevic in the 85th minute. It was the first goal in the country's history after qualifying for its first-ever World Cup.

An own goal just three minutes in put Bosnia in a hole early. Messi delivered a free kick towards goal that bounced off a head before deflecting off Sead Kolasinac's shin.

Despite the win, the Argentinians were outshot 16-11 in the contest.

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Balotelli’s Header Lifts Italy Past England

Balotelli’s Header Lifts Italy Past England

Warren Little/Getty Images(MANAUS, Brazil) -- Mario Balotelli headed in a cross from Candreva in the 50th minute, giving Italy a 2-1 lead as they would go on to defeat Englad by that score in Group D play at the World Cup. England outshot the Italians 18-12 but the defense lapsed in their loss.

The Azzuri took a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute as Claudio Marchiso corralled a volley from Andrea Pirlo before making a couple nifty moves to take the early advantage. England quickly responded with an equalizer from Daniel Sutrridge less than three minutes later.

Sturrdige post began and finished the scoring chance, sending a cross nearly 40 yards to open up the defense. Wayne Rooney settled the bar, before delivering it back to Sturridge who connected on his shot.

The match went into halftime tied at 1-1, but that did not last long. Five minutes into the second frame Balotelli got loose on the backline and was rewarded with his first goal of the tournament. Much was made of the absence of Gianluigi Buffon, the Italian goalkeeper, who sat with an ankle injury. His replacement was more than capable as Salvatore Sirigu made four saves in the win.

Italy will take on Costa Rica on Friday while England resumes Group play on Thursday when they take on Uruguay.

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Netherlands Dominates Spain in World Cup Opener

Netherlands Dominates Spain in World Cup Opener

VI-Images/Getty Images(SALVADOR, Brazil) -- For the first time in World Cup history, the two teams from the previous tournament final met in the ensuing opener. However, the rematch from 2010 was anything but similar as the Netherlands rolled defending champion Spain, 5-1 in group play.

Xabi Alonso got Spain on the board, converting on a penalty kick in the 27th minute. However, the Dutch squad kept pressing and pressing. Finally, Robin Van Pierse broke through in the 44th minute with a flying header from Daley Blind to tie things up just before half.

The second 45 minutes belonged solely to Holland. Arjen Robben made a brilliant move after settling a chip from Van Pierse in the box. He stepped to his left and rifled a shot in goal in the 53rd minute to take the lead. The Netherlands continued the onslaught when Stefan de Vrij finished a Wedley Sneijder cross.

Van Pierse and Robben added one more goal apeice as the Netherlands have not lost their World Cup opener since 1939. Spain, which lost their opener back in 2010 to Switzerland, could only manage nine shots in the loss.

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Neymar Powers Host Brazil Past Croatia in World Cup Opener

Neymar Powers Host Brazil Past Croatia in World Cup OpenerIan MacNicol/Getty Images (SAO PAULO, Brazil) -- Neymar scored two goals, including the go-ahead tally in the 71st minute, leading host nation Brazil to a 3-1 opening win over Croatia in the first match of the 2014 World Cup. The go-ahead goa...
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