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U.S. tries to keep WC run alive

Five Aside
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Switzerland limp into World Cup knockouts as Sommer shows his worth

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia -- Three quick points from Switzerland 2-2 Costa Rica in Group E at the World Cup.

1. Switzerland make it through but must improve

Through behind only Brazil, and on paper things look pretty sweet for Switzerland. But in this performance against Costa Rica, a 2-2 draw, they looked limp and disengaged for long spells; not qualities which bode well for progression further into the tournament.

The Swiss go through to face Sweden in the next round, and of all the teams through...

Brazil's win over Costa Rica features brilliant use of VAR (sorry, Neymar)

ST PETERSBURG, Russia -- Three quick points following Brazil's 2-0 win over Costa Rica, which featured a glorious use of VAR.

1. Neymar, Coutinho deliver late, late drama

This was about nerves. About the contrast between a baby blue sky visible through the roof of the Saint Petersburg Stadium and dark clouds gathered over the Brazil bench. Their manager, Tite, found himself in serious danger of becoming the first Selecao boss to fail to win in his opening two games in a World Cup.

At halftime,...

Aleksandar Kolarov quality the difference as Serbia do enough to beat Costa Rica

SAMARA, Russia -- Three quick thoughts in Serbia's 1-0 win over Costa Rica in Group E at the World Cup on Sunday.

1. Aleksandar Kolarov quality proves the difference

Serbia are up and running. While this match was no classic it contained a goal fit for any World Cup game, curled in beautifully by Kolarov in the 56th minute, and that free kick was enough to beat a decent but ultimately limited Costa Rica side.

It gives Serbia a boost going into their potentially decisive meeting with Switzerland,...

 By Arch Bell

Costa Rica better off with Major League Soccer's influence

Costa Rica were 2014's 'giant killers', but can they repeat, or better their accomplishments in Russia?
Take a behind-the-scenes look at Whitecaps training as it was announced Kendall Waston had been named to Costa Rica's 23-man World Cup roster.

On Sunday, Costa Rica will make their fifth appearance on football's biggest stage at the World Cup -- the Ticos' fourth in the last five editions.

This is no small feat for a country with fewer than five million people. It can also be argued that the Ticos have become the most consistent team from CONCACAF in terms of World Cup qualifying, having breezed through qualification for Brazil 2014 and Russia 2018, unlike Mexico's drama-filled 2013 Hexagonal and the United States' disaster in 2017.

At...

Marcus Rashford, Danny Rose make World Cup cases for England

LEEDS, England -- Three thoughts on England's 2-0 win vs. Costa Rica in an international friendly. 

1. Rashford takes his chance but Vardy struggles

Marcus Rashford emphasised his ability to provide the X-factor for England at the World Cup with an outstanding goalscoring performance.

The Manchester United forward, who travelled to Euro 2016 as an 18-year-old, goes to Russia after a difficult campaign under Jose Mourinho but, having been handed a starting role by England manager Gareth Southgate...

Top 10 World Cup memories: No. 5 - Germany 4-2 Costa Rica

In this special 10-part series, ESPN's Jayaditya Gupta, who has attended every World Cup since 2002, recalls his favourite matches from the tournament. At no. 5, it's the 2006 World Cup opener, where hosts Germany began a new era under Klinsmann and Low, showing signs of things to come with their new, attacking style of play.

The context

The opening match of the 2006 World Cup, in Bayern Munich's state-of-the-art colour-changing stadium.

Philipp Lahm scored the opening goal of the 2006 World Cup.
Philipp Lahm scored the opening goal of the 2006 World Cup.

The match

The Curse of the World Cup Opener puts goals...