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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 22 October, 2014

As it happened: France v Ecuador, Switzerland v Honduras, World Cup Group E

We went minute-by-minute in the final round of Group E games.

Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates his first goal.
Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates his first goal.
Image: Frank Augstein

FRANCE MAY NOT have been mathematically guaranteed their spot in the round of 16 at this year’s World Cup but we’d have eaten our berets if they didn’t top the group. Ecuador just had to match or better Switzerland’s result to join them and we’d all the action from Group E.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail steven@thescore.ie, tweet @thescore_iepost a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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France 0 - 0 Ecuador
Switzerland 3 - 0 Honduras

20.45 – Hello and welcome to this evening’s liveblog.

Here’s how Group E currently stands:

Source: FIFA

And this is what each team needs to do to escape the group:

France: A draw will secure qualification at the top of the group. They need to lose by a mountain of goals if they are not to qualify.

Ecuador: Must match or better Switzerland’s result. If they beat France by six goals, they’ll win the group.

Switzerland: Must better Ecuador’s result to qualify in second.

Honduras: Must beat Switzerland, hope Ecuador lose and have a massive turnaround in goal difference to advance.

20.52 – And here are tonight’s teams:

France: Lloris (c), Sakho, Benzema, Griezmann, Matuidi, Sagna, Digne, Sissoko, Pogba, Koscielny, Schneiderlin

Ecuador: Dominguez, Guagua, Erazo, Paredes, Noboa, Montero, W Ayovi, E Valencia, Minda, Arroyo (c), A Valencia.

***************

Honduras: Valladares (c), Figueroa, Bernardez, J Garcia, W Palacios, Bengtson, Costly, B Garcia, Espinoza, Claros, Beckeles.

Switzerland: Benaglio, Lichtsteiner, Inler (c), Xhaka, Behrami, Rodriguez, Mehmedi, Drmic, Djourou, Schaer, Shaqiri

20.55 – I think whatever happens, we all know France win the World Cup of anthems. As for the football, we want your predictions. Who is going to advance from Group E along with France?

21.00Kick-off: And, thanks to the magic of FIFA and radio, we’re under way in both games.

21.032 mins: Switzerland really should have taken the lead, Drmic with a great ball in but Shaqiri couldn’t get on the end of it.

21.054 mins: Very early stages but Ecuador look like they’re set up to beat France on the counter-attack. With all the changes Didier Deschamps has made, you’d have hoped they might be more attacking.

21.08GOAL! – Switzerland 1-0 Honduras (5′ Shaqiri): That’s a cracking goal from Xherdan Shaqiri to open the scoring. It’s put his side in prime position to qualify now.

They don’t call him the Alpine Messi for nothing!

21.098 mins: Honduras have their first chance but Juan Carlos Garcia’s effort goes harmlessly wide.

21.1110 mins: First attempt on goal from France but Griezmann pulls his shot wide. Poor effort really.

21.1312 mins: Brian Kerr currently discussing the possibility of a player crossing the ball to himself before heading it. Roy of the Rovers did it apparently. We must have missed that edition.

21.1414 mins: Very little to report from the France game so far. Paul Pogba still has a ridiculous haircut though.

21.1615 mins: Sissoko gets France’s first shot on target but Dominguez was never going to be beaten on his near post.

21.18 – Here’s that Shaqiri goal. Woof!

http://vine.co/v/MtD1HpL7dmJ

21.21 – Wondering how much rolling around has gone on at this World Cup? The Wall Street Journal worked it out:

21.2322 mins: Honduras look a bit more threatening in the last few minutes without creating anything like a clear-cut opportunity.

21.2725 mins: Almost forgot Benzema was playing for France. He’s been a shadow of the player he was in the opening two games so far. Ducked under a header just there but maybe the Real striker was put off by the flapping of Dominguez in the Ecuador goal.

21.28 – 27 mins: Lovely turn and run by Inler puts Switzerland in a good position but there’s no end product. He cut through the Honduras defence like the knife his county is named after there.*

*I know.

21.32GOAL! – Switzerland 2-0 Honduras (30′ Shaqiri): They’re not the sixth ranked team in the world for nothing as Shaqiri bags his second. It’s a much simpler finish than the first but just as important.

21.33 – 32 mins: While we were watching Switzerland’s second goal, this happened in the France game.

21.34 – Here’s Shaqiri’s second:

21.3534 mins: They’ve very little to play for, of course, and have made a host of changes but France look far from world beaters in their game with Ecuador.

21.3837 mins: Ecuador ‘keeper made Pogba’s effort look much more threatening that it was there. His side deal with the second corner much easier.

21.4040 mins: Costly substitution for Honduras there. Carlos Costly. On for Jerry Palacios.

21.4645 mins: Honduras look like a team who should be out of the World Cup already. Inability to keep possession, no imagination and lots of silly fouls. That’s all they’ve offered.

21.49

Half-time -

Both referees have blown up for the end of the opening period. Switzerland look the best of the four teams in action but a lot of that could be down to how poor their opposition is.

France, well it’s an understated performance from les bleus (or blancs tonight) so far.

France 0-0 Ecuador

Switzerland 2-0 Honduras 

21.56 – This has nothing to do with either of tonight’s games, but it is Bruce Springsteen discussing a certain Uruguayan striker:


22.03And the second halves get under way.

22.0546 mins: Brilliant save by Dominguez denies Griezmann at the near post. That’s by far France’s best piece of play in the entire game.

22.08RED CARD! – 47 mins: Awful, awful challenge from Antonio Valencia has Digne in agony. The Manchester United player rightly shown a red card.

22.1352 mins: Honduras coming back into this game and only for a goal-line clearance would have had a goal back. Ricardo Rodríguez with the last-gasp defending.

22.16 – Here’s the tackle that earned Valencia a red card and reduced Ecuador to 10 men:

http://vine.co/v/MtDEW5tB7Qx

22.1757 mins: I’d honestly never have expected Switzerland and Honduras to be more entertaining that France v Ecuador. It’s almost like Ecuador don’t realise they need to win now to get through.

Hardly a case of Alan Ball-itis?

22.2061 mins: Honduras denied a stonewall penalty. A clear push on Jerry Palacios by Djourou not spotted by the referee.

22.2464 mins: Brian Kerr explaining what ‘bunty’ means. He’s the best co-commentator RTÉ have right?

22.2768 mins: Another chance for Honduras but Switzerland do just enough. More holes in their defence than the cheese after which their country is named at the moment.*

*I’ll keep going with this ‘joke’.

22.30GOAL! – Switzerland 1-0 Honduras (70′ Shaqiri): That’s the hat-trick for the Alpine Messi after great work by Drmic on the counter-attack.

Could Shaqiri be a late contender for top-scorer?

22.3676 mins: France still underwhelming as they are doing just enough to ensure they top the group. I wonder if this will temper some of the expectations that have built up around Didier Deschamps’ men?

22.37 – Switzerland finding form at just the right time:

22.3979 mins: Brilliant save by Benaglio from Bengston ensures he keeps his clean sheet.

22.4181 mins: Lloris – captaining France this evening – with a fine save of his own in the other game to deny Ecuador a glimmer of hope.

22.4283 mins: Benzema misses a great chance from France from 10-yards out. Really should have opened the scoring there.

22.4788 mins: Reminder, Ecuador will need to score twice to have any chance of progression. On the evidence of the opening 87 minutes, I’m more likely to get a call up from Martin O’Neill.

22.5290 + 1 mins: Switzerland will qualify despite shipping give goals to France in their second game. Their reward? A game with Argentina.

That could be a shoot-out – not the penalty kind –  with Messi and Shaqiri in this form.

22.54

Full-time -

And that was a bit of a damp squib as far as Ecuador are concerned. One decent effort but never came close to scoring the goals they needed to get through. France, well they were workmanlike and will need to step up a gear to get by Nigeria in the round of 16.

France 0-0 Ecuador

Switzerland 3-0 Honduras 

22.57 – Here’s how the final group table looks:

Source: FIFA

22.59 – And that’s it from me. I’m off to put at least €2.50 on Shaqiri to finish with the golden boot. Argentina’s defence will surely give him lots of opportunities?

As always, thanks for joining us!

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