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Costa Rica looks to finish off England's chances as France, Switzerland square off

Yesterday in one sentence: I'm glad I write for an American newspaper and not a British one, because with the controversial Luis Suarez causing the inevitable downfall of the disappointing English national team, I don't think I'd sleep until Tuesday.

What’s on tap: Italy vs. Costa Rica, noon, ESPN; Switzerland vs. France, 3 p.m., ESPN; Honduras vs. Ecuador, 6 p.m. ESPN.

What you’ll see: Get ready, North America. There might be days when there are better matches, or more important matches (USA Sunday!), but no other day in Brazil will feature two CONCACAF teams, and for that I’m excited. CONCACAF heroes Costa Rica can seal England’s fate with a point against Italy, who through one game is giving the Dutch a run for its money in terms of mixing in world-class older talent with some dynamic youngsters.

Italy striker Mario Balotelli tweeted that he wants a kiss from Queen Elizabeth if Italy beats Costa Rica (which would keep England mathematically alive), and who doesn’t want to see that?

Switzerland and France also have a lot at stake in the middle match of the three. The Swiss played poorly for pretty much the entire game Sunday against Ecuador, only to steal a win in stoppage time.

France looked to be the class of the group in its trouncing of CONCACAF try-hards Honduras, and Karim Benzema has proven he’s more than capable of anchoring the attack without Franck Ribery in the side.

Honduras is, thus far, the only CONCACAF team to lose at the World Cup. South American teams are doing well as well, but we need to support our continent.

jmeoli@baltsun.com

www.twitter.com/jonmeoli

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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