Costa Rica Makes History With Surprising Win Over Italy

Instead, the Ticos mounted another of their numerous raids on Italy's defense, scoring a minute later when Bryan Ruiz headed home Junior Diaz's long, curling cross from the left wing.

Playing confidently and attacking relentlessly, Costa Rica seized control of Group D and clinched a place in the knockout round of the World Cup with a 1-0 victory over four-time champion Italy.

"The first objective we have already achieved, and now let's see," Ruiz said of the Costa Rica's assured place in the Round of 16. "Of course, we want to go forward, as far as possible."

Entering the tournament as the second-place team in CONCACAF qualifying, behind the United States, the Costa Ricans were apparently the weakest team in a group featuring former World Cup champions Italy, Uruguay and England.

Not anymore. They've reached the second round for the first time since 1990 and can top the group with a draw or better against England, which was knocked out of contention because of yesterday's result.

"Today is a very special moment for us," Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto said after the game. "We knew that today we could make history for Costa Rica and we've been able to do so.

"I've told my team we have to keep calm. We're here and we want to stay," Pinto added. "It's not going to be easy. A World Cup is never easy."

The gravity of the victory for the small Central American nation was evident in the way several players reacted to the final whistle by collapsing to the turf the way tennis players often do after winning Grand Slam titles.

Nearly an hour after the match, when team captain Ruiz accepted the player of the match award, Costa Rican fans could be heard still celebrating just outside the stadium.

Meanwhile, players began to receive photos on their smartphones of celebrating fans in the streets in the Costa Rican capital, San Jose, and beyond.

"Maybe we hadn't realized how important this victory was after the match, but now we do," Ruiz said. "Thank you to the fans who have supported us all along, and those who haven't supported us maybe believe in us right now."

Giroud and Blasie Matuidi scored a minute apart and Mathieu Valbuena added another to give France a 3-0 halftime lead.

Benzema made up for a first-half penalty miss with a poacher's finish in the 67th, and then turned provider for Moussa Sissoko, who made it 5-0 with a neat side-footed effort in the 73rd.

Yesterday marked the fourth anniversary of France's infamous World Cup training ground strike in South Africa, when the players shamed a nation back home.

At Curitiba, Brazil, Ecuador forward Enner Valencia scored twice in a 2-1 comeback victory over Honduras that kept his team in contention at the World Cup.

Ecuador moved into second spot in Group E with a match remaining against group-leading France, which has had two dominating wins.

Honduras took the lead in the 31st minute with its first goal at the World Cup in 32 years when Carlo Costly latched onto a long ball following a mistake from Ecuador defender Jorge Guagua.

He scored the winner, which came in the 65th minute when he out-jumped the defense to head home a free kick from Walter Ayovi.

Ecuador lost its opening match 2-1 to Switzerland, but edged ahead of the Swiss on goal difference.

A labor court in the capital of Brasilia issued a temporary injunction saying the breaks are required near the 30th minute of each half so players can get hydrated.

FIFA had said it would only implement the breaks when its medical staff considered them necessary. The court said in a statement that the ruling was made after nearly 2 hours of failed negotiations involving FIFA and local prosecutors in an audience on Friday.

Brazil's players' union recently took legal action against FIFA to try to change the start times of more than a third of World Cup matches because of heat and humidity.

Prosecutors wanted the breaks to be implemented when the temperature reached 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit), but the judge said that he would accept FIFA's limit of 32 degrees Celsius (89.6 Fahrenheit) because it wasn't evident that the small difference would "endanger the players' health."

Roy Hodgson has been asked by the English Football Association to remain as head coach until 2016 despite the team being eliminated at the World Cup group stage for the first time since 1958. England has opened the tournament in Brazil with losses to Italy and Uruguay, and its hopes of advancing from Group D ended when Italy lost to Costa Rica.

FIFA's monitoring of World Cup warm-up matches revealed no suspicious betting linked to match-fixing. Several friendlies before the 2010 World Cup, including some involving host South Africa, were later found to have been fixed by corrupt officials.

FIFA security director Ralf Mutschke says "because of this experience" his team monitored betting markets on 98 matches played from May 15-June 11. Mutschke says in "none of those we have an indication of a fix."

Mexico coach Miguel Herrera has defended World Cup fans chanting a gay slur which is under investigation by the sport's international governing body. Mexico fans shouting the slur as the rival team's goalkeeper takes a goal kick is "not that bad," Herrera said.

"We're with our fans. It's something they do to pressure the opposing goalkeeper," he said.

Fare, the European fan-monitoring group, reported the chants at Mexico's 1-0 win over Cameroon in Natal. FIFA subsequently opened a disciplinary case against the Mexico federation, which is responsible for the behavior of its fans inside stadiums.

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