A face familiar to local fans aimed to make an impact, while one the game’s greatest looked to bolster his reputation on the international stage in Sunday’s World Cup action.
New England Revolution striker Jerry Bengtson got the start for Honduras in its 3-0 loss to France in Group E play. Though the 28-year-old scored boatloads of goals for country during World Cup Qualifying, Bengtson seemed to revert to his club form on Sunday. He was caught offside twice, and failed to put a single shot on frame before he was replaced by Boniek Garcia at halftime. The move was necessitated after Wilson Palacios received his second caution and subsequent dismissal in the 43rd minute, forcing Honduras to finish the match shorthanded.
The shutout loss extended Honduras’ goal drought in World Cup play to 479 minutes, with their last strike coming in a Jun. 21, 1982 contest vs. Northern Ireland.
One player who Bengtson won’t soon be confused with is Leonel Messi, who scored the game-winner for Argentina in its 2-1 victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina in Group F action. Messi scored in the 65th, while Bosnia’s Sead Kolasinac scored an own goal in the third minute to give Argentina an early lead. Vedad Ibisevic’s 85th minute goal gave Bosnia hope late, but time ran out before an equalizer arrived.
While many predicted an Argentina win prior to the contest, few would’ve foretold that the difference would come from an own goal.
Saving the best for last – or, more accurately, the first for last - Switzerland edged out Ecuador 2-1 thanks to a stoppage time striker from Haris Seferovic. Prior to the Swiss substitute’s heroics, Enner Valencia put Ecuador up in the 22nd minute before Admir Mehmedi leveled it in the 48th minute. Swiss midfielder Valon Behrami‘s incredible backward tackle, and subsequent charge up the pitch in the dying moments not only set the stage for Seferovic’s winner, but likely inspired a few inspirational memes.
Speaking of memes, Monday’s Group G matches are sure to create a slew of them with Portugal and Germany squaring off at noon ET, while the United States and Ghana meet at 6pm ET. In between these clashes, Iran and Nigeria will meet at 3pm ET, with MLSer Steve Beitashour hoping to make the lineup of old friend Carlos Quieroz.