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Report: Brazil World Cup 2014

More surprises on Day 3 of World Cup

Costa Rica's Keilor Navas celebrates their second goal against Uruguay
Costa Rica's Keilor Navas celebrates their second goal against Uruguay Reuters/Marcelo Del Pozo

After Spain's crushing defeat, it was the turn of Uruguay to suffer humiliation at the hands of Costa Rica. One of the Dark horses of the competition, Los Ticos proved they're a team to be reckoned with. England were less lucky against Italy, the Three Lions failing to secure a win against their long-term rivals. Here's what else we learnt on Day 3.

  • Uruguay are diminished without their handy talisman. If the Netherland’s 5-1 deconstruction of Spain on match day two was a surprise, then Costa Rica’s 3-1 defeat of Uruguay was a shock. The result proved two clichés: there are no easy matches at this level and it was a game of two halves. Wholesome stuff indeed. Uruguay were 1-0 up after 45 minutes. 3-1 down after 90. As a character in a Racine tragedy would say hélas. Or if we’re going to go Shakespearean: goal, goal and thrice goal. Uruguay were playing without their star striker Luis Suarez. He’s the chap whose haul of goals fired Liverpool to within slipping distance of the Premier League title for the first time since way back. Ghana fans will recall him rather more unfondly as the player who stopped a goal bound strike with his hands during the dying seconds of the quarter-final in 2010.
  • Not everyone is obsessed with the 2014 world cup. Hard to believe that. But the daily review has been to a place where there’s no sign of the World Cup, not a flag, nada. Where is this middle earth? It is Brasilia airport. Arriving off a flight from Natal at 1825, very helpful Avianca airline ground staff directed us to the connection for Curitiba. Sadly, the efficiency wasn’t consistent. The 1930 departure was delayed for just over an hour. So what does a review do to while away the moments? Look for a television. But there’s none to be found between Gates 1-9. Imagine that 9 billion euros spent on building the country for a world cup and you can’t even watch the event at the airport.
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  • Fluid lines = fluid times. A daily review with time – rather than a goal bound shot – on its hands, gets to thinking. And looking. The terminal structure is magnificent; imposing without being colossal and dehumanizing; a difficult trick to execute. The lighting probably softened the grandeur while maintaining the space age ambiance. Altogether impressive. Still, a couple of TV sets would have helped.
  • Don’t panic. This must be a self-referential first. For a second consecutive daily review, the BBC comedy series Dad’s Army provides the opening line. But it’s been that kind of day. First, there was the taxi driver in Natal who drove to the city’s old airport rather than the new one the review asked him for. Some soldiers said the airport was not operational. And quite frankly even if it had been functioning, the review’s not in the habit of arguing with lithe men with rifles. A taxi driver came up and offered a fare to the new airport. Fortunately the price was still in double figures. And there was plenty of time to switch sites. But hang on. What was that taxi driver doing at the airport? “Many drivers come here because it’s nearer than the new airport,” he said. Well, if it was a scam, it was a good one. I’ve heard of worse. Like the one where 9bn euros is spent on a load of games and you can’t watch them at the airport.
  • The entertainment complex is multi-platformed. Which is a faux geeky way of saying: "Don’t panic". Deprived of the visuals at Brasilia, the daily review was able to keep abreast of events via 3G on the smartphone kindly put at our disposal by our superiors in Paris for the tournament. We were able to follow the England v Italy match in the jungle heat and humidity of Manaus. The prelude to the tournament was about whether England’s Wayne Rooney would fulfil his potential on the world stage. The early comments seemed to suggest he wasn’t happy out on the left and that the Liverpool teenager Raheem Sterling was running the show for England. Sadly for England, Italy’s Andrea Pirlo was running the game.

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