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Tag Archives: Slovakia Football Team

 

 

Netherlands

2

vs.

1

Slovakia

Arjen ROBBEN 18’

Wesley SNEIJDER 84’

MotM = Arjen ROBBEN (NED)

Róbert VITTEK 90+4P’

Last 16

Ref = Alberto UNDIANO (ESP)

Durban

BOTH sides started this game quickly and had a couple of good scoring chances between them in the opening quarter of an hour.

But Arjen Robben (who came back from injury against Cameroon) scored a brilliant solo goal to put the Dutch 1-0 up.

However, Slovakia showed the kind of determination that led them to victory over now outgoing World Champions Italy. They pressurised the Dutch and kept them honest throughout the match.

With the scores still at 1-0 Netherlands, both keepers made excellent saves to deny a bigger lead and a level score line. Slovak keeper Ján Mucha blocked a close range shot with his nose to keep his side in the game.

Unfortunately he was at fault for the Netherlands’ second goal. He came to the edge of this area to punch the ball away after a quick Dutch free kick, but the Netherland’s Dirk Kuyt beat him to the ball and squared it to Wesley Sneijder who side footed the ball home for 2-0.

Slovakia won a penalty in the last minute, and the man who scored two goals against Italy, Róbert Vittek, converted the spot kick with the very last kick of the game.

Zakumi: “Slovakia have done really well in their first World Cup as an independent nation, and should make it into Euro 2012.”

P92: “But the Netherlands still look as if they haven’t got into top gear yet.”

Zakumi: “They are not the finished article at the moment.”

P92: “At the moment, you’re right.”

 

 

Brazil

3

vs.

0

Chile

JUAN 35’

LUÍS FABIANO 38’

ROBINHO 59’

MotM = ROBINHO (BRA)

Last 16

Ref = Howard WEBB (ENG)

Johannesburg – JEP

THE first half an hour saw Brazil and Chile cancel each others’ chances out in what was a really entertaining and intriguing match.

Brazil’s first goal came from a very British football league corner. The big defender JUAN out jumped everyone around him and directed a bullet header into the roof of the Chilean net.

Brazil’s second goal came just three minutes later and the game seemed over. LUÍS FABIANO did well to keep his head as he took the ball past the keeper and rolled the ball into the goal. The game was all but confirmed as a Brazil win when ROBINHO made it 3-0 just around the hour mark. But Chile went down fighting, trying to score right up until the final whistle.

The English officials: Howard Webb (ref), Mike Mullarkey and Darren Cann (linesmen) had a third brilliant game, and must surely be the hot tip to referee the final.

Zakumi: “Brazil into the last eight again.”

P92: “They could play Ghana in the semis if they both win their quarter-finals.”

Zakumi: “Oh I’d love to see that.”

P92: “So would everybody else accept the Dutch and Uruguay.”

Today’s games are:

  • Paraguay vs. Japan, ITV 15:00
  • Spain vs. Portugal, BBC 1 19:30
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Germany

4

vs.

1

England

Miroslav KLOSE 20’

Lukas PODOLSKI 32’

Thomas MÜLLER 67’ 70’

MotM = Thomas MÜLLER (GER)

Matt UPSON 37’

Last 16

Ref = Jorge LARRIONDA (URU)

Mangaung / Bloemfontein

GERMANY destroyed England to book their place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup. 😦

England’s defence was annihilated in the run up to all four of Germany’s goals as they inflicted our worst ever World Cup finals defeat. Klose’s goal was a route one as it comes. The German keeper booted the ball down field, every English player missed it can Klose put the ball in with one touch. England’s defence went AWOL 12 minutes later and despite a poor first touch Podolski made it 2-0 to Germany. 

England did pull one goal back to make it 1-2, and less than a minute later Frank Lampard smashed the ball against the cross bar. The ball bounced over the line and the score was 2-2. But the referee and linesmen didn’t give what was such a clear goal everybody in the crowd could see it. FIFA president Sepp Blatter ruled out any chance of technology being used in this World Cup earlier this year. He was at this game and hopefully saw that this was a missive mistake. ‘Dopey’ just doesn’t seem to realise that football is still in the dark ages, and that: Tennis, Rugby and Cricket all get along just fine with technology.

But that doesn’t distract from the England football team humiliating the country that made the sport what it is today.

After Frank Lampard hit a free kick into the German wall they went straight up the other end and Müller made it 3-1. His second and their forth came just three minutes later and England were finished.

So that’s it, it is official, England are now the top international underachievers in world football. The so called ‘Golden Generation’ has failed to win anything (We haven’t been in a semi-final since Euro ’96).

I could go on about what needs to be done, but people who have a far greater knowledge of the game than me will tell you as well, and in much more detail over the coming days and weeks.

What I will do however is give you a list of (clean) words and phrases that describes the England football team in my eyes.

Over-paid, over-rated, spoilt, have a lack of passion, live off of their names, would rather be playing for their clubs in the UEFA Champions League, are false idols to little kids who play football…the list goes on.

And by the way, did we actually take Wayne Rooney to the World Cup or not? If you ask me he should take that groundsmans job he had in that Nike advert.

Zakumi: “Oh well, easy come easy go.”

P92: “We should have made it to the last four at the very least.”

Zakumi: “Well if you had beaten Algeria you would have won the group and played Ghana.”

P92: “They would have beaten us as well.”

 

 

Argentina

3

vs.

1

Mexico

Carlos TÉVEZ 26’ 52’

Gonzalo HIGUAÍN 33’

MotM = Carlos TÉVEZ (ARG)

Javier HERNÁNDEZ 71’

Last 16

Ref = Roberto ROSETTI (ITA)

Johannesburg – JSC

ARGENTINA set up a quarter-final rematch with Germany after they sent Mexico home in yet more controversial circumstances.

With the score at 0-0 Mexico had the best of the chances. They hit the bar early on and seemed to have taken their ‘A’ game to the South Americans. But Carlos Tévez headed the 1978 and 1986 World Champions into the lead.

However, replays showed him to be about 2yds offside and the goal should never have stood. This was shown on the giant TVs in the stadium, and all: the players, the managers, officials, reporters, commentators and 84,000 fans saw that the decision to award the goal was wrong. The Mexicans went mad and took their eye of the ball.

Mexico’s Ricardo Osorio gave the ball away right on the edge of his own penalty area and into the path of Gonzalo Higuaín, who promptly made it 2-0.

As the players walked off for half-time the Mexican players surrounded the Argentina staff and a fight looked certain, but thankfully one never happened.

There was no doubt about Tévez’s second goal, which was an absolute beauty. He shot from outside the area and the ball hit the top left corner of the net.

But Mexico pulled a goal back with just under 20 minutes left and had a good go at making a game of it, but Argentina held on to win.

Zakumi: “Great game, but what a balls-up from the linesman…again!”

P92: “FIFA! FOOTBALL MUST HAVE SOME SORT OF GOAL MOUTH TECHNOLOGY TO PREVENT THESE EMBARRASSING SCENARIOS HAPPENING AGAIN!”

Tomorrow’s games are:

  • Netherlands vs. Slovakia, BBC 1 15:00
  • Brazil vs. Chile, ITV 19:30

HERE we have the matches for the Last 16 round of the 2010 World Cup

Uruguay

vs.

South Korea

U.S.A.

vs.

Ghana

Germany

vs.

ENGLAND

Argentina

vs.

Mexico

Netherlands

vs.

Slovakia

Brazil

vs.

Chile

Paraguay

vs.

Japan

Spain

vs.

Portugal

Spain vs. Portugal and Brazil vs. Chile are the big derby matches.

Argentina vs. Mexico is a grudge match from four years ago. Argentina won 2-1 AET.

Germany vs. England…well need I explain?

Zakumi: “Here we go. Knock-out football.”

P92: “Oh yes. And remember, from now on if you lose…you go out.”

Today’s games are:

  • Uruguay vs. South Korea, ITV 15:00
  • U.S.A. vs. Ghana, ITV 19:30
 

 

Slovakia

3

vs.

2

Italy

Róbert VITTEK 25’ 73’

Kamil KOPÚNEK 89’

MotM = Róbert VITTEK (SLK)

Antonio DI NATALE 81’

Fabio QUAGLIARELLA 90+2’

Group F

Ref = Howard WEBB (ENG)

Johannesburg – JEP

 

 

 

Paraguay

0

vs.

0

New Zealand

MotM = Roque SANTA CRUZ (PAR)

Group F

Ref = Yuichi NISHIMURA (JAP)

Polokwane

 

Group F

Pos.

Team

P

W

D

L GF

GA

+/-

PTS

1

Paraguay

3

1

2

0

3

1

+2

5

2

Slovakia

3

1

1

1

4

5

-1

4

3

New Zealand

3

0

3

0

2

2

0

3

4

Italy

3

0

2

1

4

5

-1

2

ITALY – the defending World Champions – are sent crashing out of the tournament, finishing bottom of a group I thought they would win with ease. But they played so poorly that they didn’t really deserve to have the title of reigning champions. The 2010 Italy team have become the fourth team in history to be eliminated in the group stage as World Champions. The others are: the 1950 Italy team, the 1966 Brazil team and the 2002 France team. It is also the first time that both of the previous finalists – in this case Italy and France – have been knocked out in the groups. The fact that both of these two finished bottom of their groups shows just how much has changed in four years. In France’s case their manner, in Italy’s case the age of their players.

New Zealand can go home with their heads’ held high. They stayed undefeated in the group, scored two goals and led Italy in their South African adventure. They’ve shown that at times they can play football just as well as they can play Rugby and Cricket.

I thought Paraguay would advance, but not as group winners, and that Slovakia would come third. But yet again I was wrong and we have yet another unexpected team in the last 16. Slovakia played brilliantly against Italy in their 3-2 over them, and if I were the winner of Group E I wouldn’t be expecting and easy match.

Zakumi: “Neither would I. France and Italy out as well as finishing bottom of their groups! LOL!”

P92: “Epic fail!”

 

 

Denmark

1

vs.

3

Japan

Jon Dahl TOMASSON 81’

MotM = Keisuke HONDA (JAP)

Keisuke HONDA 17’

Yasuhito ENDŌ 30’

Shinji OKAZAKI 87’

Group E

Ref = Jerome DAMON (RSA)

Rustenburg

 

 

 

 

Cameroon

1

vs.

2

Netherlands

Samuel ETO’O 65P’

MotM = Robin VAN PERSIE (NED)

Robin VAN PERSIE 36’

Klaas-Jan HUNTELAAR 83’

Group E

Ref = Pablo POZO (CHI)

Cape Town

 

Group E

Pos.

Team

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

+/-

PTS

1

Netherlands

3

3

0

0

5

1

+4

9

2

Japan

3

2

0

1

4

2

+2

6

3

Denmark

3

1

0

2

3

6

-3

3

4

Cameroon

3

0

0

3

2

5

-3

0

NO surprise to see the Dutch topping this group with ease (no disrespect to the other teams).

I was however surprised to see Japan making it into the last 16 for the first time on foreign soil. They played wonderfully against Denmark after they lucked a win against Cameroon.

Denmark looked like a good side at times. But they were totally outplayed by Japan and if they had have gotten into the last 16; I don’t think that they would have won.

Cameroon were just another team that didn’t turn up, which is a shame because that means yet another African team has fallen in round one.

Zakumi: “Japan have proved they are deadly at free kicks, so watch out Paraguay when you play them on Tuesday.”

P92: “If they play like they did against Denmark they could give the established order a real headache.”

Zakumi: “What’s ‘established order’ at this World Cup?

P92: “Touché.”

Today’s games are:

  • Portugal vs. Brazil (The game I’ve most been looking forward to), BBC 1 15:00
  • North Korea vs. Côte d’Ivoire, BBC 3 15:00
  • Chile vs. Spain, ITV 1 or 4 19:30
  • Switzerland vs. Honduras, ITV 1 or 4 19:30
 

 

Slovenia

0

vs.

1

England

MotM = Jermain DEFOE (ENG)

Jermain DEFOE 23’

Group C

Ref = Wolfgang STARK (GER)

Nelson Mandela Bay / Port Elizabeth

 

 

 

U.S.A.

1

vs.

0

Algeria

Landon DONOVAN 90+1’

MotM = Landon DONOVAN (USA)

Group C

Ref = Frank DE BLEECKERE (BEL)

Tshwane / Pretoria

 

Group C

Pos.

Team

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

+/-

PTS

1

U.S.A.

3

1

2

0

4

3

+1

5

2

England

3

1

2

0

2

1

+1

5

3

Slovenia

3

1

1

1

3

3

0

4

4

Algeria

3

0

1

2

0

2

-2

1

I PREDICTED that England would win this group with seven or nine points to our name. How wrong was I? The United States top the group – deservedly – on the number of goals they scored. The States were admittedly the best team over the course of the whole group.

England played so much better against Slovenia than they did against the U.S.A. and Algeria, but a last minute goal for America against Algeria means that we finished second, and will play the winner of Group D.

Its heart break for little Slovenia however. They would have gone through with England if not for that very late America goal. They stunned America in their game against them, but luck wasn’t on their side.

Algeria fizzle out of the World Cup without scoring a goal and had their captain sent off in their last game. But they did deserve to be in South Africa. They beat thrice in a row African Champions Egypt in a one match play-off to earn their place.

Zakumi: “Well at least one of us got into the last 16.”

P92: “England nearly gave me a heart attack…again.”

Zakumi: “If it was 2-0 England it would have been a lot more comfortable to watch.”

P92: “That readers is coming from a South African.”

Zakumi: “Since I’m doing this with you, England are my second team.”

P92: “Great to hear that.”

 

 

Ghana

0

vs.

1

Germany

MotM = Mesut ÖZIL (GER)

Mesut ÖZIL 60’

Group D

Ref = Carlos SIMON (BRA)

Johannesburg – JSC

 

 

 

Australia

2

vs.

1

Serbia

Tim CAHILL 69’

Brett HOLMAN 73’

MotM = Tim CAHILL (AUS)

Marko PANTELIĆ 84’

Group D

Ref = Jorge LARRIONDA (URU)

Nelspruit

 

Group D

Pos.

Team

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

+/-

PTS

1

Germany

3

2

0

1

5

1

+4

6

2

Ghana

3

1

1

1

2

2

0

4

3

Australia

3

1

1

1

3

6

-3

4

4

Serbia

3

1

0

2

2

3

-1

3

  

GERMANY advance as group winners and will now play England at Mangaung / Bloemfontein on June 27.

The Germans did well in this group, but their loss to Serbia who finished forth really stands out. This and their 4-0 mauling of Australia. It looks like England need to catch Germany on a bad day like they had against Serbia.

Ghana need to be able to score in open play if they want to beat the U.S.A. in their last 16 game. Both of their goals came from the penalty spot, and when they played against Australia when the Aussies had ten men they didn’t impress me.

Australia and Serbia never really (to me) looked like they would get out of this group. But if Australia didn’t have a man sent off against Ghana and Serbia scored more against Germany it may have been very different.

Zakumi: “So, England will play Germany again.”

P92: “They’re just another team we must beat. Just because it’s Germany everyone gets all jumpy.”

Zakumi: “Germany’s big rivals are in fact the Dutch, and as a result the Germans don’t care about the 1966 final.”

P92: “Nope. Their big win was against the Netherlands in the 1974 final.”

Tomorrow’s games are:

  • Paraguay vs. New Zealand, ITV 1 or 4 15:00
  • Slovakia vs. Italy, ITV 1 or 4 15:00
  • Cameroon vs. Netherlands, BBC 1 19:30
  • Denmark vs. Japan, BBC 3 19:30 

 

 

 

 

 

Slovakia

0

vs.

2

Paraguay

MotM = Enrique VERA (PAR)

Enrique VERA 27’

Cristian RIVEROS 86’

Group F

Ref = Eddy MAILLET (SEY)

Mangaung / Bloemfontein

PARAGUAY thoroughly deserved their 2-0 victory, along with almost certain qualification to the last 16. Slovakia on the other hand never looked like scoring, and now must beat defending champions Italy to have any hope of advancing to the knock-out stage.

Zakumi: “Yet another strong performance by a South American team there.”

P92: “It saddens me to say this but it really does look like the trophy is going to the southern hemisphere again.”

 

 

Italy

1

vs.

1

New Zealand

Vincenzo IAQUINTA 29P’

MotM = Daniele DE ROSSI (ITA)

Shane SMELTZ 7’

Group F

Ref = Carlos BATRES (GUA)

Nelspruit

IF you thought New Zealand drawing against Slovakia was a big shock, well take a look at this! The All Whites drew against and led the reigning World Champions Italy. Smeltz’s early goal looked offside, and it wasn’t clear to me looking at the replays if the ball hit an Italian defender or not. But the goal stood. Italy went on the attack for the rest of the game and hit the post soon after they went behind. They did try to get Rory Fallon sent off midway through the first half and their penalty was not a penalty in my eyes, so one iffy goal each evened it up. New Zealand had the world on edge late in the second half when they almost won the game, but the remarkable thing is, is that after two games each in this group New Zealand can still go through and Italy can still go out.  

Zakumi: “Yet another shock! What is going wrong with the big European teams?”

P92: “If I knew that I’d tell you.”

 

 

Brazil

3

vs.

1

Côte d’Ivoire

LUÍS FABIANO 25’ 50’

ELANO 62’

MotM = LUÍS FABIANO (BRA)

Didier DROGBA 79’

Group G

Ref = Stéphane LANNOY (FRA)

Johannesburg – JSC

BRAZIL’S first goal really opened up what was turning into a rather dull game. LUÍS FABIANO scored the goal from a tight angle leaving the Côte d’Ivoire keeper stunned. I though his second goal was good enough to be compared to Pelé’s iconic goal in the 1958 final. But the replays showed me that he handled the ball twice. Just call him Henry. After ELANO scored Brazil’s third goal the game seemed over, but the Ivorian icon that is Didier Drogba scored a bullet header to make it 3-1. The game had been blighted by players pretending to be injured, and this came to a head right at the end. Kaká had been booked a few minutes earlier, and he and Kader Keita accidently collided. Keita then went down like he’d been shot and Kaká was ridiculously sent off for violent conduct.

Zakumi: “FIFA have got to stop players acting like this.”

P92: “I know. It makes me sick seeing top level footballers cheating like they did in this game.”    

Tomorrow’s games are:

  • Portugal vs. North Korea, BBC 1 12:30 (A repeat of one of the best games in 1966)
  • Chile vs. Switzerland, BBC 1 15:00
  • Spain vs. Honduras, ITV 19:30
 

 

Netherlands

1

vs.

0

Japan

Wesley SNEIJDER 53’

MotM = Wesley SNEIJDER (NED)

Group E

Ref = Héctor BALDASSI (ARG)

Durban

THE Dutch were frustrated by Japan in a rather boring first half. It was almost like watching England. But two different teams came back out for the second half. The Netherlands took the lead after just eight second half minutes thanks to a combination of a powerful Wesley Sneijder shot and a goalkeeping blunder from Eiji Kawashima. This woke Japan up even more so and both teams had numerous chances to score. But the men in orange hung on for their second win of the tournament.

Zakumi: “A tip for any teams playing the Netherlands later in the competition. Hit them hard in the first 15 minutes to wake them up and or shock them.”

P92: “Sound advice.”

 

 

Ghana

1

vs.

1

Australia

Asamoah GYAN 25P’

MotM = Asamoah GYAN (GHA)

Brett HOLMAN 11’

Group D

Ref = Roberto ROSETTI (ITA)

Rustenburg

AUSTRALIA started the match the stronger team and took the lead after Brett Holman was the first player to react to the Ghanaian keeper, Richard Kingson spilling the ball from a free kick. However they lost their momentum after Harry Kewell was sent straight off for handballing on the line, preventing a certain Ghana goal. For the second game running, Asamoah Gyan converted the resultant spot kick. Now you’d expect Ghana to press for the win because of their man advantage plus the fact that Germany lost to Serbia, but you’d be wrong. It was Australia who dominated the chances in the second half, playing with real guts and determination. John Pantsil of Ghana received a nasty looking blood injury after his head collided with two other players’ heads – one Australian and one Ghanaian. That was in the very last minute of added on time and the last action of the match. Both sides begrudgingly settling for a draw in the end.

Zakumi: “The African teams in this World Cup need to improve. Who knows when it will come back to Africa?”

P92: “You think African sides have pressure in 2010. I feel sorry for the South American sides in 2014 when Brazil of all countries hosts the World Cup.”

 

 

Cameroon

1

vs.

2

Denmark

Samuel ETO’O 10’

MotM = Daniel AGGER (DEN)

Nicklas BENDTNER 33’

Dennis ROMMEDAHL 61’

Group E

Ref = Jorge LARRIONDA (URU)

Tshwane / Pretoria

THIS was another great game of football to watch. The first two goals of the match were the result of one team cutting the other open. Cameroon passed the ball well and quickly after a Danish defensive mistake, whereas the Danes used a long ball to undo the African outfit. Dennis Rommedahl’s winning goal was an individual master class. The skill of the teams and most of the players ranged from world class to school boy, making it a fantastic Saturday night in front of the TV.

Zakumi: “This result means that Cameroon are the first team to go out.”

P92: “The Netherlands are also the first team to advance to the last 16.”

Tomorrow’s games are:

  • Slovakia vs. Paraguay, BBC 1 12:30
  • Italy vs. New Zealand, ITV 15:00
  • Brazil vs. Côte d’Ivoire, BBC 1 19:30
  

New Zealand

1

vs.

1

Slovakia

Winston REID 90+3’

MotM = Róbert VITTEK (SLK)

Róbert VITTEK 50’

Group F

Ref = Jerome DAMON (RSA)

Rustenburg

NEW ZEALAND earned a well deserved and historic draw against Slovakia. The All Whites secured their first ever points at a World Cup when Winston Reid scored in the very last minute. Slovakia seemed to think that one goal was enough for them to win and top the group.

Zakumi: “But how wrong were they?”

P92: “Very as it turns out. The New Zealanders must feel like they have just won the World Cup.”

  

Côte d’Ivoire

0

vs.

0

Portugal

MotM = Cristiano RONALDO (POR)

Group G

Ref = Jorge LARRIONDA (URU)

Nelson Mandela Bay / Port Elizabeth

THIS game promised so much, and yet delivered so, so little.

Zakumi: “The only thing I can remember from it is Cristiano Ronaldo hitting the post and diving.”

P92: “Let’s not sugar-coat it, he cheated and on more than one occasion. He even conned the ref into booking another player.”

 

 

Brazil

2

vs.

1

North Korea

MAICON 55’

ELANO 72’

MotM = MAICON (BRA)

JI Yun-Nam 89’

Group G

Ref = Viktor KASSAI (HUN)

Johannesburg – JEP

NORTH KOREA not only stunned Brazil, but the whole footballing world when they went in at half-time with the scores at 0-0. You never would’ve known the world No. 1s and five times World Champions were playing the world No. 105s. Brazil did merit their two goals based on their efforts, but North Korea surprised everyone with a world class goal late on. They had a chance to draw the match, but it just wasn’t to be. If I were North Korea, I’d fancy my chances against Portugal and Côte d’Ivoire.

Zakumi: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw Jong Tae Se crying when the North Korean national anthem was playing.”

P92: “It surprised me as well; I’ve never seen any player do that before. Can I take my North Korea shirt off now?”

Zakumi: “Yeah. In fact England can learn something from North Korea about defending.”

P92: “Easy mate.”

Tomorrows games are:

  • Honduras vs. Chile, ITV 12:30
  • European Champions Spain vs. Switzerland w/ English ref Howard Webb, BBC 1 15:00
  • Hosts South Africa vs. Uruguay, BBC 1 19:30
 

 

Netherlands

2

vs.

0

Denmark

Simon POULSEN 46og’

Dirk KUYT 85’

MotM = Wesley SNEIJDER (NED)  

Group E

Ref = Stéphane LANNOY (FRA)

Johannesburg – JSC

 THE NETHERLANDS didn’t explode out of the starting blocks like their rivals Germany did last night, but a win is a win. Denmark could and probably should have taken the lead in a pretty even first half chance wise. But all of the Danes previous good work was undone by Simon Poulsen less than a minute into the second 45. He headed the ball against team-mate Daniel Agger’s back and into his own net. Dirk Kuyt reacted first to the ball when it rebounded off the post and scored a tap in late on.

Zakumi: “Netherland’s could’ve scored a third but Poulsen cleared the ball off the line.”

P92: “Still doesn’t make up for the own goal though.”

Zakumi: “True.”

 

 

Japan

1

vs.

0

Cameroon

Keisuke HONDA 39’

MotM = Keisuke HONDA (JAP)  

Group E

Ref = Olegário BENQUERENÇA (POR)

Mangaung / Bloemfontein

THE first half an hour of this game was a great advert for sleeping pills, but after Japan rather unexpectedly took the lead Cameroon tried hard to get back level. The African side had some good goal scoring opportunities, but not enough for the law of averages to enforce itself. Second place in this group is also wide open now.

Zakumi: “The less said the better about this game really.”

P92: “Hmm. Netherlands had an easy route to the finals, and looking at this game they have an easy group.”

Zakumi: “But too many easy games can make you slip up against stronger teams. Just look at Germany in the 2002 finals.”

 

 

Italy

1

vs.

1

Paraguay

Daniele DE ROSSI 63’

MotM = Antolín ALCARAZ (PAR)

Antolín ALCARAZ 39’

Group F

Ref = Benito ARCHUNDIA (MEX)

Cape Town

 DEFENDING World Champions Italy got their title defence off to a shaky start against Paraguay in today’s last game. Not much happened in the first 30-odd minutes until Paraguay unexpectedly took the lead through Antolín Alcaraz. Italy woke up in the second half and levelled the match with just less than half an hour left. But neither side could find the winning goal and they shared the spoils of what was a very rainy game in Cape Town.

Zakumi: “Italy won’t make it five wins playing like this.”

P92: “They started slowly in 2006 and ended up winning.”

Zakumi: “Yes but that was in Europe and four years ago.”

Tomorrows games are:

  • New Zealand vs. Slovakia, BBC 1 12:30
  • Côte d’Ivoire vs. Portugal, ITV 15:00
  • Five times Champions Brazil vs. North Korea, ITV 19:30