Day 10 Recap

June 20, 2010 - Johannesburg, South Africa - epa02213246 Luis Fabiano of Brazil celebrates after scoring the 1-0 during the FIFA World Cup 2010 group G match between Brazil and Ivory Coast at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, 20 June 2010.

Slovakia 0 – Paraguay 2
Identical 1-1 draws in their first matches left Slovakia and Paraguay with very different sentiments – the Europeans flabbergasted at allowing New Zealand to grab a late equalizer and the South Americans encouraged by a draw with title holders Italy. Perhaps those results explain Paraguay’s dominance on the day.

Slovakia rarely threatened Justo Villar’s net, producing a mere one shot on goal. In contrast, Paraguay’s 4-3-3 allowed for some entertaining play, particularly in the first half. Their early efforts came to fruition when Lucas Barrios’ pass split three defenders and Enrique Vera squeezed between them to poke beyond the keeper’s reach (26th). They weren’t able to bag another until the 86th when, following a free kick, Cristian Riveros was unmarked at the top of the box and put the result to rest.

Italy 1 – New Zealand 1

Italian players are now in danger of heading home to a reception of rotten vegetables. A 1-1 draw with New Zealand isn’t a death knell, but it certainly won’t encourage the folks at home. And though the defending champions were the aggressors, New Zealand deserved the point.

The Kiwis even managed to open the scoring, with Shane Smeltz sneaking behind Italian captain Fabio Cannavaro and tapping in a free kick (7th). Retreating into a defensive shell, New Zealand refused to concede from the run of play. Daniele De Rossi, though, did earn a penalty (28th) that allowed Vincenzo Iaquinta to equalize. The Italians spent the rest of the game in New Zealand’s half, but Kiwi substitute Chris Wood came inches away from grabbing all three points in the 83rd. He abused Cannavaro, flipping past the center back, and sent a screamer just wide of the far post.

Italian fans were thankful for the miss and still feel their team should advance, but the Azzurri might need some help. New Zealand and Italy sit even on points and goal difference, leaving it all to play for come Thursday.

Brazil 3 – Ivory Coast 1

Brazil’s fairly comfortable victory ensures their place in the knockout round. The party started with Luis Fabiano doing his best Landon Donovan impression (25th), smashing home from a tight angle, and, to Ivory Coast’s distaste, he later recorded another goal when he should have been called for a handball (50th). However, Elano finished off Kaka’s beautiful run for a deserved third goal (62nd).

Didier Drogba tried to drag his team back into it, but his 79th minute strike was the only tally the Ivorians could muster. And after their goal, persistent fouling became a theme, with the Brazilians reacting in a typically Brazilian way – flopping. Once the Africans had enough, Kader Keita threw himself to the ground after brief contact with Kaka. The superstar was given his second yellow and will miss the the next match, though he might not have played anyway.

Ivory Coast will anxiously await tomorrow’s Portugal – North Korea result. A draw would suit them just fine.

2 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Dan says:

    Two handballs on the same goal. I have to take back anything bad I’ve ever said about Maradona’s goal.

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