21.6.10

world cup 2010 – day 10: paraguay wins, world champions drew again, brazil qualifies

1250996_FULL-LNDDay 10 started with the controversy surrounding the expulsion of Nicolas Anelka from the French team, and their refusal to train, in protest against the decision. Confused The show however had to go on, with Paraguay and Slovakia providing the first action in Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein. alcaraz-antolin100620gettyx Paraguay, who held the world champions 1-1 in their first match, controlled the match from the start. Slovakia meanwhile had the 1-1 draw with New Zealand to show, meaning the group was very, very balanced, before the match started. Paraguay’s dominance was rewarded with the opening goal in the 27th minute, when Enrique Vera, latched on a through pass from Paulo Da Silva, with his outside foot, for a superb finish. The score remained until half-time, although Paraguay had the opportunities to increase their lead. The second was played in pretty much the same fashion, but Slovakia started to show more intent, as they search for an equalizer. But they could not break down the organized Paraguayan defense, and instead it was Paraguay who managed to double their lead, Cristian Riveros this time with a curling left footer, to confirm a comfortable win. Applause

Italy-v-New-Zealand-006 The second match of the day also came from Group F, World Champions Italy playing against New Zealand in Nelspruit, at the Mbombela Stadium. As with most of the other favourites in this year’s competition, Italy have failed to convince, with only a draw with Paraguay to show, and they were to be disappointed again, drawing this match with their 78th-best-team-in-the-world opponent.  To every Italian’s horror, but every New Zealander’s delight, The All Whites drew first blood when Shane Smeltz scored in the 7th minute, toe-poking a Simon Elliot free-kick. It will be proved later on that Smeltz’s goal was the only shot on target afforded by New Zealand throughout the whole duration of the match. The goal awaken the Italians from their slumber, and they controlled the match from then on. However, they only have 1 goal to show, a 29th minute penalty, when Tommy Smith was adjudged to pull Daniele De Rossi inside the box, although it seemed that De Rossi was making most of it. Vincenzo-Iaquinta--006 Vicenzo Iaquinta duly converted the penalty, to the relief of the Italians. WhewThe Azzuris, bombarded the New Zealand goal, but try as they might, they could not find the elusive goal. Their goalkeeper Mark Paston was also in his best form, making crucial saves to keep the Italians at bay. It was the result of the tournament so far, the Italians needing a win against Slovakia, while New Zealand can qualify if the beat Paraguay in their next matches.

Luis-Fabiano-006 The last match was the clash of the day when 5-time champions Brazil met the African favourites Ivory Coast in the Soccer City Stadium, Jo’burg. Didier Drogba was declared fit and started for the Elephants, while Brazil’s team was unchanged from their previous win against North Korea. The Seleção showed why they were 5-time champions, by dominating the match, and limit the Ivorians to counter attacks. The first goal came in the 25th minute after some good play by Kaka and Robinho, which was finished by striker Luis Fabiano, lashing a brilliant shot past Boubacar Barry. 1252707_full-lnd The score remained until half-time, but Brazil got back to work when 5 minutes after the restart, Fabiano found the net to double Brazil’s lead. Elano got the third in the 60th, from a low cross by Kaka. The Ivorians finally got the goal they craved, although it was too late, when Drogba headed a Yaya Toure’s cross, for their consolation goal. The action didn’t stop there, when Kaka was sent-off following a second yellow card, after an elbow on Kader Keita. The win meant Brazil qualify for the last 16 Applause, and Ivory Coast will have to count on a combination of results in their last match against North Korea, to know their fate.

June 20
Group F
PAR 2 SVK 0
ITA 1 NZL 1

Group G
BRA 3 CIV 1

Group F Standings

Pld W D L F A Pts
Paraguay 2 1 1 0 2 1 4
Italy 2 0 2 0 2 2 2
New Zealand 2 0 2 0 2 2 2
Slovakia 2 0 1 1 1 3 1

Group G Standings

Pld W D L F A Pts
Brazil 2 2 0 0 5 2 6
Ivory Coast 2 0 1 1 1 3 1
Portugal 1 0 1 0 0 0 1
North Korea 1 0 0 1 1 2 0

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