Nobody could agree on Italy's prospects in South Africa this summer, and nothing's that much more certain one game in. Coming into the tournament, all the talk about Italy focused on how elderly the squad was, featuring 11 survivors from 2006, including 36-year-old captain
After a sluggish first half Monday -- in which
In the second half, however, Lippi shuffled his pack, swapping
Italy will surely play better in games to come, though whether it needs to in order to escape Group F remains in question -- Paraguay represented its toughest competition. Let's remember that Italy has rarely been a first-round megastar, and if the opening days of this World Cup have taught us anything, it's that "job done" is sometimes the best we can expect.
For all that, I was impressed by
Denmark left back
Netherlands vs. Denmark
Hardly rich pickings today, but Honda's
Hat's off to
"I don't give a f--- about anybody, just make my moves." -- Dutch super-sub Elia gives a TV interview after coming on to set up the Netherlands' second goal. Wonder why they banned him from Twitter?
After 11 games, it seems a goal guarantees at least a point -- no team has scored a goal and gone on to lose.
There's speculation that goakeeper
Game of the day looks like the Group G encounter between Ivory Coast and Portugal. Ignoring the letdowns of several of the matches so far, let's hope for a fast and furious encounter -- two crafty midfields with pace ahead of them in the form of
The second half of Group F plays tomorrow, with New Zealand and Slovakia meeting in what may be the best chance for either to put some points on the board. Slovakia has more pace to burn, but New Zealand will ensure the midfield is a congested workplace for
The action finishes with Brazil's match against North Korea, whose compact, defensive game threatens to stymie Brazil unless players such as