England players are used to talk of their millionaire lifestyles and misbehaving WAGs, so this next tidbit begs a “dirty laundry” joke about a sewage leak soiling their kits . Look at me! I’m punny just like the British press!
And just when you couldn’t watch it anymore, I thought I’d post the Guardian’s Lego recreation of Robert Green’s Hand of Clod.
OK, back to the real matches. New Zealand and Slovakia opened up the day with a 1-1 draw. Last week, I publicly called the All Whites “filler” but they played well enough today. Both goals were headers… although Robert Vittek was offside when he put his in the net. Winston Reid’s goal off a Shane Smeltz cross (deflected by a Slovakian player) was New Zealand’s first World Cup goal since scoring against Scotland in 1982 (Ed: Thanks Adam).
Next up in the so-called Group of Death: Ivory Coast vs. Portugal. The hope was that superstars Cristiano Ronaldo or Didier Drogba, who is pulling a Gary Lineker, would light up the pitch. But neither looked very Group of Death-y. Ronaldo did manage a cracker that went off the post, and then got a yellow after he was taken down a few minutes later. Tee hee. Final was 0-0.
Sven-Goran says he’s having more fun as manager of Ivory Coast than he ever did as England boss. So are England fans. But he also says he wants to return to England to coach Liverpool. Make up your mind, Sven…. Oh, and he also wants a summit to discuss the ball.
Final match was Brazil vs. North Korea and everyone was expecting a blood bath in Jo-burg. But on a cold night, the Koreans held firm, playing not to lose. The “defensive-minded” Brazilians still managed 10 shots on net, with Inter Milan’s Maicon scoring first, on a goal that almost came from the touchline. Then Elano made a nifty little run, scoring again. Not so fast! The North Koreans managed to pull one back in the 89th minute. However, I have no idea who scored because Kim Jong-Il is a power-mad dictator who rules with an iron fist, controlling all information in and out of his impoverished nation. So there.
Tomorrow, European Champions Spain start their campaign against Switzerland. Both Iniesta and Fernando Torres have been declared fit to play. That news comes amid reports that Chelsea offered Liverpool 50 million pounds for Torres. And so it begins…