Sunday, June 20, 2010

Whose World? What Cup? (Day 10)

Paraguay, inventive and fluid, beats Slovakia 2-0. Why should things be any different? In all the talks of dogs and underdogs during any World Cup, it's never easy to say who a clear favourite might be except on the basis of form and depth — are the team always doing well against other teams of all kinds? And if the entire team were to be replaced by reserves, would that reserve team also do well?

The other factors are just too nebulous. Tonight we'll also see Italy play New Zealand. Italy have good depth, and fair form. New Zealand are relative unknowns who drew Slovakia 1-1 earlier. Logic would say Italy 2, NZ 0. This would be the result most of the time.

We live for the remaining chances, the slim shreds of possibility that say NZ will pull off an upset. But Italy are hard to defeat, although drawing is not such a difficult result to obtain. We'll see.

What's truly delectable is the match-up even later this evening, when Brazil (ex-Portuguese colony) meet Côte d'Ivoire (ex-French colony). Looking at the World Cup's interesting geography, one is struck by the thought, "Be careful when you build an empire; some day, the empire strikes back."

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Ho ho... NZ just scored against Italy. 1-0 to the Land of the Long White Cloud.

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And that De Rossi has just got himself a penalty for Italy. Iaquinta converts it! 1-1.

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Afternote: 1-1 at the death. This just feels like a moral defeat for Italy, though. World Cup champions eh? Ha. And NZ keeper Paston should be the man of the match.

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