(Results: PARAGUAY 2-0 SLOVAKIA, ITALY 1-1 NEW ZEALAND, BRAZIL 3-1 IVORY COAST)
The best match of this uncanny World Cup had to be ruined somehow, as Stephane Lannoy continued the pathetic French showing in South Africa with very poor officiating, allowing Luis Fabiano’s goal to stand, despite seemingly knowing he used his hand. Later on letting the Elephants go wild on the legs of the Brazilians without any red cards, but sent off Kaka for his needless elbow on Kader Keita. Earlier it was Paraguay with a solid 2-0 win over a very weak Slovakia side and Italy continued to shame their World Cup trophy with an awful 1-1 draw with New Zealand, an historically bad result for Lippi’s team, deep in trouble, much like England.
Play-Actor of the Day: Kader Keita(Ivory Coast)
Kader Keita probably wanted the Brazilians to feel the same way the Turkish fans felt when Rivaldo decided to show the world his acting skills. Kader Keita too deserves at least a mention for his acting skills. What a dive Keita! Your juvenile play-acting will cost Brazil the services of Kaka in its final group match against Portugal.
Jump of the Day: Paraguay (Group F) Paraguay jumped to the top of Group F with a win over Slovakia. The Slovakians were lackluster to say the least, but with a game in hand, they still have a slender chance of being awarded with the “Jump of the day” when we review their game with Italy.
Giveaway of the Day: Fabio Cannavaro(Italy) You just can’t blame Fabio ‘il capitan’ Cannavaro for the goal, he thought that the clearance he made in the Nike ad was enough to see Italy win the World cup and didn’t he already popularize the clearance kick as a famous dance form among the pole dancers? He got his prize money for a winning performance from Nike though. Hence, it really is OK if he now wants to do some charity of fame and not indulge in any more clearances.
Team of the day: Paraguay Very similar to the Uruguayans, Paraguay have a strong side, with some very talented front men and a solid defensive midfield and back, but they play very conservatively, making it very hard to surprise them. Slovakia’s slow and boring style was no match for the South American efficiency, with Enrique Vera scoring in the first half and Cristian Riveros finishing the job in the 86th minute.
Hero of the Day: New Zealand’s defense Despite 15 Italian and 23 shots, the All Whites were able to force a draw in what was the biggest result in New Zealand’s Cup history, and perhaps the most embarrassing in Italy’s as the Azzurris went on to taste their own medicine of gritty defense.
Joga Bonito of the Day: Brazil v Ivory Coast (Second Half)
A boring first half was upstaged by a fantastic second one. Luis Fabiano scored through a powerful shot in the first half, but both teams were far from impressive, as Brazil just couldn’t get possession and the Ivorians just couldn’t get any decent shots at Cesar’s goal. Second half? Different story – Melo and Silva took over the middle, allowing Kaka much more freedom to operate and work everybody else. Fabiano scored the second, which looked like a wonder goal at first sight, but pure cheating after the replay. Elano added the third as Brazil seemed en route to a very convincing win before the Ivorians started chopping legs, sending Elano out and going all out on Kaka, Bastos and Dani Alves. The ref didn’t send anyone off, so Kaka did a little payback of his own, finding himself sent off. Drogba made the contest interesting, making it 3-1, although it proved to be too little too late.