Today was day five of the World Cup, and it was a good line-up, albeit somewhat disappointing with the results:
The first game of the day was one I did not care too much for, and so did not wake up at the crack of dawn to watch (5:30 a.m.); New Zealand vs. Slovakia. They ended up tying, with each scoring one goal. This is surprising, especially since I don't think I've ever seen New Zealand participate in the World Cup before, much less be good enough to score, but they did.
The next game I missed a big chunk of, but what I did see was good; Ivory Coast vs. Portugal. In 2006 I was really impressed by Portugal and rooted for them. For some reason, though, I wanted to support Ivory Coast more this time around. I'm not an expert, but what I did see was that IC players had much more organization than the Portuguese, despite their star player, Didier Drogba being out of the game until near the end, when he was playing with his arm in a cast. Neither team was able to score, and they ended with a nothing to nothing tie. Ronaldo hit one of his deadly penalty kicks, but the IC's goalkeeper was good enough to catch it. Still, IC was playing better than Portugal, who seemed to be disorganized and just sort of running around the pitch without any real teamwork.
The big game of the day was the one between Brazil and North Korea. It ended with Brazil having two beautiful goals, and North Korea scoring in just the last few minutes of the game, an equally beautiful and fluid goal that made my heart go out to their team, for they played really well. It took Brazil a long time to score their goals and they are a very strong team, not to be reckoned with. It was especially sweet to see that during the national anthem of North Korea, one of their players was so overcome with emotion that he just cried his heart out. I was with Brazil, but when North Korea scored that lovely goal, I was glad that they got one, because they truly deserved it. It'll be interesting to see how far they will go in this tournament. It was also sweet to see the small group of North Korea supporters, wearing red and waving flags in a sea of yellow and green. It was a very good-hearted game with major spirit and sportsmanship.
I was not able to document yesterday's games and scores on here, but I am continuing to update my status on Facebook and tweeting on Twitter. Just for the sake of keeping track, yesterday's games and scores were as follows:
Netherlands 2-0 Denmark
Netherlands, despite its reputation and expections of being one of those teams to fear struggled throughout the game to overcome Denmark's defense, and were finally able to score one goal on their own. The other goal was made by one of Denmark's own players. Doy.
Japan 1-0 Cameroon
Cameroon was disappointing. They are usually one of the best teams, known for their prowess on the pitch, but they truly disappointed in their face off with Japan.
Italy 1-1 Paraguay
Italy displayed major disorganization and shoddy playing, so much so that Paraguay scored a goal before the 2006 world champions. Paraguay was impressive, as they played with the same style demonstrated by the Germans, though nowhere near as sharp in their passes. Paraguay's goal was the result of a penalty kick awarded them, which Buffon, one of the best goalkeepers in the world at the moment completely missed... that ball went right by him. In the second half of the game, a new goalkeeper came out for Italy, presumably because Buffon was showing his years with the miss. Italy's goal had more umph than Paraguay's, thanks to it being a corner kick, something I haven't seen happen since the beginning of this event. It was a nice goal.
Tomorrow's games and my stances:
Chile vs. Honduras
Spain vs. Switzerland
South Africa vs. Uruguay