Pierre Boisrond has followed soccer and the World Cup
closely for many years and also writes for other websites. We at PWC are proud to have him as
a columnist. He will share his views about the past, present and future of
the World Cup.
Read earlier columns
Paraguay in Complete Control; New Zealand Stunned Italy; Brazil Earned Ticket to Round of 16
The national team of Paraguay has secured 3 important points by beating Slovakia 2-0. Enrique Vera gave Paraguay a 1-0 lead in the 27th minute and Cristian Riveros augmented the score in the 86th minute to put the Paraguayans up 2-0. The game ended 2-0. Paraguay controlled the whole game and did not have any difficulty against the national team of Slovakia. The men under the direction of Gerardo “Tata” Martino are extremely disciplined in offense and in defense. The Paraguayan Internationals are extremely focused and they are not about to commit any gaffe in this World Cup. If it had not been for a mistake by their goalie against Italy, the Paraguayans would have had 6 points at this time. However, the Paraguayans understand that they are in control of their destiny to get into the round of 16. Paraguay is an extremely solid team, and the contenders of this World Cup cannot take The Guaranis lightly because the Paraguayan national team is on a mission to revive the spirit of Jose Luis Chilavert in France 1998.
The Second game today in this group were Italy vs. New Zealand. The Italians thought this game would have given them 3 easy three points. However, the Internationals of New Zealand frustrated the Italian International both in defense and in offense. The All-Whites did all they had to do not to let the Azzurri win those 3 valuable points. The day started very well for New Zealand when Shane Smeltz gave the lead to the Kiwis in the 7th minute. However, Vincenzo Iaquinta equalized the game for the Italians in the 29th minute and the score was now 1-1. The Players of New Zealand brought some joy to their people. They had faith in themselves that anything is possible. During the whole match, they have shown they had the courage to fight for the win or for the tie. The Italians did not have any response for the Kiwis because the All-Whites were all organized in defense.
In the last 20 minutes, the Italians kept putting the pressure on New-Zealand but they were unable to pierce the All-Whites defense. Had Chris Wood of New-Zealand been able to capitalize on a scoring opportunity at the end of the game, the All-Whites would have won that game and now the Italians would have to call the Vatican for some prayers. They might still need to call Pope Benedict because in their last game in the group, Slovakia is not going to make it easy for the Azzurri. The People of New Zealand should celebrate with their national team players because they have represented them well in this World Cup. Bravo to New Zealand… Now, in Group F, Paraguay is 1st with 4 points and a goal differential (+2). Italia and New Zealand are 2nd with 2 points each with a GD of 0 each, and Slovakia is 4th with 1 point and a GD of -2.
In Group G, There was a game between Brazil and Ivory Coast. The Brazilians will always be a contender in any tournament. Everybody thought that Ivory Coast was going to play a full attacking football. Besides the first ten minutes of the game, Ivory Coast did not play a good football at all. After the first ten minutes, the elephants could not resist the force of the Brazilians. Kaka and company started to lift up their game to the highest level. In the 25th minute, Luis Fabiano, after receiving a magnificent pass by Kaka, he crucified the goalie of Ivory Coast, Boubakar Barry, with a missile a la Landon Donovan. Brazil suddenly took the lead 1-0. With Brazil up 1-0, the Elephants must go for the equalizer. Unfortunately for Ivory Coast, it was again Luis Fabiano who put a show on to score the 2nd goal for Brazil. Despite using his arms twice in the process of scoring the goal, the French referee and the linesmen did not see that, and therefore validated the goal. At this time, Ivory Coast found themselves in a deep down 0 ole -2. The Brazilians are extremely talented and at any moment of the game, they can invent a magical play to crucify the opponent. Today, they have done that in front of Ivory Coast. The first half ended 2-0 in favor of the men conducted by Carlos Caetano Bledorn Verri (Dunga).
In the second half, It seems that Ivory Coast, did not want to go for the equalizer. Brazil continued to play their football by taking their time and this was not good news for the Elephants. It was Kaka who changed his speed from 3rd to 5th gear and gave a magnificent pass to Blumer Elano who scored the 3rd goal for Brazil in the 62nd minute to take a 3-0 advantage on Ivory Coast. Brazil is Brazil and no team should ever think to speculate with Brazil. Being down 0-3, the Ivory Coast Internationals had to go for a goal because that might help them their goal differential. Well, the talented Didier Droga was able to score a goal for Ivory Coast in the 79th minute. The game ended 3-1. However, the superstar Kaka was ejected from the game after receiving 2 yellow cards which are equal to 1 red card. Kaka should have never been ejected from the game but the French referee, Stephane Lanoy, taught Kaka hit the Ivory Coast player in his face. Indeed, that was not the case.
Brazil won the game 3-1 and earned their ticket to the round of 16 after 2 games played. In this Group now, Brazil is 1st with 6 points with a GD of +3. Portugal is 2nd with 1 with a GD (0) but has a 2nd game to play with North Korea. Ivory Coast in 3rd place with 1 point and a GD (-2). And North Korea in 4th with 0 point with a GD (-1) and still have to play their 2nd game with Portugal.
Today we have seen Paraguay in complete control of their destiny. We have seen New Zealand Stunned Italy and we have seen Brazil rolled over Ivory Coast.
The games for the day 11 will be: Portugal vs. North Korea; Chile vs. Switzerland and Spain vs. Honduras. Many contenders like Italy, England and Germany have to wait for their last game to fight for a ticket to the round of 16. Well, I did not include France in that group because the French national team is completely in disarray. Perhaps, Ireland should have been in this World Cup instead of France.
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