PARAGUAY 2, SLOVAKIA 0
First Uruguay traipising through their first two matches, looking like a lock to advance, and now Paraguay leading its group after 2 matches?? I dare say, this is the Guayest World Cup ever! In fairness, Paraguay is actually a pretty tough team (as is Uruguay), led by Man City's Roque Santa Cruz, and can say they took down both Brazil and Argentina in qualifying. In fact, that's been the trend at this World Cup, while the European powers are going down in flames, and the African teams are for the most part getting beat up too, it's been the teams from our very own hemisphere, in CONCACAF (US and Mexico), and CONMEBOL (Brazil, Argentina, Chile, the Guays), who have acquitted themselves very well. Paraguay's on top of what's been the weakest group in the tournament, and wrap up against New Zealand, so it looks like they're going thru.
NEW ZEALAND 1, ITALY 1
With the possible elimination disasters that have befallen England, France, and Germany, and Spain losing to Switzerland in this opener, it's only right that Italy go out and shit the bed in this tournament too, and they haven't disappointed. They fell behind the 78th ranked in the world Kiwis early in the match, and although Italy dominated most of the way, it took the referees stepping in and deciding they weren't going to let New Zealand win this game, and awarding Italy a bullshit PK in order for the defending champs to salvage a point. Hey wait, who was that I saw at midfield before the game as the extra official...oh my God, no, it can't be....
AHHHH! You lying smelly foreigners! You lied! You said he wouldn't be allowed any where near this tournament again! You let him back in and look what happens, another match that looks like it's fixed. Holy geez. Anyway, Italy faces Slovakia in their group finale, and if they lose, they're out.
BRAZIL 3, IVORY COAST 1
Ever since they drew the field for this tournament, and established the Brazil/Ivory Coast/Portugal triad as constituting the "Group of Death", this has been a match people have been looking forward to. The Death Star that is Brazil against Didier Drogba and the sexy sleeper pick Elephants. As so much of this tournament has played out, when you expect big things, you get a snoozer, and when you expect nothing you get a classic (Switzerland/Spain, US/Slovenia, etc. etc.). Brazil thoroughly dominated this one. Luis Fabiano had the first two goals of the match, one of them a controversial unintentional handball aided one that Sven Goran Eriksson bitched about, but whatever. Drogba did score but by that time it was 3-0 Brazil.
What becomes interesting now, is that Ivory Coast can still advance if Brazil beats Portugal AND Ivory Coast just runs up a fantastic beating on North Korea, like 10-0 range. That's not out of the realm of the possibility, and if you're looking for an interesting, crazy match where one team is totally going to be going for broke, check out that Ivory Coast/NoKo match on Friday.