The World Cup, highlights to date

It’s been quite a week of football. England were dismal in the second half against Paraguay, but as Ben said, it was as if Paraguay wanted to lose. And we were less than convincing against Trinidad & Tobago on Thursday, which is when the World Cup started to come alive for me.

Last night, though, saw a cracking game between the US and Italy. The USA dominated the first period, before Italy’s impressive goal from a free-kick against the run of play. The USA’s equaliser came from a bizarre attempted clearance from Italy’s Zaccardo, before Daniele de Rossi’s heinous mid-air elbow in the face of Brian McBride resulted in his sending off. There is no place in football for such mindless acts, and in my view, he should have been ejected from the entire competition there and then.

The other two sending off incidents were not particularly malicious, but the decisions were probably justified, leaving the US facing ten-man Italy with only nine men of their own for the last 45 minutes. It was a cracking game, and the US held on to secure a well-deserved point.

Earlier in the day, Ghana were hugely impressive against the Czech Republic, and more than justified their 2-0 win. It would be great to see them in the last 16.

Roll on Tuesday at 8pm: hopefully England can up their game to get a result out of their match against Sweden, giving them top spot in the group. Whether top spot is the best place for England to be may be determined by the Germany vs. Ecuador match earlier that afternoon. Either way, we have at least two matches left in this World Cup; Italy can’t say the same just yet.

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