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Monday, June 14, 2010

World Cup 2010: Italia 1 x Paraguay 1 from Green Point Stadium in Cape Town

From a rainy Cape Town, the Azzurri face Paraguay in their opening Group F game at the 2010 World Cup. There has a been a downpour of rain since yesterday and Mr. Lippi decided to cancel the pregame practice at the stadium this morning.

June 12, 2010 - Centurion, South Africa - epa02197116 A poster of the captain of Italian soccer team, Fabio Cannavaro, while he celebrates the victory of 2006 Fifa World Championships in Berlin (Germany) in front of the headquarter of Italy ''Casa Azzurri'' in the Cornwall College of Centurion, South Africa on 11 June 2010.
Picture of Fabio Cannavaro from "Casa Azzurri" in
Centurion, South Africa.

Azzurri Starting XI: 4-2-3-1

Jun 09, 2010 - Pretoria, South Africa - Italy's SALVATORE BOCCHETTI attends training session at Southdown College in Irene, south of Pretoria.
Azzurri in training.


Zambrotta, Cannavaro, Chiellini, Criscito

De Rossi, Montolivo

Iaquinta, Marchisio, Pepe


Manager: Mr. Lippi

Italian Anthem

Paraguay Starting XI: 4-4-2

Jan 25, 2010 - Mexico City, Mexico - SALVADOR CABANAS is in a serious condition after being shot in the head in a bar in Mexico City, police in the Mexican capital said. Cabanas, 29, was shot late January 24 in the bar in the south of the city for reasons unknown, police said. Mexican officials said two suspects had been arrested but the motive for the attack was unclear. Cabanas was expected to play for Paraguay at this year's World Cup in South Africa. He was also linked to English Premier League side Sunderland.

Salvador Cabanas: The Paraguayan star is still
recovering from his tragic
gun shot wound suffered
last January in Mexico City.

Justo Villar

Bonet, da Silva, Alcarez, Morel Rodriguez

Vera, Riveros, Carceres, Torres

Barrios, Valdez

Manager: Mr. Martino

Referee: Mr. Archundia of Mexico.

Mister Lippi Before the Game

"La prima partita è la più importante, anche se non è decisiva. Il Paraguay però è un avversario difficile. Bisogna attaccarlo, ma bisogna sapersi anche difendere, perchè in avanti hanno giocatori importanti come Barrios, Valdez, Santa Cruz e Cardoso. Certo, fare un primo risultato positivo ci darebbe convinzione".
"The first game is the most important even if it isn't decisive. However, Paraguay is a difficult opponent. You need to attack them but also need to know how to defend because up front they have important players such as Barrios, Valdez, Santa Cruz and Cardoso. Surely, making an initial positive result would give conviction."
Italian Source: La Gazzetta dello Sport, June 13, 2010.

First Half

On a cold rainy night in Cape Town, the Azzurri looked organized and determined to take the game to the South Americans. Italy pushed up with Pepe on the left and Criscito, a fullback, moving up on the right side. Their passing was crisp despite the weather and Paraguay had very little possession. But without Andrea Pirlo, this side lacked creativity even in Riccardo Montolivo was playing well.

Against the run of play, from a free kick by Torres, Antonin Alcaraz outjumped De Rossi and Cannavaro to head the ball into the corner past a motionless Buffon. The half ended, 0 x 1.

June 14, 2010 - United Kingdom - Football - Italy v Paraguay FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010 - Group F - Green Point Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa - 14/6/10..Antolin Alcaraz (C) scores Paraguay's first goal.
Alcaraz outjumps De Rossi and Cannavaro to score.

Second Half

Buffon was replaced by Marchetti due to a sciatic nerve problem. Paraguay pressed with more intensity chasing the knock-out punch. The Azzurri pushed forward with determination but seemingly without many creative options. In the 69th minute, Pepe's corner kick was missed by the keeper, Villar, and landed right in front of De Rossi who equalized. Montolivo and Pepe took a few long-range shots but Villar settled down and saved them without problems.

Italy's Daniele De Rossi (6) celebrates his goal against Paraguay near team mate Domenico Criscito during their 2010 World Cup Group F soccer match at Green Point stadium in Cape Town June 14, 2010. REUTERS/Oleg Popov (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP)
De Rossi equalized from a corner by Pepe.

The game ended, 1 x 1, but the Azzurri have work to do and Paraguay might regret not obtaining the three points. The second place team in Group F faces the likely winner of Group E, The Netherlands.
  • Please see my more comprehensive article at Soccerlens with translated quotes on Tuesday.

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