After a weekend of expected results and little scoring (save for the German assault on Australia), World Cup seemed to find another gear today, just in time for Tuesday’s Group of Death start. [ad#as3]
Netherlands has been considered a potential sleeper in this tournament, and the Dutch certainly looked to be a class side in handling Denmark today. Things got interesting as Japan notched its first-ever World Cup win on foreign soil in a 1-0 upset over Cameroon, dashing the hopes of another African hopeful.
Paraguay has a storied history and this club certainly has potential, but to draw with Italy is a surprising result. This is an older Italian side than won World Cup in 2006, but it’s hard to overlook the fact that Italy should have had zero points today had the Paraguayan keeper not gifted a goal to the Azzurri. Italy showed mettle in turning up the attack and forcing constant pressure, but Monday’s performance was not the kind of dominant display one expects from a defending champion.
Netherlands 2 (S. Poulsen og 46, Kuyt 85)
Japan 1 (Honda 39)
Italy 1 (de Rossi 63)
Paraguay 1 (Alcaraz 39)