World Cup diary - Drogba waits on FIFA approval
Published: 15 Jun 2010 - 08:09:26
Didier Drogba is waiting to hear whether he can take the field wearing a protective cast on his arm against Portugal.
Ivory Coast coach Sven-Goran Eriksson said: "There has been a FIFA meeting today (Monday) and the people haven't come back yet. We will know later."
Daniel Agger scored a freakish own goal as his Denmark side were beaten two-nil by the Netherlands in the Group E opener at Soccer City, Johannesburg.
Following a closely contested first half, Robin van Persie's cross was headed by Simon Poulsen onto Agger's back, ricocheting into his own net to open the scoring.
Substitute Elia's pace stretched the game for the Dutch, ultimately providing the winner in the 85th minute as he beat the Danish defence, his shot rebounding off the post before being finished by Dirk Kuyt.
CIVIC RECEPTION FOR HONDA
Japan mustered a 1-0 victory over Group E rivals Cameroon at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.
A forgettable opening 30 minutes was followed by Keisuke Honda's cushioned touch and finish, after Stephane Mbia had misjudged a Dalsuke Matsui cross.
Mbia nearly made amends in the closing stages, but his spectacular 25-yard shot shook the crossbar rather than the Japanese players.
ESCAPE FROM ALCARAZ (a headline so good we nicked it from the Sun)
Italy battled back to claim a draw with Paraguay after going behind to a deft 39th-minute header from Antolin Alcaraz in Cape Town.
The Azzurri had the better of the opening exchanges but seemed bereft of ideas without the benched Andrea Pirlo.
Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was substituted at the break with a back problem, before the Italians sought to regain parity.
However, it was opposite number Justin Villar who was next to blunder. The Paraguayan skipper lunged short of Pepe's corner, leaving De Rossi to poke home (63). Italy finished in the ascendancy, but lacked the potency to take all three points.
The controversy around the adidas Jabulani has been deepened by the news that the official World Cup match ball has been used in Germany's Bundesliga since January, as well as in the MLS this season.
The Barclays Premier League was offered the chance to use the ball, but contractual obligations with rival firm Nike prevented Premier League-based players from gaining vital experience with it.
WHISKY AND JOKE
Indian teetotaller Putul Bora has vowed to dig up and consume a bottle of whisky he buried 16 years ago, the day after Germany were beaten by Bulgaria in a 1994 World Cup Quarter-final - if his chosen team can win the World Cup.
The shop owner has not consumed alcohol since 2002, but that may change this summer: "I shall resume drinking only when Germany lifts the Cup. No one can lure me to consume alcohol before that."
- FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:Tom Littlefield
- Seen as the heir apparent to Jan Molby until an underactive thyroid gland curtailed this youngster’s development, Tom Littlefield will now concentrate on making a “big pitch” (pun) during South Africa 2010. As Barnet’s staunchest Gooner, he is well placed to judge good football. So, while the England team provides your compulsory tournament displeasure, Tom will look to rouse your enthusiasm for the beautiful game (and WAGS) in the oasis of oratory that is his World Cup Diary.
Previous Blog Posts
- Dutch overstay their welcome
- Maradona to decide his own fate
- Paul the Octopus predicts Spain victory
- Suarez nominated for goalkeeping award
- Schweinsteiger better than Messi
- Maradona heats up Germany clash
- Uruguay win hearts and minds in South Africa
- Messi and Maradona raise the stakes
- England lose their pants
- Japan goes wild
- Defoe bats Beckenbauer barbs
- Kanu blasts Yakubu miss
- Torres gets his excuses in
- The Godfather strikes back
- Le Sulk ready to quit France
- Algeria prepare for war
- Maradona blasts Pele and Platini
- Red card for Robbie Earle
- Drogba waits on FIFA approval
- Vuvuzelas could be banned
- Ronaldo meets Mandela
- Milner worry for England
- Heartbreak for Nani
- Stampede sounds fan warning