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World Cup diary - Torres gets his excuses in

Published: 23 Jun 2010 - 07:16:25

Fernando Torres has added to the unending list of complaints about the World Cup football.

"Personally speaking, I am very happy to have played but we need to practice a bit more with this Jabulani because we are having a bit of bother with it," said Torres.

Nando, the instructions read 'kick and head into opposition goal. Do not confuse with film starring Robin Williams, where the safari park comes to town'.

LUCAS BIDS TO RE-WRITE HISTORY

Australia defender Lucas Neill showed plenty of poetic licence when he claimed yesterday that "Australia have never been a team that whinges, we don't want to be regarded as a team that whinges.”

For a team that includes Neill and Harry Kewell, surely those words must be put down to the effects of altitude on oxygen levels?

ENGLAND v SLOVENIA BUILD-UP

- Martin Keown: England must play without fear

- Chris Hatherall reports from South Africa

- Slovenia v England match centre

- Free £20 bet with Paddy Power

RONALDO SHARES THE LOVE

Cristiano Ronaldo showed what a saint he is by giving his man-of-the-match award to team-mate Tiago Mendes, after their team thrashed Portugal 7-0 on Monday.

"I gave the man of the match prize to Tiago because he played better and it was only fair to give the trophy to him," said the Real Madrid striker. Which surprised us, as Ronaldo would surely love to have a statue of himself to play with.

KAKA TALKS KAKA

Brazil's Kaka said he "did not want to repeat" what his 70-year-old grandmother said about the referee who sent him off during Sunday's win over the Ivory Coast. Don’t, then.

CHEEKY CHINESE ENJOY VUVUZELA BOOM

News has emerged that over 90 per cent of the vuvuzelas at the World Cup are manufactured in China.

"We were making 10,000 vuvuzelas a day for the past few days and I estimate we will make 25,000 per day in the next few days," said Yijun Wu of Ninghai Jiying plastics factory.

So, after failing to qualify for the tournament, the Chinese set about ruining it for everybody else. One has to respect their motives, if not admire them.

COACH KIM EARNS HIS COIN

Korea DPR coach Kim Jong-Hun is considering a different approach after his side’s 7-0 loss to Portugal.

"In the final match against Ivory Coast we will have to think over our tactics," he added.

In other news, Germany invades Poland and man lands on moon.

FRANCE CRASH OUT

France were humbled once again, going down 2-1 to hosts South Africa at the Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein to finish bottom of Group A.

Bongani Khumelo headed Bafana Bafana into the lead on 20 minutes. Five minutes later, France midfielder Yoann Gourcuff was dismissed for use of an elbow. Katlego Mphela doubled the South Africans' lead shortly before half-time, keeping alive slim hopes of qualification.

Florent Malouda scored a consolation for France with 20 minutes remaining, which meant both teams failed to qualify from the group stages, South Africa becoming the first host nation to do just that.

URUGUAY AND MEXICO CRUISE THROUGH

Both Uruguay and Mexico qualified from Group A, after a supposed carve-up at Rustenburg's Royal Bafokeng Stadium turned into a rather dicey affair.

Knowing a draw would qualify both sides, a mutual attacking approach was most refreshing. Luis Suarez headed in Edinson Cavani's mesmeric floated ball to send Uruguay into a half-time lead and open the Ajax front man’s account in South Africa.

Diego Lugano and Cavani both had chances to double the La Celeste’s lead, with the game finishing 1-0.

FINALLY A FREE-KICK GOAL

South Korea will play Uruguay after a 2-2 draw with Nigeria saw them qualify from Group B.

Kalu Uche put the Africans ahead early on at Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium, netting his second goal of the tournament. Lee Jung-Soo equalised from a curling free-kick into the penalty area (38).

Park Chu-Young doubled the lead early in the second half after curling a low free-kick past Nigeria goalkeeper Victor Enyeama (49). Aiyegbeni Yakubu rolled a penalty home (69) to level matters after missing an open goal, but Nigeria failed to find the goal which would have taken them through.

ARGENTINA HIT THE MAXIMUM

Argentina beat Greece 2-0 at the Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane, to complete a trio of victories and qualify as winners of Group B, before meeting Mexico in the next round.

Greece defended resolutely in the first half, with Sergio Aguero and Juan Veron forcing saves from Alexandros Tzorvas. Martin Demichelis broke the deadlock 13 minutes from time, after his header rebounded off team-mate Diego Milito for the central defender to smash into the roof of the net.

The points were made safe in the 89th minute, when Tzorvas palmed Argentina captain Lionel Messi's drive into the path of substitute Martin Palermo, who slotted home with his right foot. The unadventurous, negative tactics of the Greeks ensured them a deserved early flight home

DSG


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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.

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