Saturday, June 10, 2006

england vs. paraguay, sweden vs. trinidad

Watched my first game of the World Cup today, a rather uninspired England win over Paraguay. I thought Joe Cole looked good intermittently, but really it seemed the early goal (an own goal off a Beckham free kick) took pressure off England in a bad way. Paraguay had a couple of good shots from Valdez but didn't threaten much.

The ref whistled the back-up Paraguay goalie Bobadilla for holding the ball too long -- something you don't see much. Main thing for England -- to play poorly and still get the win. This and a win over Trinidad should see them reach the second round.

The Sweden-Trinidad & Tobago game was much better. Sweden were clearly the better team, but they couldn't get the ball in the net. Goalie Shaka Hislop made several great saves, the Trinidadian defenders played tough, and Trinidad even had a chance or two at the other end even after defender Avery John was (unfairly) sent off. The result was a draw, but it was clearly a victory for Trinidad, playing in their first World Cup.