Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Italy held to draw by Paraguay

Italy1 Paraguay 1 Match commentary

The All Whites' group at the World Cup is wide open after a 1-1 draw between their rivals Italy and Paraguay.

Both teams were widely predicted to be the two countries to advance to the second round, but their draw might just open up the door for a third country to get into the mix.

If New Zealald would be able to shock the footballing world and beat Slovakia in Rustenburg tonight it would take the lead in Group F.

Italy did most of the running in the rain-drenched Green Point stadium in Cape Town, but Paraguay took a surprising 1-0 lead when defender Antolin Alcaraz headed home a beautiful Aureliano Torres free kick.

Italy piled on the pressure after the break, but needed a goalkeeping error to get back on level terms.

Experienced goalkeeper Justo Villar underestimated a corner by Simone Pepe and Daniel de Rossi was on the spot to stab home the equaliser at the far post.

Both had chances to take the win, but the draw leaves Group F in an interesting state if either New Zealand or Slovakia managed to upset the form book.

If either team managed to get all three points tomorrow, the pressure on Italy will be huge to get a win against New Zealand, which would play into the hands of Ricki Herbert's men.

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