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FIFA World Cup 2010: Days 9 and 10

New Zealand stunned Italy with a 1-1 draw in group play New Zealand stunned Italy with a 1-1 draw in group play

After a few days of drama and shocking upsets at FIFA World Cup 2010, the second weekend of the world’s greatest soccer tournament went much more as expected in terms of results. However, the trend of European soccer super powers coming up short continued when Italy failed to defeat New Zealand. However, their E.U. counterparts in Denmark and Holland found more success.

The Netherlands are one of the few of the traditionally strong European countries not to have disappointed their fans this year. That said, the Dutch are still not in top form, but managed a 1-0 defeat of Japan nevertheless.

Holland controlled the play against the Japanese, owning possession for 66% of the match. But only Wesley Sneijder could find the back of the net, leaving many soccer experts scratching their heads after expecting the Dutch squad to produce offensive fireworks this year.

Ghana managed a 1-1 draw with Australia, when Asamoah Gyan scored on a penalty shot to tie the match. Harry Kewell was the culprit on the play for Australia, earning a red card in the 24th minute. That left the Australians down a man for the bulk of the game, but they managed to hold off Ghana, leaving the teams in a stalemate.

In the final game on Day 9, Denmark decided the fates of two other Group E teams when the Danes defeated Cameroon 2-1. The result means that the Netherlands is on to the round of 16, while Cameroon is eliminated.

Dennis Rommedahl scored one Danish goal and set up Nicklas Bendtner for the other. Samuel Eto’o scored Cameroon’s lone marker.

Paraguay did themselves a huge favor on Day 10 with a 2-0 win over Slovakia. Goals from Enrique Vera and Cristian Riveros gave Paraguay the victory and a position at the top of Group F with a very good chance to advance.

The shocker of the weekend was the 1-1 draw between Italy and New Zealand. The defending champs from Italy have had to come back in each of their first two games to earn a draw, leaving their chances to advance up in the air.

Vincenzo Iaquinta scored the Italian goal on a penalty kick, while Shane Smeltz opened the scoring for the Kiwis in the 7th minute of the match.

Brazil got out to a three-goal lead before Didier Drogba scored one for the Ivory Coast in a 3-1 game that sent Brazil on to the next round. Elano had one and Luis Fabiano had the other two Brazilian goals. Brazil has now advanced from the group stage in 11 straight World Cups.

In an offensively challenged FIFA World Cup 2010, the goals are finally starting to come, as Denmark, Paraguay, and Brazil all registered multi-goal games on the weekend. The Netherlands and Brazil advanced to the round of 16, while Italy continues to struggle along with other European soccer nations, Spain, England, and France. Who will be the next to pull off an upset?

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Last modified on Monday, 27 June 2011 08:43

Happy is a regular contributor to RosebudMag.com and has written for various other publications, including Black Belt, Inside Hockey, and FoxSports.com. He transitioned to life as a writer following a decade-long career as a touring musician. He lives with his son in Vancouver, British Columbia

Website: www.rosebudmag.com/hkreter

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