North Korea surprised everyone by refusing to be mugged by Brazil (and actually scoring), Portugal and Ivory Coast were too wary to inflict any damage and New Zealand popped a cherry of sorts, landing their first ever World Cup point. This was day five of the World Cup 2010.
Talking point of the day
North Korea can defend – and attack – and didn’t just acquit themselves against Brazil but actually made them sweat. Naturally, Brazil had some sensational moments, but their Asian opponents were hard to break down, organised and committed. The most clandestine nation on Earth finally revealed its secret - they’re good at football. Ivory Coast and Portugal beware.
Goal of the day
Ji Yun-Nam’s cool, calm strike on 88 minutes will go down in North Korean history (if it actually gets reported in the censorship-crazed country), but for sheer beauty it was Maicon. The Inter Milan player (high up on Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid wish list) swerved the ball in from a tight angle - a banana shot Roberto Carlos would have been proud of.
TV moment to savour
Wayne Rooney’s North Korean counterpart Jong Tae-Se blubbing during the national anthem. That and Adrian Chiles AKA the brummie Gok Wan dissing the Brazilian coach Dunga’s winter coat: “We think he looks like one of the captains in Das Boot.” We think he’s got more important things to think about.
Should England be worried?
The first save in the Ivory Coast game against Portugal came on 54 minutes, Slovakia were sluggish and New Zealand lively but ultimately unthreatening. Brazil took their time unlocking North Korea but they still looked their silky, skilful selves. So yes, they should be worried.
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