Italians held by South Americans
REIGNING champions Italy were held by Paraguay in their opening match in Group F yesterday.
The South americans had taken the lead just before half-time when new Wigan signing antolin alcaraz rose highest to head home a free-kick.
Italy looked much better after the break and they levelled with just over 20 minutes left as daniele de Rossi poked the ball home after goalkeeper Justo Villar missed his punch.
The Italians were the better side but failed to impress up front. They also lacked their usual flair . . . but write them off at your peril.
The Italians have a knack of coming good the longer the tournament goes on and should still go on to top the group, New Zealand and Slovakia opening their World Cup account today.
Skipper Fabio Cannavaro looked composed at the back for the Italians and Simon Pepe also impressed despite the disappointing result for Marcello Lippi’s side.
Paraguay did enough to suggest they could also qualify from the group and in the end a draw was probably the fairest result.