Ooooh, ello. It's the First XI World Cup bulletin!
Here's what's happening in glistening South Africa today:
Friday 18 June 2010
12:30 Portugal v North Korea, Cape Town, BBC
15:00 Chile v Switzerland, Port Elizabeth, BBC
19:30 Spain v Honduras, Johannesburg (Ellis Park), ITV
There's a little known fact about the phrase "1966 and all that" - the "all that" refers to Portugal and North Korea's only previous World Cup meeting before today, at Goodison Park in 1966. Portugal ran out 5-3 winners with Eusebio, who was pretty good at football, scoring four. Remarkably, Korea went 3-0 up. We would snap your face off for a reprise of that scoreline today. Snap. Your face. Clean off.
Switzerland haven't conceded a goal in 7 hours and 34 minutes of World Cup football, which is bloody impressive. Chile welcome back striker Humberto Suazo, who is bloody good. He scored more goals than anyone else in South American qualifying.
Honduras are huge fans of conceding solitary goals. They've done it in four previous World Cup finals appearances. Spain are hoping to become the first side ever to win the World Cup after losing their opening game.
On this day in 1994 Argentina crushed Greece 4-1 and Diego Maradona did a cocaine mental right into the camera after scoring. He was promptly banned for drug use.
MATCH OF THE DAY 19:30, ITV
PORTUGAL V NORTH KOREA
Group C, Green Point Stadium, Cape Town. Capacity: 66,000
Make no bones about it. Portugal, the world’s 4th ranked team, should beat North Korea, the world’s 105th ranked team. In fact, this should be a hop, skip and pouting stepover in the afternoon sunshine for Ronaldo and co under the watchful eye of ex-Manchester United assitant manager Carlos Queiroz. It’s probably a question of how many they win by, which could be all-important if The Group of Death™ goes down to goal difference. So the world’s most expensive footballer better have his pink and purple shooting boots on. If he nets six he’ll beat the record Oleg Salenko set against Cameroon in 1994. If he doesn’t, point, laugh and mock his fake tan.
PLAYER TO WATCH
HONG YONG-JO (above)
Name the only North Korean footballer who plies his trade in Europe? Too slow – it’s their captain, 27-year-old Hong Yong-Jo, a striker who holds down a place in the squad of Russian Premier League side FC Rostov. Hong, who found his way to Rostov via a stint with the equally unfashionable FK Bezanija in Serbia, ensured their place in the finals for the first time since 1966 by becoming the first footballer to score in Jordan since Dwight Yorke, then stroking home a penalty in his side’s crucial draw against similarly-named rivals South Korea.
HALF TIME QUIZ
1 Against Scotland in 1986, Jose Batista because the quickest player to be sent off in World Cup history. How long did he last?
2 Bobby Moore was accused of what on the eve of the 1970 tournament?
3 Where is the original World Cup (Jules Rimet trophy) now?
4 When was the term ‘Group of Death’ first used?
5 Ronaldinho donated what to charity during the 2006 finals?
MATCH OF THE DAY 2
MISS PORTUGAL vs MISS(ES) NORTH KOREA
Who's hotter? Have a think, do a series of tests, possibly powernap on it, then tell us your answer in the comments box.
It is Flor Gurreiro, who is 26 years old and was born in the town of Montijo, which is famous for its numerous roads
Representing North Korea:
It is a large group of North Korean fans. This is clearly unfair. Flor Gurreiro cannot possibly hope to defeat more than a dozen North Korean fans in a fight.
England's Jubilani balls got lost at Wembley, according to Adidas.
Check back at 11 for tomorrow for the next First 11 World Cup Bulletin.