Hi. Hi. Hi. Hi. Hi. It's the First XI World Cup bulletin!
Here's what's happening in cunning South Africa today:
Tuesday 29 June 2010
15:00 Paraguay v Japan, Pretoria, ITV1
19:30 Spain v Portugal, Cape Town, BBC One
There's nothing quite so powerful as two countries being extremely close to one another geographically to create a spicy rivalry. Germany hate Holland. Scotland hate England. England hate Argentina. But that's just because they're difficult. Spain and Portugal aren't massively fond of eachother, with the Portugese regarding Spain as nasty older brothers. Spain, like all big brothers, probably punched Portugal when their parents weren't looking all the way to Center Parcs in the back of the family's Vauxhall Astra. The bastard. Today is the first time the sides have ever met in the World Cup, and Portugal have won only four of 32 clashes in other competitions. They triumphed the last time the countries played eachother, though - 1-0 in a Euro 2004 group match.
Japan charmed the world with a ridiculously skilfull dismantling of Denmark last week and two stunning free kick goals. Paraguay, like seemingly every South American team at this World Cup, are pretty bloody good in defence and pretty bloody good going forward. Whsiper it, this might be one of the games of the tournament. Paraguay have lost all three of their previous second round World Cup games, and failed to score in each game. Japan has invented a lot of wacky stuff like this.
On this day in 1994 Saudi Arabia beat Belgium 1-0. At the RFK Stadium. In Washington DC. In a match watched by 52,959 people. And refereed by Hellmut Krug. Of Germany. No? Us neither.
MATCH OF THE DAY 19:30, BBC One
SPAIN V PORTUGAL
Second round. Ellis Park, Johannesburg Durban. Capacity: 55,686
Spain in 10 words: Flattering to deceive slightly so far, possible shock exit tonight
Portugal in 10 words: Ronaldo Ronaldo Ronaldo Ronaldo Ronaldo Ronaldo Nuno Gomes Ronaldo Ronaldo
What the nation of Spain would look like if it were filled with Peri-Peri chicken and chips, the official national dish of Portugal, and if Cristiano Ronaldo was never allowed to visit:
HALF TIME QUIZ
Which World Cup finalists' emblem have we subtly defaced below? The first correct answer in the comments section receives a cash prize (terms and conditions apply) [TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Cash prize value = 1p. Cost to enter = 1p. Your home is at risk if you do not continue to correctly identify bastardised national football association logos]
MATCH OF THE DAY 2
ACTUAL MISS JAPAN vs ACTUAL MISS PARAGUAY
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's Miss Japan 2007 - Mika Hagi.
It's Miss Paraguay 2009 - Viviana Benitez Duarte.
There's definitely something about this Dutch fancy dress costume which makes us feel uncomfortable.
Check back on Friday morning for the next First 11 World Cup Bulletin!