England 1, Paraguay 0: Good atmosphere in the Waldstadion here, but most of the air had gone out of the balloon by the time it ended. England looked fine to start, then did a slow fade after Steven Gerrard was booked before 20 minutes were up. With his exuberance and invention gone as he became less aggressive, no one stepped into the breach. All they could show for their day was a third-minute own goal by aging Paraguay captain Carlos Gammara, a pretty strong indictment. Terry was a pillar for England, Carlos Paredes ran well for the Paraguayans, who lost their starting goalkeeper, Justo Villar, after just seven minutes due to a leg injury, which really puts a damper on any good vibes they could get out of this one, where they played okay apart from some very shaky opening minutes.
Trinidad & Tobago 0, Sweden 0. The first big shock result of the tournament, and I didn't see a second of it, working after the England game. Story lines: Shaka Hislop, 10-man T & T survive. For more, go here.
Argentina 2, Ivory Coast 1. Best game of the tournament. Dinner guests at the Italian local were quite taken with Argentina, and in the stands Diego Maradona was constantly camera-checked -- that stomach staple really has done wonders. "They could win this thing" was the general tone, but this is such a tough group and I'm still not convinced. Ivory Coast buzzed all around but couldn't equalize. They're going to be a real tough out if they don't get down on themselves -- meantime, Argentina's got to be pretty happy to have taken the maximum points and be finished with them.
Netherlands vs Serbia & Montenegro. Colleague Cathal Kelly will be in Leipzig for this one. Should be excellent as the other two in now-leading Argentina's Group of Death square off in a contrast of styles. Netherlands 1, Serbia & Montenegro 1.
Mexico vs Iran. Mexico try for CONCACAF's first W. Mexico 2, Iran 0.
Angola vs Portugal. I'll be at this one in Cologne, a matchup of former master and colony that may throw off some sparks. Portugal 2, Angola 1.
Quote of the day
"I have resigned without notice. The players boycotted (three closed) training sessions and with that my basis to work has been removed. It has destroyed a dream of my life." 68-year-old Otto Pfister resigns as coach of Togo, where they appear far more interested in a pay dispute.