This was naturally a work in progress, not meant to go live until tomorrow! It’s up now, by mistake, so will have to stay up. Let’s hope Paraguay – Salut! Sunderland‘s non-English team of choice in South Africa – manage to stay up (as in 1-0 up) …
Er, see the 1-1 final whistle update by clicking here
In the first 10 minutes of Paraguay v Italy, I was vaguely aware – while doing other things such as replying to hyper-sensitive Celtic fans – of one excellent saving tackle, one superb block and a decent forward pass from our own Paulo da Silva.
“Il joue a Sunderland,” the French commentator mentioned in a quiet moment that he felt called for Motsonesque detail. “Mais il joie pas beaucoup.”
Well yes, mon ami, we were saying the same sort of thing for much of last season when the back four was struggling as da Silva languished on the bench. So tonight was a rare opportunity for Sunderland fans to see him. I was also aware of Cristiano Riveros in the first half, but rather less so.
And then, rather later but all of a sudden, Paraguay were 1-0 up, a sublime header from Alcaraz converting an enticing free-kick from Torres.
Any team that starts with two Sunderland players and plays in something close to our colours deserves out support, especially if they’re playing the reigning champions. Sorry Italy, but I’d love you not to improve on the scoreline over the next 45 minutes or so.