A Winning Start...
England 1-0 Paraguay
After all the waiting, build up and anticipation, England kicked off their World Cup campaign with a narrow, but just about deserved victory against Paraguay.
David Beckham's free kick gave England the lead after just four minutes. Okay okay, so it was officially given as an own goal... but the quality of the free kick was such, that one way or the other, it would certainly have gone in anyway.
Despite first half dominance, England couldn't add to their lead. The second half however, was a completely different story. As in Japan 2002, the blistering heat began to take it's toll and we were a mere shadow of the team we were in the previous half. This led to Paraguay coming into the game more, but for all the possession, they rarely threatened the England goal.
England: Robinson, Neville, Ferdinand, Terry, Ashley Cole, Beckham, Lampard, Gerrard, Joe Cole (Hargreaves 82), Owen (Downing 56), Crouch.
Lofty's Man of the Match: Steven Gerrard
Okay, not the best game in the World, but a win all the same and a good start to the World Cup for England. I had said before that I thought this would be our toughest group game, so overall, I am more than happy with the result.
The performances can, and will, come later...