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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Italy 1-1 Paraguay

Italy had to fight back from a goal down to earn a point against Paraguay as they began the defence of their crown with a hard-fought 1-1 draw.

Italy looked like they would be on the wrong end of the first major shock of the 2010 World Cup when they fell behind to Antolin Alcaraz's first-half header but an error from the Paraguay's goalkeeper Justo Villa gifted Daniele de Rossi an equaliser.

The Azzurri, who featured five of their 2006 winning team in their starting line-up, looked short of ideas going forward and also have a concern over the fitness of legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who was forced off at half-time with an apparent back injury.

Italy dominated possession but Paraguay's disciplined and regimented approach held firm. Italy looked a lot sharper after equalising and ended the stronger side but they were still finding things frustrating in the final third and had to settle for shots from distance.

Italy did avoid defeat but this was not a performance to reassure their army of travelling fans that they are in any sort of shape to defend their title.

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