We learned that it’s a lot easier to make mistakes than great plays. Denmark coughed up a brutal own goal thanks to the unluckily placed heads and backs of their defenders. Paraguay blew the chance to cripple Italy’s dreams of a repeat when their keeper threw a drunkard’s punch and allowed the ball to fall right into De Rossi’s lap.
We learned that Cameroon has one game plan when down a goal in the last twenty minutes: hoof the ball from midfield into the box over and over, no matter how many times your players fail to come down with the Jabulani.
We learned that Italy’s age is in fact a hindrance, and they’ll make average squads look downright explosive, especially once play’s taken out wide. We also learned that the nation of Italy has in fact produced a goalie besides Buffon but that said keeper plays with the confidence of a Steve Carell character.
We learned that Japan can win on the road.
We learned that you can dress like Atletico Madrid and still play quality football.
We learned that Wesley Sneijder is still the best playmaking midfielder in the world, and that Dirk Kuyt is still an unimpressive player who somehow manages to put himself in the right place for easy goals too often for it to be coincidence.
What else did we learn?