Remember, everyone: Everything is funnier when it is translated into the language of the Swedish Chef. Bork bork bork! Anyway, Sweden had a disappointing draw in the first round, and if they can't sneak out a win here, they could be in serious trouble with the Brits next on the docket.
Your live blogger? It's Michael Colacicco, of Naughty Baseball, who previously live-blogged the Brazil-Croatia game. It's gonna be fun, so follow along in the comments, email us with thoughts and be safe out there. Bork bork bork!
Thanks for listening and enjoy the rest of the CUP. Cheers!
Man Of the Match: Freddie Ljungberg AKA Slash AKA Model/Soccer Stud
Paraguay played a solid game, but it seemed like only a matter of time, 88 minutes to be exact, before Sweden scored. I feel especially bad for Paraguay's goalie, Bobadilla, who played a solid game. Sweden's chances for advancing now look good.
Sweden 1-Paraguay 0
88:04: BOOYAASHAKA!!!! Take your lace making and go home!!!! Sweden scores! Finally...Elmander heads the ball to Ljungberg who beats Bobadilla on a header in the lower left corner of the goal. My friend is very excited about Freddie's play.
86:45: Elmander, a recent sub for Sweden, fires a ringer, but it's right at Bobadilla.
84:00: Barreto with a legitimate, even by football standards takedown of Ljungberg. He's awarded a yellow card.
82:35: Paraguay's Barreto with a deep shot, setting up a corner. Off the corner, the balls sails way high.
81:51: In case you stepped out to the bathroom for a minute, the game remains scoreless.
79:32: Allback nearly strikes again. Larsson headed it down across the box to Allback, but he's denied by a diving Bobadilla.
76:32: Isaksson using those gloves and stopping a Valdez stinger.
75:00: What's happened in the last twenty minutes: halfback to fullback, fullback back to halfback, to forward back to halfback, turnover. Repeat said scenario for other team.
72:57: YELLOW CARD!! Given to one of Paraguay's halfbacks.
67:51: Well, what do you know? Allback crosses to Larsson, but the ball floats over the cross bar. In case you're counting, Sweden hasn't scored in 158 minutes in this world cup. Wait...neither has Paraguay.
66:19: Allback's creating all kinds of trouble for the Paraguayan defense. That's what I get for not knowing who he is.
64:49: FYI: Apparently, if Nelson Valdez wasn't playing soccer, he'd be a formula 1 driver.
58:24: Allback nearly put it home for Sweden. He got through on a breakaway, chipped it over the goalie's head, but a Paraguayan defender knocked it just off the goal-line. About as close as you can get to scoring.
57:08: I thought my prayers were going to be answered—Acuna with a shot outside the 18, but saved easily.
55:25: I'm no soccer purist...I need a freaking goal....please, someone, score.
53:40: Larsson curved the ball around the wall, but Bobadilla with a nice stabbing save.
52:43: Pretty boy Ljungberg taken out hard just outside the box, a great chance for Sweden.
50:28: Acuna given a yellow card for hitting a Swede in the back. Paraguay is setting the tempo in this half, coming out firing.
46:30: Valdez with a great opportunity—broke through the defense, but hit the side net.
46:00: In a surprising move, Ibrahimovic has been pulled from the ball game. His replacement? None other than Allback, a man I have never heard of before.
Sweden is pretty much dominating the match. I am praying for a bit more goal scoring. In other news, my friend just told me Ljungberg has done some modeling...how or why he knows this, I don't know.
Sweden 0-Paraguay 0
42:32: Awesome! The famous bicycle kick was just attempted by Larsson. Although he missed the ball...I still respect the effort.
40:30: Long ball to Ibrahimovic that should've been put home, but he chokes it off the side of his foot.
40:08: Nunez with a laser for Paraguay—nearly drives it home, but it goes well right.
38:21: It seems like it's only a matter of time before Sweden scores. And now that I've said this, I'm sure Paraguay will march down the field and...
33:27: Larsson another chance, but heads it into the goalie's hands.
32:30: Another decent chance for Paraguay, but Valdez botches it over the cross-bar.
31:30: Santa Cruz finally takes a shot for Paraguay, but the ball sails wide right.
28:10: Scratch that Paraguay having possession comment. Sweden is creating plenty more opportunities—crosses, through-balls, corners.
26:39: Beautiful through ball to Larsson in the box, but he couldn't get a foot on it, and the ball played outside the goal.
25:35: The announcer has just informed me that if the USA beats Italy, and then beats Ghana, that they have a stong possibility of advancing...makes me wonder.
23:04: All-Star Valdez is down...wait, he just got up. Paraguay is keeping a bit more of the possession now.
20:10: Valdez and Roque trying to create something, but they keep getting stumped by Linderoth and co.
18:58: Paraguay with a corner kick, but nothing much doing.
15:42: Sweden applying all the pressure still. The other guy besides David Beckham you should not leave alone with your girlfriend, Frederik Ljungberg who has a Grady Sizemore like fanbase, just had a nice cross that Bobadilla deflects out of bounds.
13:40: Paraguayans falling all over the place. Finally draws a card on Sweden's Linderoth.
12:20: Wilhemsson with another shot for Sweden that just goes wide.
9:02: O ya...as for the game, Kallstrom with a strike that Bobadilla barely knocks out of bounds—Sweden applying most of the pressure now.
8 mins: I'd like to take the time right now to tell everybody about why I hate Ibrahimovic. Besides the fact that he should probably be playing for another team in the cup, he has cemented himself as one of the cockiest soccer players in all the land. When he was fifteen he was asked to tryout for Arsenal, to which he replied by saying something along the lines of, I don't do trials.
5 mins: Larsson with a free kick just outside the 18—nails it gracefully into the wall.
3 mins: Aldo Bobadilla, Paraguay's goalkeeper is doing a shotty job in goal. Sweden almost capitalized.
30 secs: Paraguay with a free-kick at mid-field, applying a bit of pressure on the Swedes.
Let the games begin!!
Sweden is coming off a terribly disappointing draw against Trinidad and Tobago, but have no fear Swedish fans. Soccernet has just told me that in 1994, Sweden opened up with a draw against Cameroon and made it all the way to the semifinals. And won their group in 2002, after tying England in their opener. The Swedes are being bashed by their media, and could cause the team to press. If they can stay composed and get their studs involved, Larsson and Ibrahimovic, they should take the three points. That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if they do choke and Paraguay steals it.
Paraguay wasn't terribly upset with their 1-0 opening match loss to England. The only goal, after all, was an own goal by captain Carlos Gamarra. Paraguay also won't have their starting goaltender, Justo Villar. They should look to attack more against Sweden than they did against England to involve their talented strikers—ESPN favorite Roque Santa Cruz and Nelson Valdez.
Two very different countries battling it out, where the winner will likely move into the next round. But as Shake from Aqua Teen Hunger Force says, "there can be only one."
Paraguay, on the other hand, literally means, "water that goes to the water," because it lies on the Paraguayan river. Typically, they enjoy lace making, embroidery and music played on their native harp. Surrounded by Brazil and Argentina, these guys are also pretty good at soccer.
The Kingdom of Sweden. Swedes enjoy some of the highest standards of living in the Western world, are great consumers of newspapers, and have tons of holidays—Midsummer on April 30th celebrates the Summer solstice. They also go crazy in August celebrating crayfish-inspired parties.
My, or, more specifically, Wikipedia's tidbits on these countries.