Good luck, Kiwis. Italy wasn’t sharp in their opening game—meaning, I suppose, that they didn’t flop with the same style as is typical—but that doesn’t mean they’re not a powerhouse and unless New Zealand comes out with a Swiss-style defensive bunker formation and tactical set, the Azzuri will likely rack up a few goals. They may anyway.

I’m still cheering for New Zealand.

OMG! A long free kick goes through and NZ taps it home! 1-0 New Zealand! I can’t believe that they can hold this for another—what? we’re 7 minutes in?—83 minutes, but I love that Italy is behind.

italy nearly equalizes a minute later; keeper punches out surrounded by Italians. Italy mounting pressure now. Entertaining!

Yellow to Fallon of NZ for being an idiot. Italy having little problem steaming down the wings.

Italy off the post in the 26th. Great shot! Lots of pressure from Italy now.

Penalty for Italy. Another GD flop. Unbelievable. Man I hate the Italians. Horrible, horrible call. Italy converts. 1-1. Makes me ill. Seriously, anyone could play for Italy. All you have to do is be able to fall down.

NZ makes it to halftime, 1-1. You can’t say that Italy’s not dominating. Possession is roughly 75-25 in their favor and they’ve outshot NZ 11-1, but their goal was thoroughly undeserved.

Great shot by Italy and great save by the NZ keeper in the 25th minute of the 2nd. Italy has the run of play still, but NZ is generating the occasional run (not necessarily chance).

Wood for NZ just misses wide in the 84th minute.

And that’s it, 1-1 in the end. Good game, great result for New Zealand, though truth be told they deserved 1-0 victory. Bad news for Italy, but it’s not irredeemable. Their defense was good again—they’ve only allowed less than 5 shots in the tournament (2 for goals) and with a little luck on the offense end they’ll be OK. I still hate the flopping, though.