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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 June 2006, 13:42 GMT 14:42 UK
World Cup debutants: Opening matches
Togolese supporters in Lome, Togo
Erick Kaglan was in Lome with these supporters when Togo scored
Eight people - one from each of the debutant nations at the World Cup - will regularly give us updates from their country as they watch the tournament.

Here, Mykola Oliyamyk, a friend of our panellist Andriy Hunder, describes the pre-match excitement in Kiev ahead of the game against Spain.

Erick Kaglan also gives the reaction from Togo to his team's defeat against South Korea.

It follows the varying reactions of Lamisi Dabire in Ghana, Veronika Diestlova from the Czech Republic, Kahumba Pedro in Angola, Tom Zivanovic from Serbia and Montenegro, Alfred Jaovi in the Ivory Coast and Nylah Ali from Trinidad and Tobago.

MYKOLA OLIYAMK, KIEV, UKRAINE, WEDNESDAY 1255 GMT

Mykola Oliyamyk
It is 1600 local time (1300 GMT) in Kiev and most of the people have been let off work early to watch the game.

Most of the bars with big screens were pre-booked and some were charging entrance fees.

The atmosphere was very festive and the streets were empty by 1600 local time (1300 GMT).

It is a historic day for Ukrainian football and everyone is aware that this is the toughest match in the group.

ERICK KAGLAN, LOME, TOGO, TUESDAY 1515 GMT, FULL TIME - SOUTH KOREA 2-1 TOGO

Togo supporter Erick Kaglan

After the success of the first half we really thought that we were going to win the match.

The team were playing very well, doing everything right.

I think that we could have won if the captain, Jean-Paul Abado, had not committed those fouls and been sent off.

Even when Korea scored their first goal people were still cheerful and confident that Togo could go on to win.

But everyone knew that it would be difficult for the team to get back in the lead after the second goal was scored.

From then on there was a feeling of despair throughout the crowd.

The one good thing to come out of today is that there is renewed hope amongst those who had become disenchanted with the team before the World Cup.

The next two games against Switzerland and France will be difficult but I hope that we can perfom well enough despite not winning this one.

ERICK KAGLAN, LOME, TOGO, TUESDAY 1350 GMT, HALF TIME - SOUTH KOREA 0-1 TOGO

When I first got to the square it was not nearly as busy as I had expected it to be.

But after Mohammed Kader scored the goal people came rushing out to watch the game on the big screens so now the square is nearly full.

It has united the fans with those who had lost patience with the team and its problems.

Many supporters now believe that victory is possible for Togo.

There would be indescribable joy here if we win.

ERICK KAGLAN, LOME, TOGO, TUESDAY 1225 GMT

Togolese fans in Frankfurt
Togolese fans getting ready before the match against South Korea

I am going to watch the match against South Korea with my friends in a square called Deckon which is in the centre of Lome.

There will be about 3,000 people watching it on big screens there today.

Due to recent difficulties surrounding the team and the coach a lot of people in Togo are less enthusiastic about the World Cup than they were.

This means there are fewer flags and team colours being worn around the city.

But there are still lots of people who will be watching the game and who are optimistic that we will do well.

I find it difficult to predict how Togo will do against South Korea but I think there is a chance that we can beat them.

South Korea is a very tough team and our side will play their hearts out.

A victory would be a dream for us
Of all the African countries that have played in the tournament so far, I think we have the best chance of winning our game.

A victory would be a dream for us. Even a draw will mean a festival - it would bring people out into the streets.

LAMISI DABIRE, ACCRA, GHANA, MONDAY 2120 GMT, FULL TIME - ITALY 2-0 GHANA

Ghana fans in Berlin
Ghana fans will not lose hope yet, despite their defeat by Italy
Well, we lost, but we're not too disappointed. It was a beautiful game to watch.

We couldn't convert any of our chances but our players played like people who had been to the World Cup several times.

So they have left us with hope after this performance.

We were all on our feet throughout the whole match, cheering and shouting on the Black Stars.

But as soon as the second goal went in, we sat down. Some people left the pub. They couldn't watch any more.

Even if we had scored one goal we would have celebrated. But there will be no celebration here tonight.

There are still people on the streets making noise, so we will try to stay optimistic before we meet Czech Republic on Saturday.

I am walking home now and people are passing me on the street saying "don't lose hope".

So I won't, just yet.

LAMISI DABIRE, ACCRA, GHANA, MONDAY 1955 GMT, HALF TIME - ITALY 1-0 GHANA

We haven't given up yet.

At least we're playing well and I'm still on for my pre-match prediction of 2-1.

I think we can turn it around.

People were disappointed here when Italy scored, especially because we have had good opportunities which we should have taken.

The optimism is not so strong here as it was but there's 45 minutes to go, so all we can do is hope.

LAMISI DABIRE, ACCRA, GHANA, MONDAY 1845 GMT

Lamisi Dabire
There is a real sense of urgency across Accra as people rush home and into pubs and bars to watch our first match against Italy.

Cars are rushing by with flags hanging out the windows and people on the streets are all in their Ghana colours.

I am going down to my neighbourhood pub to watch with my friends and my sister.

We are all decked out in our colours as well. I have my shirt, scarf and wristband.

I have given my hat to one of my friends for the match, but if we win I will ask for it back!

We are very optimistic and confident we can be the first African team to win at this World Cup.

I'm not sure if we are the best African side in the competition, but we will be the first to win a match.

We just must not concede in the first 10 minutes, as that is what Ivory Coast and Angola did.

We will be generous and give the Italians one goal, but we will win 2-1.

VERONIKA DIESTLOVA, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC, MONDAY 1810 GMT, FULL TIME - USA 0-3 CZECH REPUBLIC

Czech fan
Czech supporters expect success from their experienced team
We're very happy that we won obviously and it's great to be the first of the debutant teams to win.

We are celebrating, but not as enthusiastically as we should be.

This is of course due to the loss of our star striker Jan Koller to injury.

We're still not sure if he will return again in this tournament but it doesn't look good.

Of course we have other good players like Tomas Rosicky who scored two fantastic goals, but I'm not sure how far we will be able to go without Koller.

Everyone will stay and drink and celebrate into the night, but for all the happiness, there will be sadness too
We will have to see.

There were some wonderful moments during the match when we celebrated our team's goals and sang and chanted their names.

Everyone will stay and drink and celebrate into the night, but for all the happiness, there will be sadness too.

VERONIKA DIESTLOVA, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC, MONDAY 1655 GMT, HALF TIME - USA 0-2 CZECH REPUBLIC

It was really good fun here when we scored our two goals.

Everyone was chanting songs with the players' names and laughing at each other.

But our happiness is tinged with worry now that our goalscorer Jan Koller has gone off injured.

He's a very important player for us and it's the worst thing that could possibly happen to us.

We hope that he is not too badly injured or else it will be very difficult for us to go far.

We're not so surprised with the score. We expect to win this game.

I have been making a big effort to make myself heard above all the men here. It's a man's game in the Czech Republic!

VERONIKA DIESTLOVA, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC MONDAY 1550 GMT

Veronika Diestlova
There are many different feelings among Czechs ahead of our first match in the World Cup as the Czech Republic.

People are a mixture of excited, expectant and nervous. You cannot really imagine how we are feeling.

We are happy to be there, but we want and expect our team to well for us because this is the strongest team we have ever had.

I am in a sports club with my boyfriend and my friends that usually only holds about 40-60 people. Today there are around 250 of us.

I am the only woman in here, besides one waitress, so I'm going to have to scream very loudly to be heard!

If we win tonight we will celebrate all night.

It's important for us to get off to a good start and progress from there.

But it will be tough, the USA are a good team and we respect them.

I'm hoping for a 1-0 win for the Czech Republic.

LIMISI DABIRE, ACCRA, GHANA, MONDAY 1500 GMT

Ghana fan
Ghana's supporters are not daunted by a difficult group
With hours to go to kick-off in Ghana's first match ever in a World Cup tournament, the mood in Accra is one of high expectation.

Notwithstanding the might of the Italians, Ghanaians are hopeful that the Black Stars will tonight break the jinx suffered by African teams so far by winning the match by a margin of 2-1.

We are looking forward to an entertaining match between the Black Stars and the Azzurri.

With the likes of players like Stephen Appiah, Sulley Muntari, Samuel Kuffour and Michael Essien and our president on hand to support them, victory will surely be ours.

Our only prayer is that the skies will be friendly by sparing us the rains so we can watch the match outdoors and celebrate afterwards in the streets.

I have a lot of faith in the players and believe they'll make us proud.

Black Stars, shine for us!

KAHUMBA PEDRO, LUANDA, ANGOLA, SUNDAY 2120 GMT, FULL TIME - ANGOLA 0-1 PORTUGAL

We lost but we are still happy.

There is still lots of noise and cheering here in the pub.

This was our very first game in our first World Cup and we still played better than them. We were strong and powerful. We just couldn't score
Our team did their best for us and we cannot ask for any more than that.

We lost to a very strong Portugal side who have been to the World Cup many times.

This was our very first game in our first World Cup and we still played better than them. We were strong and powerful. We just couldn't score.

We will continue to play like we played tonight against Mexico and Iran in our next two games and hopefully we will win.

As for tonight, we will celebrate our team's performance.

KAHUMBA PEDRO, LUANDA, ANGOLA, SUNDAY 2000 GMT, HALF TIME - ANGOLA 0-1 PORTUGAL

We are sorry we're losing but we remain very excited because we're playing very well.

I am still on course for my score prediction, 2-1.

The second half will be ours, we can feel it here.

We are willing on our team, shouting our country's name, keeping the atmosphere positive.

We are playing like the Ivory Coast did on Saturday against Argentina.

We just have to go that step further and win.

My granny was concerned about what would happen but I told her we're going to do it.

We believe in Angola.

KAHUMBA PEDRO, LUANDA, ANGOLA, SUNDAY 1850 GMT

Angolan supporters
Angola fans hope they can beat their former colonial masters
I am on my way to the pub now with my friends and family to hopefully watch Angola beat Portugal.

We are very positive and confident we are going to win. I predict a score of 2-1 to Angola.

It's going to be difficult but we have already gone this far to the World Cup and now that we are there we want to show everyone, especially the Portuguese, that we can play.

The government has announced that if we beat our former colonial power tomorrow there will be a holiday, so that's an added motivation for us all.

I have got my friends around me, as well as my parents and my grandmother, who remembers our independence and just shows how important this game is to everyone in Angola.

We hope we can do the same as Senegal in 2002, when they beat their former colonial masters France.

KAHUMBA PEDRO, LUANDA, ANGOLA, SUNDAY 1540 GMT

Kahumba Pedro
My friends and I are having a barbecue today to mark our country's participation in the World Cup finals for the first time after many attempts.

I will then watch the match between my team and Portugal in a pub along with my friends, neighbours, and parents with a lot of excitement.

Every street in my town is covered in the national colours of red, black and yellow.

Some districts officials have put up big screens around Luanda for the people to watch our team playing its former colonial power. We are all only talking about football.

The people are confident of a positive result for the Palancas Negras.

Now is our time after so many years of war.

A victory will further strengthen national reconciliation.

TOM ZIVANOVIC, ZLATIBOR, SERBIA, SUNDAY 1520 GMT, FULL TIME - SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO 0-1 HOLLAND

We're very disappointed with that result.

We thought that a draw would have been the best result before this match, but now we face a real struggle after losing.

It was a tight game though and we could have got a draw. But overall we were too flat.

It's going to be really tough for all the debutant countries. It just shows how difficult the World Cup is
The bar we were in just emptied after the match - there was no heavy metal, not even a balled - but I think that's just as well, as we were downcast enough at the final whistle anyway!

A lot of people will be resigned now after this game. The uphill slope just got steeper.

But we have to pick ourselves up and be hopeful for the next game against Argentina because it's not over yet.

We have to give our team one more chance and be really up for that match on Friday, because if we lose that we're out.

It's going to be really tough for all the debutant countries. It just shows how difficult the World Cup is. I can't see anyone doing what Greece did at Euro 2004.

The competition here is high. The results will be tight - as they have already been. But you never know. One of us might just cause an upset in the second round of games. Let's hope that's us!

TOM ZIVANOVIC, ZLATIBOR, SERBIA, SUNDAY 1355 GMT, HALF TIME - SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO 0-1 HOLLAND

Serbia and Montenegro supporter
Serbia and Montenegro fans are hopeful but cautious
The atmosphere is a bit flat here.

Because of all the rain recently a lot of people have just gone home.

We went into a couple of bars with big screens and they were dead. But we did find one with a bit of atmosphere.

In saying that they are playing slow ballads at half time. Maybe if we turn it around in the second half they'll play some heavy metal or something!

I think it reflects something about the national psyche here though. There is a bit more realism after everything that's happened to people in recent years.

That's perhaps why people seem to talk down our chances. People also think our team is not really up to scratch.

I'm actually the most optimistic person in here! I'm definitely the most positive out of my group of four friends.

Hopefully my optimism will rub off everyone else. I think we have given a good account of ourselves.

Holland are a good side and we are in a really tough group but we can always turn it around.

TOM ZIVANOVIC, ZLATIBOR, SERBIA, SUNDAY 1240 GMT

Tom Zivanovic
We were meant to watch the match against Holland in Budva, Montenegro, but the weather was so bad there we left.

I was also surprised at how low key the build-up was. There was not a lot of people about ahead of the match and the big screens had not been erected outside - but that was mainly due to the weather.

So my friends and I are en route to Zlatibor, which is the biggest tourist resort in Serbia.

It's raining here as well but we're hoping for some good atmosphere in the bars at least.

Everyone is holding their breaths before our first match. If we win today the optimism will build slowly.

It already began building last night after Argentina beat Ivory Coast.

Just so long as they qualify, we can get on with taking care of Holland and Ivory Coast and hopefully get through.

Also, I think naturally people here are cautious about getting too hopeful after having their hopes dashed so many times over the past 15 years, with everything that has happened politically.

NYLAH ALI, PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, SATURDAY 2220 GMT

Trinidad and Tobago fans celebrate their draw against Sweden in Port of Spain (Pic: Nylah Ali)
Nylah Ali captured the jubilant scene in Port of Spain on Saturday
The party is getting into full swing here.

People are in seventh heaven after our draw with Sweden. We are really overwhelmed.

The are hundreds of people in the street and I'm sure there will be more later as it's still only early evening here.

There are steel bands marching through the streets, soca music everywhere and a real party atmosphere.

People's attitudes have really changed as well.

Before the match many people here, myself included, thought we were going to get hammered.

Now we now intend to get to the second round.

It's given us a new confidence.

I just hope the team don't get too cocky now.

ALFRED JAOVI, ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST, SATURDAY 2110 GMT, FULL TIME - ARGENTINA 2-1 IVORY COAST

Alfred Jaovi
We are sad that we lost but we are not too disappointed.

We are proud of our players. They played very well.

I am in a pub with my friends now to toast the players and their performances.

I'm glad they got a goal as a reward for their efforts.

It shows that they are still in there with a chance.

We are still hopeful we can progress.

I will watch the next match against Holland on Friday in another area of Abidjan and try and bring some luck to the Ivory Coast team.

ALFRED JAOVI, ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST, SATURDAY 2000 GMT, HALF TIME - ARGENTINA 2-0 IVORY COAST

There's a different atmosphere here now.

People are a bit disappointed with that performance but we are still here, still drinking and cheering the team on.

My friend had said to me before the match that whoever wins will win by 4-1.

So I'm afraid it looks like that will be Argentina.

But it's still not over.

There's a whole half to play and even if we lose, we still have two more matches.

This was always going to be one of our most difficult matches anyway.

I'm still looking forward to the second half, as are all the fans around me.

ALFRED JAOVI, ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST, SATURDAY 1830 GMT

Ivory Coast fans
Ivory Coast fans are tipping their team to do well in the tournament
There is a huge amount of noise and excitement here.

I am in a neighbourhood in the north of Abidjan where big screens have been erected outside.

Lots of people are arriving now and it's getting really crowded.

Cars are passing by beeping their horns.

People are out in the streets all over the city celebrating before the game has even started.

I will go right up the front under one of the screens so it's going to be very noisy!

As for how I think we will do, I am optimistic.

I think we can achieve a miracle and win 1-0, similar to what Cameroon did in their opening match against Argentina in 1990.

NYLAH ALI, PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, SATURDAY 1755 GMT, FULL TIME - TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO 0-0 SWEDEN

Nylah Ali
All I can say to that is wow!

They have done it! The players have achieved what many thought they couldn't.

You should have heard the noise when the final whistle went.

People were counting down the seconds and then there was uproar in the neighbourhood!

There'll be a lot of partying in the streets tonight.

I'm going out into the streets now to join the party myself.

All the trucks will be fired up now with sound systems and dancers on them.

We are all going to have to kiss the coach Leo Beenhaaker, then make him an honorary citizen.

NYLAH ALI, PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, SATURDAY 1755 GMT, HALF TIME - TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO 0-0 SWEDEN

I cannot believe that first half.

The players have put Trinidad and Tobago on the world map just with their first half performance.

They have achieved more than anyone expected them to already.

Right from when the national anthems were played I started to cry, it was very emotional.

They are playing so well for us. It's such a beautiful thing.

We did not expect anything like that.

It is only half time but if we continue like that we could win or draw.

We will go into the streets and party all night if we do.

I 'm glued to my screen. I can't leave now.

My friends are the same. I'll go out into the streets after the game.

NYLAH ALI, PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, SATURDAY 1545 GMT

Trinidad and Tobago supporters before the team's match against Sweden in Dortmund
'Soca Warriors' fans bring colour and flamboyance to the tournament
There is a strange kind of calm here before our opening game with Sweden.

The nerves have really set in.

People have gone through their excited phase and now that's given way to anxiousness.

People are so keyed up over this match.

Some of my friends can't even watch it.

Even our prime minister has told people not to put their expectations too high.

I'll watch the first half at home and then head down to some of the local bars.

I think we're going to get clobbered but you never know.






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