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Page last updated at 13:41 GMT, Saturday, 19 June 2010 14:41 UK

Saturday's World Cup round-up

Koman Coulibaly faces protests from players
Koman Coulibaly's decision to disallow a late goal looked dubious

Fifa says it will make a formal comment on Monday on the performance of referee Koman Coulibaly in the United States' 2-2 draw with Slovenia.

The Mali official, who was taking charge of his first World Cup match, ruled out a potential winner for the USA in the closing stages but refused to identify who he had penalised.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says the failure of big teams like England, France and Spain to live up to expectation so far at the World Cup is down to fear of failure. "One reason is caution, fear of failure, response to huge demands. These teams will just glide through though, most of them, then you will see them really play," he said.

New Zealand captain Ryan Nelsen says England's poor showing at the World Cup so far is down to the demands of the Premier League - "mentally and physically the hardest league in the world," said the Blackburn defender.

Fifa has announced that single yellow cards received at the World Cup will only be cleared after the quarter-final stage of the competition. The move is a change from previous years, when players booked only once during the group games went into the knockout stage with a clean slate.

One of the reasons for the change is to help key players avoid missing the final if their team get there, as Germany's Michael Ballack did in 2002 after being booked in the second round and semi-final.

More than 21 million people tuned in to watch England's 0-0 draw against Algeria, according to viewing figures released on Saturday.

A peak audience of 21.3 million watched the group stage game on ITV1 - a million more than watched the opening England match last Saturday against the United States.

Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon will have an operation after the World Cup on the back problem which could rule him out of the rest of the tournament. It means he could miss up to four months of the Italian domestic season.

Buffon, who was substituted in his team's opening group match against Paraguay, has a herniated disc and will not feature against New Zealand. The 32-year-old has delayed surgery in the hope of playing some further part in South Africa.

Didier Drogba is being tipped to start for the Ivory Coast in their match against Brazil on Sunday after making a steady recovery from a fractured elbow.

"Do not be surprised if Drogba starts," said coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, who brought the Chelsea striker on as a second-half substitute in the 0-0 draw with Portugal.

Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar has defended coach Dunga's abrasive style - and likened him to Jose Mourinho, who led Italian side Inter Milan to the Treble last season.

Julio Cesar, who played under Mourinho at the San Siro, said: "Dunga is only putting in place a work philosophy. Mourinho did exactly the same as what Dunga is doing now. We won everything with this work philosophy."

France midfielder Jeremy Toulalan has admitted that his side have failed to operate as a team in South Africa, despite having a number of talented individuals.

The French, beaten by Mexico in their last match, are struggling to make the second round and Toulalan said: "The difference between us and Mexico is that they are playing as a team, and we have 11 individuals. We have high-quality players. What we missed was being a collective on the pitch."

Coach Joachim Loew is still convinced Germany will make it past the group phase and says the shock defeat against Serbia has not sent them into "headless chicken mode."

"It is obvious that we are going to be under more pressure now, but we will make the round of 16," insisted Loew, who admitted to being "devastated" by the Serbia result. A loss against Ghana could send the Germans out of the tournament.

Manchester City's Roque Santa Cruz believes Paraguay are capable of reaching the quarter-finals for the first time in the country's history.

"We want to go at least to the quarter-finals. In Paraguayan history it's never been done," declared the striker, who came on as a substitute in the 1-1 draw against Italy," stated Santa Cruz.

North Korean footballing legend Pak Doo-Ik has praised the current team for their World Cup exploits and predicted that they will cause more surprises following their credible display against Brazil.

The former striker, who was pivotal in his country's win over Italy in the 1966 World Cup, said: "I never dreamt I would see a day like this. This is a big surprise. North Korean football will continue to shock the world."

Updated throughout the day



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see also
Friday's World Cup round-up
18 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Thursday's World Cup round-up
17 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Wednesday's World Cup round-up
16 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Tuesday's World Cup 2010 round-up
15 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Monday's World Cup 2010 round-up
14 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Sunday's World Cup 2010 round-up
13 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010


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