In the first four days there have already been several injury scares.
The first injury was suffered by Villar, Paraguay’s keeper, who is now out of the World Cup. The keeper got injured in the 8th minute with a hamstring strain and while Paraguay’s chances of getting into the second round are low, Villar will be out of action for another month.
Koller (the Czech Republic striker) got injured just before half-time with a thigh tear and is expected to be out of the group stage matches. Whether he will play in the second round matches (assuming the Czechs get through) is doubtful – Koller is confident but his team is cautious and not optimistic about his chances. Milan Baros his already with a foot injury, and that leaves the Czechs short of strike power. They still have considerable talent to call upon in the shape of Nedved and Rosicky to score from the midfield, and they should be able to negotiate Ghana safely (thus guaranteeing progression to the second round).
Baros and Shevchenko are fit to play in their countries next matches.
But the worst news would be for Serbia & Montenegro, whose United defender Vidic is out of the World Cup after tearing knee ligaments in a training session on Monday. The injury is expected to sideline Vidic for several weeks. Let’s hope he’s fit for the pre-season trip to South Africa, at least.