Arjen Robben and Ricardo Carvalho made successful starts to their World Cup campaigns yesterday. Robben put in a man-of-the-match performance and was on target for the Netherlands, scoring the only goal of the game as they beat Serbia and Montenegro 1-0. Mateja Kezman appeared for the opposition. Carvalho helped Portugal to keep a clean sheet against Angola, with Pauleta’s fourth minute strike separating the two sides. Former Chelsea midfielders Tiago and Maniche both appeared for Scolari’s side, while Paulo Ferreira was an unused substitute.
Two more Chelsea players are in action today. Petr Cech will appear for the Czech Republic against the USA in Gelsenkirchen, while Michael Essien’s Ghana have a tough task on their World Cup debut as they take on Italy in Hanover.
The clamour for Sven-Goran Eriksson to include Wayne Rooney in Thursday’s game against Trinidad and Tobago has increased after Theo Walcott suffered a minor calf injury in training. Michael Owen’s lacklustre performance against Paraguay suggested that he is still some way short of match fitness, leaving England with Peter Crouch as the only fully fit striker in the squad.