With serious allegations of corruption monopolizing the news cycle leading into the World Cup, the last thing FIFA needed following the opening match of Brazil 2014 was for the global headlines to be dominated by the awarding of a mystery penalty which would alter the course of the contest. Nmd Wholesale . Too bad the refs vanishing spray, which was first introduced in tournament play at 2011s Copa América, is only effective on the grass. We were all left wondering when the football would finally be the focus. All those questions were answered by the Dutch dominance of the World Cup holders yesterday. In the second half alone, Spain conceded twice as many goals as they did through seven matches en route to a first World Cup triumph in South Africa four-years ago. Then for an encore, Chile and Australia played out a highly spirited encounter. Jorge Sampaolis team were very convincing, and certainly would have won over many new admirers, that one of South Americas less glamorous nations, would be the one which punches well above its weight class at Brazil 2014. With Groups C and D taking to the pitch Day 3 provides us with the only quadruple header of the tournament. Where armchair enthusiasts the world over are treated to the prospect of four matches over the course of 11 hours. Todays headliner without question is the rumble in the jungle, as the aptly named Arena da Amazonia plays host to Italy v England. With four World Cup triumphs already to their name, a record which is only bettered by Brazils five, if Italy is the preening peacock of European football, then England is its Hippopotamus. Rare, if ever, has the land of St. George got their heads above the waterline during World Cups. Quite coincidentally the last time that happened was at Italia 90, which was also the last time the two nations met at a World Cup. Courtesy of Toto Schillacis late penalty, Italy prevailed 2-1 in the third-place playoff match. Through the entire history of World Cup quite remarkably, that meeting represents the only time the two nations have met at the tournament proper. They have though met in qualifying twice. The most recent time was for France 1998. Zolas superb strike at Wembley in February 1997 was the difference maker. The return fixture in Rome saw England claim a famous scoreless draw and with it top spot in the group. The iconic image of England captain Paul Inces head swathed in a bloodied bandage typified Englands approach on the day. One which had the current England manager Roy Hodgson assisting Glen Hoddle, officially in the role of interpreter. Hodgson was Inter Milans head coach at the time. When the World Cup Draw took place in Zurich early last December Manaus was chosen as the venue. The Arena da Amazonia, built at a cost of $300M has been in the news for all the wrong reasons as four workers have died during its construction. Brazilian football legend come politician Romario has been outspoken in his criticism. Pictures emerging on Thursday of a sub-standard surface the latest setback for a stadium which will host four group stage games. With Buffon set to miss out due to an ankle injury which occurred in training yesterday, combined with Montolivo fracturing a leg May 31st, the psychological edge certainly goes to England. Not that Prandellis team will need extra motivation this evening - but the only European nation to retain a World Cup [1934, 1938] is still smarting from its inability to emerge from a weak group in South Africa. A tournament they went into as defending champions. With soaring heat and intense humidity factoring, for England to stand any chance they will have to overcome the Achilles heel which has dogged them through the ages. Chasing shadows in the pursuit of a ball they surrender more casually than Andrea Pirlo completes successful passes. Based on statistical evidence and World Cup history, losing your first group stage game almost guarantees elimination. Although Prandelli nor Hodgson would admit it, if the game finishes as it did in Rome back in fall 1997 neither of them will be too upset. Noel.Butler@BellMedia.ca @TheSoccerNoel on Twitter TSN Radio is an official licensed radio broadcaster of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ Brazil. Check www.tsn.ca/radio for the broadcast schedule in your home town. Vans Shoes Cheap . -- New York Yankees centre fielder Jacoby Ellsbury was sent for an MRI Thursday of his ailing right calf, which was negative. Cheap Air Max From China . Anor had not scored since getting his first two goals of the season vs. Philadelphia on March 22 but struck with laser precision from distance in the 56th and 75th minutes. Montreal (3-10-5) lost its third straight and Impact coach Frank Klopas said it literally was a case of his players not stepping up. http://www.cheapairmaxchinawholesale.com/yeezy-boost-350-v2-outlet.html . Selected by the Titans in the 2007 NFL Draft, Johnson rejoined the club last season after a five-year stint with Indianapolis. RALEIGH, N.C. -- The New York Rangers are playing playoff hockey right now, according to newly acquired Martin St. Louis, who set up Derek Stepans winning goal in a 4-2 victory over Carolina on Friday night. The Rangers rallied from a goal down twice before finally taking the lead on Stepans goal with 2:46 left in the game. "This is how it is played in the playoffs," St. Louis said. "We want to play like it is the playoffs so we dont have to turn the switch on when it is the playoffs." St. Louis, long a nemesis for the Hurricanes when he played for Tampa Bay, triggered Stepans 5-on-3 goal with a stiff pass across the crease that Carolina could not defend. Stepan easily slammed the puck by Carolina goalkeeper Anton Khudobin, who was unable to slide back to the far post for the save. "When you play in a game, you obviously want to contribute," St. Louis said. "We dictated the play, but we had trouble getting past the goal line. When you get a 5-on-3 at the end of the game, youve got to make it count." Rick Nash and Ryan McDonagh also scored for the Rangers, who beat Carolina for the 10th straight time. Carl Hagelin added an empty-netter with 41 seconds left in the game. The game turned in New Yorks favour when Carolina took a pair of delay-of-game penalties in the final five minutes. Ron Hainsey went to the box first when he cleared a puck out of play from his defensive zone. And 1:12 later, Brett Bellemore joined him after making the same mistake to give the Rangers the 5-on-3. Until then, Carolina did its best to hold off thhe Rangers. Air Max 97 Discount. Jeff Skinner scored on a penalty shot in the third period that gave Carolina a 2-1 lead. He was awarded the chance when Anton Stralman was called for obstructing Skinners breakaway. But Carolinas lead was short-lived as Nash evened the score 2-2 with for his 20th of the season. "There was a lot of patience," Nash said. "We stuck with the process and it worked tonight." Carolina took its initial lead late in the first period as Jordan Staal scored. That stood until midway through the third period. Defenceman McDonagh scored short-handed for the Rangers to tie the game with 12:35 left. It was New Yorks third short-handed goal in two games after getting a pair in its last game, a 3-2 loss to Toronto. Carolinas power-play woes continued as the Hurricanes were 0 for 4, including a 5-on-3 early in the second period. Carolina has gone seven games without a power-play goal, an 0-for-27 span. Khudobin was outstanding through most of the game, finishing with 40 saves. He just didnt have enough help down the stretch on the penalty kill. "Very frustrated," said coach Kirk Muller. "I thought we did everything we were supposed to do. Having the lead that late you have to be able to hold that off and win the hockey game and we didnt." NOTES -- Henrik Lundqvist made 22 saves for New York. ... Carolina D Andrej Sekera played in his 400th NHL game. ... Rangers C Mats Zuccarello returned to the lineup after missing the last four games because of and injured hand suffered while playing for Norway at the Olympics. ' ' '