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. Cheap Adidas Shoes . 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. Adidas Shoes Outlet . -- With the Memphis Grizzlies struggling to find their offensive rhythm, O. Wholesale Adidas Shoes .“I always did my stuff ahead of the deadline. The best deal Ive ever done was the Darryl Sydor deal. We did that at the end of January in 04, and Syd was the missing piece. http://www.discountadidasshoes.com/ . "I had a pretty good year," the soft-spoken Granberg told TSN.ca with a grin from the teams annual rookie tournament in London. A fourth-round selection in 2010, Granberg is worth keeping an eye on with NHL training camps rolling around in less than a week. The six-foot-two, 200-pound defender may not possess the wow-inspiring theatrics of fellow prospect Morgan Rielly, but nonetheless has a chance to contribute with the Leafs when all is said and done this season.DENVER -- Dishing the ball to the open man in the first half opened the door to Randy Foyes offensive surge in the second half. Foye scored 24 of his 30 points in the last 24 minutes, going 7 for 7 from the field in the third quarter, and the Denver Nuggets hung on to beat the Houston Rockets 123-116 on Wednesday night. Kenneth Faried had 23 points and Timofey Mozgov added 22 for the Nuggets, who beat the Rockets for the first time in three tries this season. Foye also had 15 assists, 11 of them coming in the first half. "I just think it was a Karma thing, where in the beginning, I had some shots where I could have come off (pick-and-rolls) and pulled up, but I passed it to Kenneth, passed it to Timo, got those guys going," Foye said. "That kind of opened everything up. When I was coming off pick-and-rolls later, they were so concerned with our bigs that I was coming off and knocking them down." Houston coach Kevin McHale said the Rockets have to play stronger defensively. "Our defence is bad," he said. "Faried and Mozgov were just running down the floor, posting us up and throwing us out of the way. We had no answers for them. In the third quarter, we got them somewhat under control and then Foye went crazy." Jeremy Lin led eight Houston players in double figures with 18 points. Both teams were missing key players heading into the game and the Rockets got a scare when James Harden, leading a fast break, banged his left shin in a collision with Aaron Brooks midway through the third quarter. Fouled on the play, Harden made both free throws and left the game briefly to have the leg tended to before returning to action, though he only played sparingly aafter the injury. Cheap Authentic Adidas Shoes. "I guess I got kneed in the shin but it was pretty painful. For a couple of seconds, my leg was numb," Harden said. In the post-season, Harden said he would have finished the game. "But today was kind of pointless. Four more games left and were trying to stay (in the No. 4 playoff seed)," Harden said. Houstons Dwight Howard, bothered by a left ankle sprain, did not play for the 10th time in the last 12 games. Denver was without Wilson Chandler (left groin strain) and Ty Lawson (left ankle sprain). Trailing by 10 at the half, Houston pulled to 94-86 on a jumper by Chandler Parsons late in the third quarter. Foye, though, hit a long jumper, starting an 11-2 run over a 2 1/2-minute stretch that put Denver in front 105-88 heading into the fourth quarter. Houston made a late push, getting within 118-114 on a 3-pointer by Troy Daniels and a tip-in by Isaiah Canaan with 2:24 left to play. But Foye banked in a jumper and Evan Fournier connected on a 3-pointer in successive Denver possessions to fend off the Rockets rally. The Rockets, trailing by as many as 19 points earlier in the game, put together an 8-0 burst to cut the deficit to 58-53 with 1:44 left in the second quarter. Lin and Parsons each had 3-pointers in the stretch. Faried responded by converting a three-point play, helping Denver rebuild its lead to 68-58 at halftime. NOTES: The Rockets are 8-19 when trailing at halftime. ... Houston, which beat the Lakers in Los Angeles on Tuesday, fell to 5-4 in the second game of back-to-backs this season. ... Foye scored 30 or more points for the second time this season. He had a season-high 33 on Jan. 29 against Charlotte. ' ' '