Well, we're off then.
An unexpectedly entertaining first game as hosts Germany saw off Costa Rica 4-2. A couple of early contenders for "goal of the tournament" as well, not least that amazing long range effort from bemulleted Teutonic midfielder Torsten Frings (left). Costa Rica were clearly fairly rubbish, but they still made the German's defence look entirely pedestrian - other sides must be licking the lips at the prospect of facing the host nation bearing in mind all you need is a nippy striker and someone to loft the ball over the centre halves.....
And then came a bit of a surprise as Poland succumbed 2-0 to unfancied Ecuador. I was convinced Poland would win this game, but they created little (other than hitting the woodwork late on) and Premiership reject Agustin Delgado scored the South American's second goal.
Other observations on the opening day of the World Cup Finals:
Gareth Southgate keeps his charisma in the smallest velvet bag in the universe. If the tactical nous and inspired analysis he showed last night is anything to go by, I'd stick a tenner on the Smoggies being in the Championship in 2007.
Alan Shearer is the last man in the world I want to hear uninspired wooden punditry from.
Except Gareth Southgate.
Gary Lineker is in danger of imploding with smugness.
Germany are not going to win the World Cup. Someone with a decent defence and a fast striker will wallop them.
I wouldn't like to be left with an Ecuadorian defender in a dark alley late at night.
The funniest player name in the World Cup so far is "Bak" pronounced "bonk". Highlight in my household thus far when discussing childish football names is the phrase "I love Quim" (I think aimed at the Portuguese reserve goalkeeper, not at Gabby Logan)....