THE DAY REPLAYED - On what turned out to be one of the longest days in the history of the competition, dramatic storms washed out the Group D match between Turkey and Costa Rica in Enugu and forced delays in the Iran-Colombia and New Zealand-Burkina Faso games.
The only sides to escape the rain were Netherlands and Gambia, with the Dutch earning a much-needed 2-1 win in steamy Calabar to move back into contention in Group C, thanks in no small part to the goalless stalemate between the Iranians and Los Cafeteros, the first of the tournament. The Kiwis and the Stallions shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw to leave Group D wide open, although the Turks can clinch a place in the next round if they win their rearranged game against Los Ticos.
Click on the links in the right-hand column for full reports of the day's matches.
Goal of the day
Netherlands-Gambia, Tom Boere 70'
After avoiding the rain and seeing his side get off the mark in the competition, Oranje coach Albert Stuivenberg will no doubt rest easy tonight. The Dutch tactician also played a decisive part in Netherlands' winner, bringing on Ouasim Bouy and Tom Boere in the second half, with the former supplying a pinpoint cross for the latter to head home.
Lights, camera, action
Judging by the on-pitch celebrations that greeted Luc Castaignos' opening goal against Gambia, the Netherlands' promising collection of talented youngsters clearly believe they are cut out for careers in the spotlight. No sooner had the top scorer at the UEFA U-17 European Championship put the ball past Ousman Darboe in the Gambian goal than one of his media-savvy team-mates pretended to interview him while another whipped out an imaginary camera.
Singing in the rain
Events in Enugu this afternoon proved beyond all doubt that the people of Nigeria truly love their football. Oblivious to the inclement conditions and the temporary suspension of the New Zealand-Burkina Faso match, the fans at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium kept on dancing and singing for the best part of two hours until the players returned.
Juggles and puddles
In keeping with the watery theme of the day, the rain also made an appearance in Calabar, falling with impressive force at the end of the first half of Colombia's meeting with Iran. As the fans huddled under the roofed area of the stadium, an intrepid ball juggler made his way out to the centre of the pitch to keep the crowd entertained with his slippery footwork. And when his impromptu show was over, the gifted entertainer received the biggest ovation of the night for his efforts.
Following several interruptions caused by the teeming rain and waterlogged pitch, the competition organisers had no option but to suspend the match between Turkey and Costa Rica after 21 minutes. The two sides will return tomorrow at 15:00 hours (local time) to replay the game in its entirety.
2 - The number of games that New Zealand have now gone without defeat at Nigeria 2009, a first for the Kiwis in a FIFA competition.