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Clearly, not everyone is playing hooky from work during World Cup action this week. “We weren’t planning on having a screening of the game,” an official at the Embassy of Japan told City Desk following the Asian nation’s Monday morning clash with African favorite Cameroon. An historic oversight, it turns out. Spoiler Alert! Japan’s newfound glory would come as news to our contact at the embassy, who promptly giggled with delight.

Meanwhile, City Desk special correspondent C.T. Schwink reports live from similarly subdued Italian stronghold Il Canale in Georgetown, during the Italy-Paraguay tilt this afternoon:

17th minute-Only five people here watching. Bartender just topped off a woman’s second glass of wine and then taped two Italian flags to the TV.

30th minute-A guy in a blue Italy jersey turns down a second beer. He says he’s going to switch to wine, then changes his mind. “If I start drinking wine, I’m just going to keep drinking and get hammered.” He goes on, pointing to the gal next to him. “Then, she’s going to have to carry me home.”

38th minute-Goal! Paraguay! The woman sitting next to me immediately gets up to smoke a cigarette.

Halftime-Smoker tells owner she’s leaving. “What about the second half?” he asks her. “Forget it!” she says. Mike, the bartender, now hangs a third Italian flag behind the bar atop a wine rack. “Let’s get a little more luck over here,” he says.

62nd minute-A few more people watching now as Italy evens the score, 1-1. The small gathering erupts: Bravo! Perfecto! High fives all around. The couple wearing blue jerseys wave a big flag. She asks for a refill on wine.

92nd minute-A last second Italian miracle? Nope. A lame foul on Italy has the Il Mulino crowd upset. “Quit crying!” one yells at the television. “Drag him off the field,” another suggests. Yet another: “and the Oscar goes to….”

Games resume at 7:30 a.m. Drinks at 8 a.m. Where to go? Consult our trusty guide: Where to Watch the World Cup.

Video by WorldCupSA2010/YouTube