CAPE TOWN, South Africa - World Cup defending champion Italy fell behind, then lost its star goalkeeper for the second half before recovering to tie Paraguay, 1-1, in group play Monday.

Yet the Azzurri's underwhelming, rain-soaked draw hardly was pleasing to coach Marcello Lippi, the same man who guided the Italians to their fourth championship in 2006.

"We need to do more and do it better. Our opponent didn't do anything, they just kept things in check," Lippi said.

The South Americans scored in the 39th minute on Antolin Alcaraz's header.

Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi equalized from close range in the 63d after a miscue by goalie Justo Villar.

Already without injured midfielder Andrea Pirlo, Italy's fortunes took another hit when it lost perhaps its most valuable player, goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, after the first half. The 32-year-old Buffon was removed due to a back injury, replaced by inexperienced backup Federico Marchetti.

"He had a back problem. I hope he returns for the next game, but that will be up to the doctors," Lippi said.

Netherlands 2, Denmark 0

JOHANNESBURG - The Netherlands surged into the World Cup with one of the globe's fiercest attacks but needed some luck in a win over Denmark.

The Netherlands took the lead in the 46th minute when Denmark defender Simon Poulsen headed a ball off the back of teammate Daniel Agger and into his own net. Poulsen had been trying to clear a cross from Robin van Persie. In the 85th minute, the Dutch scored for themselves when Dirk Kuyt tapped in a rebound off the post from close range.

Well, whatever works.

"We wanted to play beautiful soccer but we lost the ball," said Netherlands coach Bert Van Marwijk, whose team did not lose a game in qualifying.

Japan 1, Cameroon 0

BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa - Coming off four straight exhibition losses, the Japanese earned their first World Cup victory on foreign soil, using Keisuke Honda's first-half goal for a victory over uninspired Cameroon in Group E.

After a sloppy first 30 minutes, Japan broke the tie in the 39th when Daisuke Matsui's curling cross from the right fell to Honda at the back post.