Monday, July 10, 2006

World Cup Diary - Day 21 - 26

I thought that I should conclude my World Cup Diary by briefly discussing the remaining days of the World Cup in one final blog.

ENG 0 POR 0 (Portugal won 3-1 on penalties)

was a familiar end to England's hopes in the World Cup. It was a tense
and subdued perform ace by England again. Rooney's sending off was not
a sending off. Rooney was looking for the ball with his foot and
accidentally stepped onCarvalho. All the commentators and pundits were just waiting for the opportunity to have go at Rooney and they got their chance.

England showed a bit of passion after going down to 10 men but didn't have the flair to open up Portugal.

are not a nice team. They have the mentality of trying to win at all
cost without any notion of sportsmanship. This has been drilled into
them by Big Phil. I am glad he is not going to manage England.


old men of France gave the Brazil team a lesson in how to play. This
was the Brazil team who thought they had won the world cup before a
ball had been kicked.

Zidane ran the show in Midfield, with Viera and Makalele tidying up behind him. It was really good to watch a great player playing at his best.

couldn't cope with how the French team was setup. The game was
definitely won in midfield, where Brazil were distinctly lightweight.

Henry's goal was good and it was just what France deserved.


The Italians had cruised into the semi finals with wins over a plucky Australia and a poor Ukraine.

This was a great match with both teams attacking from the outset. After normal time it was goalless.
In extra time Italy decided to attack because they knew that Germany
have a superb record in penalty shootouts. This tactic paid off whenGrosso who has grown into a great player during the tournament curled in a shot that will be remembered for a long time to come. Del Piero finish off a break away late to seal Germany's fate.

Germany were refreshingly good to watch through out the tournament and they should be proud of what they achieved.


Zidane scored the penalty that sealed his date with destiny. Portugal were poor and deserved to go out.


ITA 1 FRA 1 (ITA win on penalties)

In an incident packed final Zidane
was the centre of attention. After 6 minutes he scored with an amazing
chipped penalty. You really have to have guts even think abut scoring a
penalty like that.Matteratzi had conceded the penalty that Zidane scored. Fortunately for Matteratzi he was able to make an amends for the penalty when he powered in a header from a corner.

There were no more goal in the match. But the major talking point of the whole match happened when Zidane head butted Matteratzi
in the chest during extra time. There are a few theories about why he
did it but I will leave them for another post. A photo taken at the
summed up the situation beautifully. It showed Zidane walking past the
world cup into the tunnel after he was sent off. It just summed it up.
France were visibly shaken after the sending off and went on to loose
the final 5-3 on penalties.

It was a dramatic end to a good
world cup. Italy were the team that grew as the tournament went on.
Even though from a purist point of view they dived to get past
Australia. I think they won the World Cup on merit especially as they
had the back drop of the scandal at home and alot of the players didn't know who they would be playing for in the season to come.

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