Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Football fever - 3 Some good matches

So, Germany defeats Poland in a nailbiting 1-0 finish, thanks to a last minute injury time goal. Dogged defense by both teams, failure to convert chances into goals held both teams to nil all throughout the match. Just shows that soccer can be a very unpredictable game. Anything can happen at the last minute. A similar example I recall is the champions league final in 2005, AC Milan vs Liverpool. AC Milan was 3-0 up at half time, but Liverpool equalized in the second half, scoring 3 goals in a span of 10 minutes or so, and winning the game in a penalty shootout.

Spain vs Tunisia was another interesting match. Tunisia scored in the 8th minute and took the lead. Spain scored in the 71st and 76th minutes, to take back the lead and rubbed it in with a 3-1 defeat, the last goal coming in the last minute in a penalty kick. For seventy minutes it seemed that the Spanish have come back to their old ways - chokers, and non-performance in crunch matches. But two goals in 5 minutes turned around the match, and Tunisian defense broke down. I have this impression that African teams play real rough to make up for lack of talent. Tunisia reinforced that. They played really rough, sliding tackles from behind, pulling down the Spanish players, it was all there. The only exception is Ivory Coast, who play really well, and they dont play as rough as the other African teams. Too bad they are out, having lost to Holland and Argentina.

Holland vs Ivory Coast - Very interesting. Both teams play fast and so it was fun to watch. And both teams are good. Ivory Coast is supposed to be the best team from Africa this time. Holland was guilty of some dirty tricks, but then referee punished what he saw. Holland play-acted too much (of course every team does, but then they were acting too much). Sad to see a good skillful team like Ivory Coast crash out. Of course, they would have crashed out later when they faced the likes of Argentina, Brazil, Portugal, England, Italy, Spain etc. But too sad that they crashed out too early. Not for nothing is this group called the Group of Death. Any fine day, it could have been Holland or Argentina that crashed out.

Korea vs France - Another boring draw. One thing I noticed is that its not as though France is not playing well. Henry is the only guy up front who is supposed to put the ball in the goal, and he isnt getting enough support. Zidane is not what he was 8 years ago. I was having good hopes from France, with 6 players from the team winning the 1998 world cup still playing. But then, something just aint right. Their speed has reduced. Henry isnt in good form.

Ghana vs Czech Republic - Upset. Wow.. great match. Ghana did overpower them. I had high hopes from Czech Republic and everyone had so. But then, this was their second match. In their first, they creamed US 3-0 without Milan Baros, who is injured and not playing yet. And I am disappointed with their defeat against Ghana.

An old friend whom I contacted on phone, said France were playing good actually, but unable to convert, and that Czech republic might land in last four. My roomie was not pleased with France's performance. I told him that they are infact playing well. Now he does not like being countered so, many a times, I let things pass.

My argumentative roomie really got worked up and angry because I said Czech republic can make it. And he doesnt favour them. And then he goes on to say, "hey are you the master on everything, etc etc." And Czechs losing the match to Ghana actually buttressed his points. He pointed out the defeat quite a number of times to prove me wrong. Yeah, all this is speculation. Upsets do happen. As if I am placing bets on any team, against him.. Hehh.

Anyway, just to silence him and stop his "expert" commentary when he does not even know the basic rules of the game, I hope Czechs make it through this time.

More coming up...

For more news on the world cup, visit http://fifaworldcup.yahoo.com/06/en/index.html

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