Archive for the ‘FIFA World Cup 2006’ Category

If you were wondering when the quality of matches in the knock-out stages would really shine through, I think that has already been answered. The first semi-final between Germany and Italy that was won in the absolute dying moments of the match and quite deservingly, Italy prevailed.

One of the fastest games of the Cup so far, Italy always held the upper hand and also created more chances. That their keeper was up to it when it came to thwarting any German attempts was also proof that Italy was the better team. Let’s hope they can keep this up for the finals.

As for the second semi, I think Portugal have a better chance and will also be able to fight Italy better in the finals.

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Some of the best photos from the 2006 FIFA World Cup…
Fans, Stars, Round 2, Plays of the Day and even Quarter finals.

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Germany v Sweden (June 24).
Result: GER 2-1 SWE
Key players to watch out for: Ballack, Klose, Podolski (he now has a goal!), Ljungberg, Ibrahmovic, Larsson.

Argentina v Mexico (June 24).
Result: ARG 2-0 MEX
One-sided. Also, too many Argentinians to mention to watch out for!

Italy v Australia (June 26). Result: ITA 2-1 AUS
Will be a tight, physical match. Italy will pull through thanks to past experience.
Watch out for Viduka, Kewell, Moore and Totti (if he is mentally fit!)

Spain v France (June 27).
Result: ESP 1-1 FRA (Penalties: ESP)
The best match up at this stage… could also be the first matcht to go to penalties. Raul v Henry, Zidane, phew! Quite a match, this!

Others:
ENG 2-0 ECU
SUI 2-0 UKR
BRA 3-0 GHA

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Mr Sportolysis has some interesting World Cup photos. Wish there were actual people photos of this, though!

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Four matches, two almost-knockout and we are nearing the do-or-die stages of the 2006 FIFA World CupTM

Group A is pretty much sorted with Germany and Ecuador on 6 points each and no chance for anyone else to go through. Their match would in effect be important in deciding who they play in the second round. And that’s where it gets tricky.

Germany would start favourites in this match and would therefore finish top of the group in a position to play the second placed team in Group B. This would depend on how the two matches in that group-to be played after the Group A matches-turn out. England should beat Sweden and end with 9 points. As a result, Sweden would end up with just 4 points and be at the mercy of the result from the Paraguay v Trinidad & Tobago match. On current form, one would have to bet their money on T&T. A win would take T&T on to 4 points and put them on level terms with Sweden. And then it comes down to goal difference. Sweden would come out top on that. So considering this to be the worst case scenario, Sweden are well placed to go through, unless they lose so badly that their goal difference takes a beating.

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Check out a piece written by yours truly for Hafta Mag, the new online super-mag!

Cheers.

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Just about 10 matches and the World Cup is well and truly kicking! The best matches so far would be a close contest between Germany and Costa Rica and the more recent Mexico v Iran one. Yes, the Swedes got an early shock being held to a 0-0 draw by lowly Trinidad and Tobago, and even the much fancied England had a close match against Paraguay. Portugal too, did their best, but Angola held on for a respectable 1-0 scoreline.
Can’t wait for Brazil to show up now!

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So the action kicks off today! And who will lift the cup? Brazil? I don't think so. It's actually more like I don't hope so. I've had enough of Brazil is this and that… they may be all this and all that, but frankly, it's time someone else lifted the cup. Three consecutive finals (94, 98 and 02) is enough. Despite that, though, I would put them as one of the favourites and good enough to make the semis if not better.

So here is my second round line-up. Get the sheet to play this yourself here.

Round 2
Germany v England
Argentina v Mexico
Italy v Croatia
France v Spain
Sweden v Poland
Portugal v Netherlands
Brazil v Czech Republic
Ukraine v Switzerland

Quarterfinals
Germany v Argentina
Italy v Spain
Sweden v Netherlands
Brazil v Switzerland

Semifinals
Argentina v Spain
Netherlands v Brazil

Final
Argentina v Netherlands

Winner: Netherlands

I really do want the Dutch to win. But this is really based on how good their team looks right now. Unfortunately, knowing their luck, they could just cop it in the semis! They have a weak spot against the underdogs!

Any takers?

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