30th June 2006
GERMANY vs ARGENTINA
RESULT: 1 : 1; 4 : 2 (PSO)
Two disappointments in this match. One, Messi did not play in this game, I don’t know why. I have not seen him playing so far and everyone is talking about him. I missed him. Second, Argentinean game was just at par with the Germans, not any notch above them. Two equal sides fought for supremacy and of course that was quite absorbing. Both the goals scored came in the second half and after that the extra time did not bring in any definite result. So the game went for penalty shoot out and Germans won.
ITALY vs UKRAINE
RESULT: 3 : 0
Every one knows what is sleep-walking. But I don’t know whether people know what is ‘sleep-watching’ I did that on that day. The match started by 00.30 a.m. and even then I was half asleep. I remember the game starting with referee’s whistle. After that everything was quite cloudy since I was lying in front of the TV. I used to wake up now and then and see the score. When I first saw it was 2:0 and when I woke up next 3:0; and at the next time three people were sitting and talking about something that was happening in Germany…they called it World Cup Football Championship or something. Who cared? I went to sleep again with one difference – to wake up this time only late in the morning, that too, to shift myself to the coziness of my bed!
2nd July, 2006
PORTUGAL vs ENGLAND
RESULT: 3 : 1
At the start I wanted Portugal to win the match. But as the match was approaching the end after the extra time, I wanted England to win. I thought, well, if a full team of players cannot win an oppent with just 10 members playing, that too without their star players Beckhamm and Roony, they don’t deserve to be the winners. But the commentator was making a commentary that Englnad has never won by penalties. This time also the same blind lady of fortune turned her back to England.
In their earlier match against Trinidad & Tobago, England forwards Lampard and Crouch were quite an eyesore for me. It appeared to me that with these two in the forward line, T & T need not worry at all, so was their abilities as scorers. Lampard took many a ashot at goal, but almost all of them were way away from the target. If forwards take shots like that, why the opponents need to worry. Crouch, the other forward looks to me more a caricature of a football player. His game just matched his looks. He was lucky since finally it is his heading that resulted in the only goal scored against T & T. After Rooney left the scene because of his huff Crouch took his mantle. He and Lampard played their 'original' game and spoiled or wasted many chances of their team. It all finally led to the penalty shoot out and England as is their routine lost it.
BRAZIL vs. FRANCE
My favourite is, for like most around the world, Brazil. Wanted Ronaldo and Ronaldinho to come at the peak of their form at the right moment. But that never happened.
There were many moments when Brazilian goal was at danger. Somehow they came off from them . But both Cafu and Ronaldo got booked with yellow card. Juans’s crucial tackle earned him a yellow card but almost saved a sure goal. Credit for the fist half should be given to Zidane. His play making moves and the ball distribution were fantastic. He is the only star twinkling bright. Like Beckham, his free kicks landed right on the desired spot. In one such shot the ball was just tapped by Henry resulting the French one goal up. I thought this would spur Brazilians a little more and one could witness some sparks. But all these expectations were turned to naught and the French team kept up this slender margin and entered into the semifinals, leaving the Brazilian fans in tears.