Saturday, June 24, 2006

World Cup Update

Friday 23 June

The final day of the preliminary rounds...

Ukraine 1 Tunisia 0

Andre Schevchenko's penalty kick in the 70th minute proved the difference in this game. Schevchenko was pushed to the pitch in the penalty box by Karim Haggui, which resulted in the PK goal. Tunisia's hopes for the runner up spot in Group H were shattered at the half, as Zied Jaziri was sent off with his second yellow card of the match and Tunisia played with ten men. Ukraine move on to play in the elimination tourney.

Spain 1 Saudi Arabia 0

Spain swept the preliminary round with victories over all three of its groupmates, beating a disheartend Saudi team with a goal off a header by Juanito. The score would have been far worse if not for the Saudi goalie, who literally nearly stood on his head to make saves.

France 2 Togo 0

France was in a pickle in this match. A win and a Korean loss would advance them to the next round, as would a win by two goals, and they were playing without legendary Zinedine Zidane. Goals by Patrick Viera (56th minute) and nascent French leader Thierry Henry (61st) put the game out of reach for Togo.

Switzerland 1 Korea 0

Switzerland sat in the driver's seat in this game. A draw would advance them to the next round. Korea needed a win and a French loss to advance. Phillipe Senderos scored a header in the 23rd minute to give Switzerland the lead. Senderos paid a price as blood streamed off his face when his head banged into a Korean defender's head on the follow-through. In the 77th minute, Alexander Frei broke through the Korean defense to slip a shot past keeper Jae Woon Lee.

Spain will face France in what ought to be a boisterous and raucous game. Ukraine will face Switzerland.
Saturday 24 June

And so, the elimination tournament begins. Win, or go home.

Germany 2 Sweden 0

The Swedish defense was like buttah...

...unfortunately, Germany brought a hot knife with them, and practically took shots on goal at will. Two early goals by Lazlo Podolsky (4th and 12th minutes) were the difference in this game.

Argentina 2 Mexico 1

Rafael Marquez of Mexico opened the scoring in the 8th minute on a set piece off a free kick from Pavel Pardo who flips it to Jose Castro who flicks it to Marquez alone at the right post. Argentina's Hernan Crespo answers just two minutes later as Juan Riquelme slaps a cross to Crespo who knocks it home. The second game of the second round was the first to go to golden time, with the Golden Goal scored by Maxi Rodriguez in the 98th minute of the match, taking a cross off his chest, settling it down and slamming it past keeper Oswaldo Sanchez. Argentina then withstood a 22 minute onslaught by the valiant Mexican side, but held on.