Friday, June 16, 2006

World Cup Update

Thursday, 15 June

Ecuador 3 Costa Rica 0

Ecuador advanced to the knockout round of the World Cup for the first time, beating a game Costa Rican side, scoring in the 8th minute on a header by Carlos Tenorio, and salting the game away in the 54th minute on a pass from Edison Mendez on a throw-in to Agustin Delgado, who took the ball off his chest and smashed home a right foot shot past Jose Porras. In stoppage time, Ivan Kaviedes added insult to injury by slamming home a cross at the far post from Mendez. Kaviedes then donned a yellow Spiderman mask he had concealed in his sock.

England 2 Trinidad & Tobago 0

England became the third team in the tournament to secure a knockout round berth with their second win, but it wasn't pretty. England struggled mightily, pressing their advantage in talent but coming up empty. T&T managed to disrupt the flow of the game and the English rhythm for almost all of regulation time, despite the insertion of the player every English fan had been waiting to suit up, Wayne Rooney, the spectacular scorer for Manchester United. Then, in the 83rd minute, 6' 7" Peter Crouch headed a ball in off a David Beckham cross, four feet above the defender's head. Sadly, Crouch did not do his world famous Robot Dance. Eight minutes later, Crouch's Liverpool teammate, Steven Gerrard, slashed a left foot shot high into the netting to secure England's berth.

Sweden 1 Paraguay 0

Uncharacteristically for a country not known for its flashy play, Sweden went toe-to-toe with the Paraguayan side in end to end action, apparently abandoning defense. The score was tied at 0-0 until the 89th minute, when Arsenal striker, Freddie Ljunberg, swept a headed pass from Marcus Allback past Aldo Bobadilla. The second round matches in the preliminary tournament have been shaping up to be heart attacks apparent.
Friday, 16 June

Argentina 6 Serbia And Montenegro 0

The score says all you need to know about this match. Argentina scored early and often, and the Serbian/Montenegran side was exhausted by the end of the match.

Netherlands 2 Ivory Coast 1

Goals by Robert van Persie and Ruud van Nistelroy in the first half put the Netherlands up big. Ivory Coast struggled to break through to the Dutch goal for the rest of the game, but came up short as Bakary Kone scored in the 38th minute to make the score almost as exciting as the game, which featured a lot of fouls by the Netherlands and lots of close-in chance from the Ivory Coast. The Netherlands join Argentina as qualifiers for the knockout round from Group C.

Mexico 0 Angola 0

Mexico stormed out of the gate with what was likely the earliest shot on goal in the tournament so far, in the first minute of play, perhaps hoping to catch the Angolan goal keeper, Ricardo Joao, napping, but Carlos Salcido's shot sailed high. Mexico had better ball possession and shot selection, still unable to put the ball in the net, while Angola stormed down the field and shot from wild and difficult angles and distances. Angola, through sheer luck and some untimely play by Mexico, held on for the 0-0 tie despite being down a man on a red card to André in the 79th minute.