Monday, July 10, 2006

World Cup Finals

Germany 3 Portugal 1

Germany recaptured some national pride on Saturday as they took the title "Second Biggest Loser In the World Cup" home, taking third place away from an obviously exhausted Portugese side. Two goals by Bastian Schweinsteiger, in the 56th and 78th minutes, as well as an own goal by Petit, propelled Germany to a richly deserved win for the home country. Nuno Gomes salvaged a goal late in the 88th minute to restore some pride to Portugal.

Italy 1 France 1

Let's face facts: Italy came out in the second half of this game determined to cheat to win the Cup. Forcing the best French scorer, Thierry Henry, to leave the game in the 108th minute with an injury suffered on a cheap tackle, the Azzure then focused their venom on Zinedine Zidane, baiting and harassing him until finally in a fit of asinine frustration, he head-butted Marco Matterrazzi in the chest. Mattarrazzi won an Academy Award for dramatics, but the penalty is an automatic red card and Zidane was sent off from his last international match in disgrace. Cheating to win, the Italians, who were dominated, outplayed and even scored on (on an offsides play so no goal) by the French, managed to scrape their way out of extra time and won the Cup on penalty kicks, 5-3.

Italy now heads home to reap the fruits of their cheating, as four squads who provided the Italian national side with the lion's share of its players are under investigation and subject to penalty for fixing games at home. All in all, a sad disgrace that the Cup is going with them in such a disturbing fashion.