FIFA World Cup 2006.. group stages review

Originally posted here on my ancient blog site.

My busy friend Nikhil asked me to be his Harsha Bhogle, Now that i have done so much to compile this,i thought i will make it available to everyone.

here it is…(excuse me for my unprofessional approach,I mainly wrote it for my friend)

Favourites before the stage began..

Brazil,Argentina,England,Germany to some extent.
Favourites after..

Spain,Holland,Argentina,Germany.. Brazil and England dint perform as expected.

Group ‘A’:

Germany vs Costa rica,9th june:

The world cup festival began with a great match.. Germany crush Costa Rica 4-2,but the Germans had lots of questions to answer.. Why Llehmann Jens instead of probably the best
goaley of our times Oliver Kahn?After the Costa Rican second goal,stadium was filled with a roar
“we want KAHN,we want KAHN,we want KAHN”.
Klose as usual began in a great fashion finding the net twice.but the best goal was probably that by Torsten Frings that curved into the net from 30 yards.

Poland vs Ecuador,9th june:

The first upset comes on the opening day itself.Tenorio Carlos,Delgado Agustin score for Ecuador and Polish
hopes crumble as they still have Germany to play with.

The rest of the matches in group A went as expected.Ecuador swept past costa rica 3-0.
Germany came out on top by beating Ecuador convincingly 3-0.all debates about germany being a sloppy team,etc, end.They are hot favourites next only to argentina
after group stages.

So group ‘A’ standings…
Costa Rica

Players to look out for..

Klose(4 goals,top scorer in this finals so far),

Ballack(yet to score but has been the architect of many)
Podolski(strangely Klose and Podolsky,the key strikers are both from poland by birth)
Lehmann(For wrong reasons.he is the biggest blunderer Germany has on its side)

Group ‘B’:

England vs Paruguay,10th june: 1-0
A Lucky goal from a Beckham free kick converted by an ***h**e from Paraguay into his own net(Gamarra Carlos).Strangely enough he almost put paraguay in another
fix in the same match.Seems like he was playing for England.
Otherwise England aren’t having a good time.Lacklustre performance.

Trinidad and Tobago Vs Sweden,10th june: 0-0
Another short it was 1 vs 10 game. Hislop(the TNT goalkey,he was the substitute goalkey coz the main one was injured!!!!) vs the 10 swedish attackers.
I think he will be up for grabs in the coming years for his Goalkeeping.Seriously,The best I have seen.

Sweden vs England,20th june: 2-2
Lots of fireworks.Coz the one that loses plays germany next.England top the group even if they draw.Joe Cole the young prodigy of England gets his goal and a good one at that.
But Marcus Alback pinched one in the last few minutes and
they drew the match.England lead twice but were equalled both the times.

The rest of the matches went as expected.

Trinidad and Tobago

Players to watch out for..
Steven Gerrard(In full form)
David Beckham(Cant rule out his free kicks)
Frank Lampard(The fool hasnt scored even one despite having some 15-20 shots on goal)
Rooney(hype has killed his game to some extent,gets screwed by his markers)
Henrik Larson(not so reliable)
Marcus Allback(Good Striker)
Group ‘C’:

The tightest group..

Nothing much to speak here Holland and Argentina were too good for Ivory Coast(CIV),Serbia and Montenegro(SCG)
SCG is gonna split its team as the country got split this is their last tournament together.
Anyway it only means that serbia lose out on just one fellow in the main 11.

Both Holland and Argentina are full of youngsters.Although Nistelrooij(Nistelrooy) still plays,
He gets substituted every now and then.(btw i found out what that “van” means.. it means “from”. so Ruud van Nistelrooy is ruud from Nistlerooy and “van de sar” in “from the sar”
No wonder they have so many of them.

The best team-goal ever was scored by argentina with 24 passes.Cambiasso finished it.Eventually argentina Crushed SCG 6-0.The highest goal difference in these finals.

Holland-Argentina match was very boring.. ended in 0-0 draw.Not at all worth the trouble of waking up till 2:30.Although both the teams tried a lot and came close,they couldn’t finish well.

Ivory coast
Serbia and Montenegro

Players to look out for..

Lionel Messi(pekerman’s(coach) favourite believed to be the next Maradona.Maradona it seems is a fan of Messi already)
Riquelme(Argentina’s Beckham,rather the other way round.poor guy has to take all the free kicks has a role in almost all sexy passes and crosses.Holland marked him instead of marking the forwards and did well)
Tevez(messi’s partner in finishing the goals)

Van De sar.. The 197cm goalkey is the key to defending
Arjen Robben.. Striker
Van Persie.. Sets up goals nicely.

Ruud Van Nistelrooy.. Not ruled out yet.

Group ‘D’:

Too easy for Portugal. Dont go by the FIFA rankings.. It says mexico is 4th.Atleast it dint perform to the expectations.Filip scholari laughs his way to the knock out stage.

Mexico vs Iran:
Iran scored a stratling goal to give the lead in the beginnning.substitutions in second half
proved to be the winners.Mexico won 3-1.”Goal”Mohamadi scored for Iran.’
and Bravo scores twice.

Portugal(got full 9 points.)

Players to look out for..
Maniche(1 goal so far but lots of potential)
Deco(basically brazilian,so lots of magic)
Ricardo(highest payed goalkey)
Christiano Ronaldo(selfish ***ho**,can prove detrimental)
Luiz Figo(captain,still in form)

Bravo(bravo! bravo!)
Borgetti(Captain,experienced,good at tricks)

Group E:

U can call it the upset group.
Usa:rank 5,czech:rank 2.both kicked out of the tournament.

Czech republic vs USA..3-0
USA screwed thoroughly in their opeining match.
Czech seem as confident as they were in EURO 2004.

Italy vs Ghana goes as expected ..2-0 so ghana start as underdogs.

Italy vs USA.. very dirty match.3 red cards(equal to the record)
Italy scores 1st.but Zaccardo the fool scores an own goal deflecting a free kick(it was a tough one.
dont know how he managed to score was tough even if pele stood there and actually tried to convert it) so its 1-1.Whatever happened afterwards was not football.lots of quarrel.

Brian McBride of USA got elbowed so badly that he was bleeding profusely,Rossi got a RED card.In the second half USA followedsuit.more clashes,2 were sent out.
so it was 10 vs 9 in the end.

Czech Republic vs Ghana:0-2(no not 2-0)

Overconfident Czechs rested Milan baros,Jan Koller and gotCzechmated.This Essien from Ghana comes close to matching Messi.Wonderful play by him.
USA vs Ghana :2-1
So Ghana is in the last 16 and USA is out.
As Czech lost against Italy.


Players to look out for..
Francesco Totti(good old fellow still in the reckoning)
Del Piero(striker)

Michael Essien(could well go on to be the favourite youngplayer)
Appiah stephen(both midfielders)
Forwards unfortunately are not as good.
Otherwise the team rocks.

Group ‘F’:
Brazil scrapes through the first 2 matches against croatia and Australia.(1-0 in first and 2-1 in the second)
But they come back to form against japan.4-1.
Japan scored first.but the backlash was irresistable.
Ronaldo scores twice(the fool somehow gets a good pass)I dint see anything gr8 in those.(equals world record of Gerd Muller(a german gr8))

Australia vs Japan:
Japan scores a controversial first goal.Goaley was fouled when the ball went in. Referee screwed it up.
But thanks to some late substitutions. 3 goals in a span of last 10 minutes and Australia crush Japan 3-1.

Guus Hiddink is all smiles.Thinks he can redo what he did
with the underdog of underdogs in the last world cup,Korea(they reached semis,beat England on the way,
albeit with help generous help from referees)

Australia vs Croatia
the last match was critical for both Aussies and Croatia.. The winners would be thru..draw was enuf for Aussies though.
Aussies trailed twice in the match.but came back both the times.


Players to look out for..
All of them in the team.Though Ronaldinho is still
in search of his form.He jumps arnd like a monkey.Concocts wonderful tricks,but then gives the ball away.The rest are no good,all of them selfish.
too many stars is a problem too.


Tim Cahill(midfielder)

Group ‘G’:
Anything could have happenned in this group.close contests.I think what mattered was only luck
so wont speak in detail.But the arsenal striker Thiery Henry has disappointed many.Zidane is fine.

Switzerland(the only team that has not conceded a goal in these finals so far)
France(disappointing,only win was against korea,the rest were draws)
Togo(togo or not to go??anyway it goes)

Group ‘H’:
Spain vs Ukraine:4-0
Splendid start for spain.Bulls raging.
Become hot favourites.Later matches though make germany and Argentina favourites.
the team again is young.lacks nothing.

Ukraine vs Saudi Arabia:4-0
Ukraine is back.anyway Saudis are all worn out and aged.
they cant even stand there for full time.

Tunisia vs Saudi was a 2-2 draw
(they were in there own league,but it was interesting)
Sami al Jaber(captain) joins the league of ppl like pele,cruyf to score in 3 world cups!!!!
Ronaldo joined the league a few days later though.

Spain(full marks to them)

Players to look out for..
fernado torres(Name says it all,Torres the charging Ram(though a bull would be better))
Raul(experience matters,he proved it in match vs tunisia)
David Villa( young and energetic)
Cesc Fabregas(midfielder)
Pernia(another slightly old fella,good at free kicks)
so thats a gr8 league of players and unlike brazil,working in tandem too.

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