Days of our Lives!

July 2, 2006

World Cup, Quarterfinal Review — Semifinal Preview

Filed under: Sports — Santhosh @ 12:06 PM


Day 1 basically followed what I foretold.

Match #1
Germany 1 — Argentina 1 Germany advances 4-2 on penalties
An early second half goal by Argentina was equalized late by Germany’s Klose (the tournaments highest scorer thus far, and he’s positioned to win the golden boot) in a tightly contested match. Argentina are no doubt ruing the loss of first choice keeper as the game went to penalties and Germany’s Lehmann confidently blocked two. Well, I called it, and you heard it here first, Germany will win this tournament.

Match #2
Italy 3 — Ukraine 0
Damn Ukrainians couldn’t find even one goal to bring my prediction of 3-1 perfect!

Day 2, sadly, did not go the way I’d hoped, atleast partly.

Match #3
England 0 — Portugal 0 Portugal advance 3-1 on penalties
This was the best performance England put up in the entire tournament, but Wayne Rooney, apparently, can ever control himself and just HAD to step on someone’s groin. Add a second half injury to Becks, and the death knell had tolled for the Three Lions. Not that they’ve ever looked like winning. But well, the better team won.

Match #4
France 1 — Brazil 0
Since the tournament began numerous people at my place of employment have asked my opinion on which teams looked good. And every time I’ve said that Brazil has not impressed, every time people have been unbelieving. Look, they came through a ridiculously easy group, and round of 16 match up. They finally came up against a real team (sure, one with an average player age of 653, but a real team nonetheless) and got beat. And yes, I called this one in favor of Brazil, but this is less a surprise to me than the French win over Spain (a country who had been playing well!).

So the Semifinal matchups are

Germany v Italy
Italy have been solid and efficient (almost as if they’re German), and Germany have been high flying and exciting (almost as if they’re anyone other than the Germans). At this point, Germany seems nearly unstoppable, though the strong Italian defense could, theoretically, do it. They could, but they won’t. Podolski and Klose are just two games away from sainthood in deutschland, and no stinkin Italians are going to stop them.
Predicted result — Germany 3 – Italy 1

France v Portugal
Look, of all the teams left, France have to be the sentimental favorites. It’s the international swan song for Zidane, Viera, Thuram, Barthez and Trezeguet, so it’s fitting they’ll go out with a bang. But just how much do they have left? Probably not enough to beat a Portugal team that’s looked unstoppable. My heart will be with Les Blues, but they’re on target for a third place medal, which would still be quite an accomplishment.
Predicted result — Portugal 2 – France 1


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