FIFA World Cup Germany 2006

The FIFA World Cup 2006 was the most exciting and brilliant tournament in football history: passion, accion and goals. Get all the reports, matches, news, photos and videos every minute. Germany 2006 is here!

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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Spain, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Trinidad & Tobago off to the World Cup

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Now 32 nations are ready to paly the 2006 World Cup. The remaining five of the 32 available places were snapped up by Spain, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago and the Czech Republic on Wednesday, and joined Australia, who beated Uruguay earlier that day.

Spain national team qualified for their eighth straight World Cup finals on Wednesday with a 1-1 draw at Slovakia in the second leg of the teams' play-off.

Filip Holosko opened the scoring in the 50th minute at Tehelne Pole stadium but Spain substitute David Villa levelled the scores 21 minutes later to give Spain a 6-2 aggregate victory.

Switzerland scraped through to the World Cup finals on Wednesday on away goals after drawing 4-4 with Turkey over two legs in their European play-off.

Turkey won a thrilling return match 4-2 but Switzerland, leading 2-0 after an impressive performance in Saturday's first leg in Bern, clinched their place at Germany 2006.

The Czech Republic were celebrating their first World Cup appearance with a 1-0 win over Norway after defeating the Scandinavians by the same margin in the first leg.

Dortmund midfielder Tomas Rosicky's 35th minute strike sealed the fate of Norway who went close when only a fine save by Chelsea keeper Petr Cech denied John Carew's second half header.

The Czechs though had a Vladamir Smicer goal dubiously ruled offside in the 59th minute and a Karel Poborsky tap in from close range in the 79th less controversially disallowed.

In Manama, Trinidad and Tobago staged a remarkable comeback to ensure they'd be rubbing shoulders with the sport's superpowers next year in what will be their World Cup debut.

After an all important away goal in the 1-1 first leg draw in Port-of-Spain Bahrain were firmly in the driving seat but Trinidad ensured they became the first Caribbean island to make it to the finals since Jamaica in 1998 with a 49th minute goal from Dennis Lawrence.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Australia qualify to World Cup after beating Uruguay

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Australian soocer team accomplished a "Mission Impossible" this wednesday at Sydney's Telstra Stadium: They defeated Uruguay in the penalty shootout and qualifyed to the World Cup Germany 2006 for the first time in 32 years.

Australia goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer became a national hero after stopping two penalty kicks. He said they feel great delight in defeating Uruguay to reach the World Cup after questioning the sportsmanship of the South Americans during the play-off.

Schwarzer stopped the shots from Marcelo Zalayeta and Dario Rodriguez. John Aloisi tucked away Australia's fifth spot-kick to secure a 4-2 win on penalties in Sydney's Telstra Stadium.

There was little between the two teams over the 210 minutes of soccer played in the past four days, and it seemed inevitable after Marco Bresciano levelled the scores on aggregate with a 35th minute goal that it would end in extra time in the cruellest fashion imaginable for one team.

Hiddink, who surprised many with his decision to bench Kewell, left out striker Archie Thompson, bringing in hometown hero Tim Cahill and Bresciano, who had come off the bench in Montevideo to such telling effect.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Uruguay arrives to Australia for Wednesday Match

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Uruguay arrived to Sidney on a commercial flight to play the return game with Australia, after their 1-0 win on Saturday in the first match at Montevideo.

Australian squad must get a victory on Wednesday's match at the former Olympic stadium by two or more goals if the aspire to get the World Cup passport without playing the penalty kicks.

Diego Forlan didn't go with the South american team. He played just 17 minutes of Saturday's match after struggling with a leg injury for the past two weeks.

The Socceroos' charter arrived with all players on board, free of injury and able to stretch out and relax on the plane which was specially fitted with massage tables.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Spain wins over Slovakia 5 - 1

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Spain took a big step to be in the World Cup Germany 2006 when they beated Slovakia 5-1 on Saturday. The scenario was Vicente Calderon stadium and the main showman was Luis Garcia scoring a hat trick.

Atletico Madrid's Torres converted a penalty and Morientes added the fifth goal. Substitute Szilard Nemeth netted Slovakia's consolation goal early in the second half following a mistake by Garcia.

Italian referee Massimo De Santis ejected Slovakia coach Galis and defender Marian Had for protesting. Galis went after Garcia's second goal and Had was sent off after the penalty.

"In the World Cup, you have the best players and the best squads," Galis said. "You should also have the best referees. We knew we could lose but we didn't think it would happen in this way. Some of the refereeing decisions were incredible."

Rodriguez scores for Uruguay 1 - Australia 0

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Uruguay found almost no open spaces on the attack, in their attempt to break the Australian defence. Even a free kick by Diego Forlan in the second minute was batted away by Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.

Mark Viduka later booted a 35-meter shot that Fabian Carini managed to knock away with an amazing save. The ball went bouncing harmlessly into a corner.

Diego Forlan, who was Uruguay's top scorer in South American qualifying, had to leave the field in the first half because of a left leg muscle pull that was acting up. He had not been expected to play after injuring himself recently while playing for Villarreal.

In the 47th minute, Australia nearly missed when Viduka took a pass from teammate Scott Chipperfield and kicked it wide of the net. In the final minutes, Jason Culina booted a powerful shot for Australia that also skidded wide of the net.

Four years ago, Uruguay lost the first leg 1-0 in Melbourne but won on aggregate after a 3-0 victory in Montevideo. The final match of that series was marred by rowdy fan incidents that caused a near international incident as Australian players complained they were harassed and spat upon.

Heavy security was in place around the Socceroos this time around and there was no repeat of any fan incidents.

Squads:

Uruguay: Fabian Carini, Diego Lopez (Guillermo Rodriguez, 63), Carlos Diogo, Paolo Montero, Dario Rodriguez, Diego Perez, Pablo Garcia, Alvaro Recoba, Richard Morales, Marcelo Zalayeta (Fabian Estoyanoff, 62) and Diego Forlan (Dario Silva, 18).

Australia: Mark Schwarzer, Tony Vidmar, Lucas Neill, Tony Popovic, Brett Emerton, Jason Culina, Scott Chipperfield, Vince Grella, Archie Thomspon (Marco Bresciano, 52), Tim Cahill y Mark Viduka (John Aloisi, 79).