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, June 15, 2006

Germany beat Poland to assure second stage spot

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Oliver Neuville jumped in from the bench to score the only goal in the German 1-0 victory over Poland in a World Cup match in Dortmund.

In fact, this game was scoreless until injury time, when Neuville punched in a goal on a pass from substitute David Ondonkur. What's more, Poland was playing with 10 men after Radoslaw Sobolewski was sent off in the 75th minute for tripping striker Miroslav Klose. The result gives Germany six points from two games.

In other matches, Saudi Arabia battled Tunisia to a 2-2 draw, while Spain dominated Ukraine 4-0 in their Group-H football matches.

The Saudi squad fought back from a 1-0 first half deficit Wednesday, and appeared to be on the way to a 2-1 victory in Munich. Tunisia first took the lead on a goal from striker Zied Jaziri in the 23rd minute, and Saudi Arabia's Yasser al-Kahtani scored the equalizer in the 57th minute.

It's important to say that Sami al-Jaber gave the Saudis a 2-1 lead in the 84th minute. With injury time running down, Tunisia's Radhi Jaidi tied the match 2-2 with a 92nd minute tally.

Meanwhile in Leipzig, Spain scored two goals in each half on the way to the biggest victory margin so far at this year's World Cup. Amazingly, Xabi Alonso scored in the 13th minute. David Villa made it 2-0 in the 17th, then tallied again on a penalty kick in the 47th. Fernando Torres' powerful shot in the 81st minute marked the final 4-0.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Brazil beat Croatia 1-0 with Kaka's great goal

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Brazil defeated Croacia 1-0 in a hard game and became the first team in World Cup history to win eight successive matches in the finals on Tuesday.

The Olympiastadion was the scenario fpr a bad Brazilian performance, despite the memorable goal from Kaka a minute before halftime.

Kaka controlled a pass from Cafu and made space for himself by holding off a challenge from two defenders before lashing home an unstoppable left-foot curler from 25 meters to beat the rivals.

Goalkeeper Pletikosa made two vital saves to keep his side in the game: first from a blistering long-range Roberto Carlos blast from 25 meters after 15 minutes and then from a Ronaldinho Gaucho header in the 62nd minute.

In fact, those moves inspired the Croatian forwards to go in search of the equalizer and goalkeeper Dida was kept busy at the other end as Dado Prso, Marko Babic and Jerko Leko kept the Brazilians in danger.

However, that is more than can be said for Ronaldo. The Real Madrid forward had a poor game in the Brazil attack, recalling his woeful performance in the 1998 World Cup final, and it was no surprise when coach Carlos Alberto Parreira replaced him with Robinho at minute 69.

Coach Parreira paid tribute to Croatia's stubborn performance and was very pleased to get off to a winning result.

"The victory was exceptional, excellent. The performance could be better but it will improve in the next encounter... For us today it was so important to start with a win."

In the other hand, Croatian coach Zlatko Kranjcar admitted he thought his team were unlucky.

"I think we didn't deserve to lose this match. For most of the time we were the better team. It was a pity we didn't take our opportunities but if you make one mistake against Brazil you will lose the match."

It's true that Brazil failed to reach their exalted heights of magical football but they showed their usual touches of brilliance in flashes -- and defended well and in depth when they needed to.

France dissapoint fans as they draw 0-0 with Switzerland

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France only got a 0-0 draw with Switzerland here yesterday, and they never showed the football they were expectoed to perform. At the final whistle there were boos from their heavily outnumbered and ultimately disenchanted supporters, while several players bickered among themselves.

One of the most important factd of the game is that Thierry Henry was allowed little rope by his Arsenal team-mate Philippe Senderos, who would have been named player of the match ahead of the respective anchormen Claude Makelele and Johann Vogel, however for one howler in the first half that should have led to a goal. Late in the game Senderos was joined by his even younger club colleague Johan Djourou as France sent on Louis Saha in a quest for that elusive goal. Until then Henry lacked the required support.

According to expert, twice these sides drew while qualifying for Germany from the Republic of Ireland's group, and the Swiss were clearly delighted to have completed the hat-trick against their old rivals. The country's football has improved of late, by concentrating on youth development and introducing numerous sons of immigrants like Senderos.

"I still know that France were stronger than us, especially in the first half, but we defended well," Kobi Kuhn admitted, their wily old bird of a coach.

In the other hand, the France coach Raymond Domenech, with some of his country's media representatives for revealing his line-up after spying at a closed training session, blamed a dry pitch rather than his players for this awful demonstration.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Important victories of the Netherland, Mexico and Portugal

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The favorites got the victory. Portugal, Mexico and the Netherlands beat lower-ranked opposition as the third day of GErmany 2006 ended without the surprises that punctuated the start of the tournament.

Pauleta assured his status as Portugal's all-time leading scorer in a 1-0 defeat of Angola, making its debut in the showpiece. Omar Bravo scored twice as Iran slid to a 3-1 loss to Mexico, and Arjen Robben got the only goal as the Netherlands beat Serbia & Montenegro. Serbia's manager said Robben could be one of the stars of the tournament.

Earlier, Serbia & Montenegro, playing at the tournament for the first and last time after the countries voted to split last month, remains on zero points alongside Ivory Coast, which lost yesterday 2-1 to Argentina.

"We can definitely do better than this," said Serbia & Montenegro coach Ilija Petkovic. "We have a great team and we will do our best to finish second in the group."

Robben, 22, ran onto a chipped pass from Robin van Persie and sprinted clear of the defense before rolling the ball past oncoming goalkeeper Dragoslav Jevric for the only goal.

And in another match, mexican Bravo joined Germany's Miroslav Klose and Paulo Wanchope of Costa Rica on two goals at the tournament as Mexico won its opening match.

A two-time host that's never gone beyond the quarterfinals, Mexico took the lead in the 29th minute when Bravo prodded the ball into the goal from four yards. Yahya Golmohammadi made it 1-1 eight minutes later, lifting the ball into the roof of the net from six yards.

Bravo got his second goal 14 minutes from the end, slipping the ball past Mirzapour after exchanging passes with Zinha following a miskick by goalkeeper Ebrahim Mirzapour and a mistake by defender Rahman Rezaei. Zinha completed the scoring three minutes later with a header from six yards.