FIFA World Cup Germany 2006

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Spanish death, French resurrection

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The old gang wants to get back to glorious days. Zinedine Zidane served the deciding goal on Tuesday night, then scored one of his own minutes later to lead France to a 3-1 win over Spain in Hanover, Germany.

Villa scored the 1-0 lead for Spain in a game where the Spaniard side was favorite, but the "Bleus" managed to equalize with a great run by Frank Ribery. Vieira scored the second one and Zidane killed Spain in the last minute.

"We're old but we're still smart," French boss Raymond Domenech said after Les Bleus used shrewd tactics and a couple of clever moves on their way to a 3-1 victory over Spain on Tuesday for a place in the last eight.

Relying on several footballers past their prime but still exceptionally talented, France patiently waited for their opportunities and downed the Spaniards with two late goals.

Now they face Brazil, whom they defeated 3-0 in the 1998 final at Stade de France, and will have to accept being underdogs in Saturday's derby in Frankfurt. This is most likely the most expected game in this World Cup so far.

Brazil breaks records and rivals

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In a very good evening for him, Ronald broke GErd Muller's record, and Brazil won 3-0 to advance to the quarter-final of the 2006 World Cup. This time the victim was Ghana.

In fact, tuesday's goal was Ronaldo's third in four encounters at Germany '06 and it made him the all-time leading scorer in World Cup history with 15, but it has been really hard to tell whether he is on a roll because of the roll that's on him.

According to brazilian newspapers, even Brazil's president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, involved himself in the national debate over whether the country's star striker Ronaldo was "fat." He then apologized, especially after the footballer mentioned the politician's fondness for a drink now and then.

Inter's Adriano and Bayern Munich's Ze Roberto scored the other two goals for the Brazilian victory. Now the "verdeamarelha" will face a surprising France, in a game that resembles the 1998 World Cup Final.

Referee mistake helps Italy win over Australia

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The Spanish referee Luis Medina Cantalejo, Italy defeated Australia 1-0 and qualify for the quarterfinals to face Ukraine.

According to all the fans in the stadium, Australians fought well the whole encounter and did not deserve a lost in such circumstances. And Italy disserves a credit for being on the attack. However, still being held to a 0-0 draw by Australia the whole match on Monday.

In fact, Italy made it through for this match against Australia by winning over Ghana and the Czech Republic and making a tie against the USA. Australia made it through to the second round for the first time ever in a World Cup tournament. Australia won against Japan, lost to Brazil, and then got a tie awith Croatia.

The Australian newspaper mentioned the terrible mistake that eliminate a good team of the tournament.

Argentina and Germany face a super derby after winning in the Round of 16

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Two of the best teams of the Cup, Germany and Argentina qualified for the quarterfinal stage after beating Sweden 2-0 and edging Mexico 2-1 respectively.

In the Allianz Arena, german forward Lukas Podolski scored twice in eight minutes to help Germany ease past Sweden in the first encounter of the World Cup knockout stage.

Indeed, Podolski scored his second goal of the tournament five minutes into the match, when fellow striker Klose broke clear in the box, was just stopped by Andreas Isaksson and Podolski was on hand to convert the rebound.

The Bayern Munich striker put it 2-0 eight minutes later after a fine combination with Klose, who slipped a pass through and Podolski found the back of the net with ease.

Sweden wasted their greatest opportunity in the 52nd minute. Striker Henrik Larsson was awarded a penalty kick after being fouled in the box by Christoph Metzelder. But the 35-year-old shot the ball out of the field.

Juergen Klinsmann expressed his satisfaction: "We were extremely well prepared from the kickoff. I played with full power and full energy. We wanted to attack and give them pressure from the start and the players did very well. "

And in the other match, Argentine midfielder Maxi Rodriguez scored as spectacular goal in extra time against desperate Mexico on Saturday night. Argentina, who defeated Mexico 2-1 in extra time after a full-time 1-1 tie, will meet hosts Germany in the quarterfinals in Berlin on June 30.

In fact, midfileder Rodriguez was named Man of the Match by the FIFA Tecnical Study Group after the match. He said his amazing goal had left him stunned he was confident Argentina could now overcome host nation Germany in the next stage.