Monthly Archive: June 2006

Brazilian Bland 1

Brazilian Bland

Brazil 1-0 Croatia God. Before the match, the BBC took a good half an hour that could have been used up with public information films eulogising Brazil. This was, if you believed Gary Lineker,...

Diabolique! 0

Diabolique!

France 0-0 Switzerland Okay. Forget what I said about “Old Europe” down there. Just forget it. At least, forget it about it so far as France are concerned. They were wretched this evening, as...

Korea Changes 2

Korea Changes

South Korea 2-1 Togo You kind of had the feeling that this wasn’t going to be Togo’s day from the moment that the stadium PA system belted out the South Korean national anthem twice...

The Old World Order 2

The Old World Order

Over the last ten or fifteen years or so, much has been made of a supposed “New World Order” in football. The catalyst for this was Cameroon’s achievement in making the quarter-finals of Italia...

Ghana To The Dogs 0

Ghana To The Dogs

Ghana 0-2 Italy Italy. You never know quite what to expect, do you? They’re capable of getting knocked out by the best or the worst teams in the tournament, but they’re also capable of...

Bouncing Czechs 1

Bouncing Czechs

Czech Republic 3-0 USA There’s been a lot of talk recently about the possibility (or indeed likelihood) of the USA launching a serious challenge for the World Cup. It’ll keep coming every time until...

Advance Australia Fair 4

Advance Australia Fair

Australia 3-1 Japan What a terrific game. Best of the tournament so far, in my humble opinion. Australia, as I said before, are a capable team, and are a decent bet for a run...

The Gift Of The Gab 2

The Gift Of The Gab

You see, with Martin O’Neill, the BBC have got a real chance. They’ve got a chance to put an intelligent, articulate broadcaster on their channel. An authorative, experienced coach who steers clear of hyperbole...

Portuguese Men Of War 1

Portuguese Men Of War

Angola 0-1 Portugal One can only presume that, tomorrow morning, the Portuguese press will be howling, gnashing their teeth and writing off their team’s chances going much further than the second round of the...

The Persian Gulf 1

The Persian Gulf

Mexico 3-1 Iran I should be careful. I’ll be using up all of my decent title puns before the end of this week. Mexico are possibly even worse than Spain in terms of their...

Going Dutch 1

Going Dutch

Holland 1-0 Serbia & Montenegro We’re always going to feel to down by the Dutch. You see the luminous orange shirts on a football pitch, and instantly your mind turns back to Cruyff &...

The Real World Cup Starts Here 0

The Real World Cup Starts Here

Argentina 2-1 Ivory Coast If you believe the press reaction to this match, football has been taken to a new plane of skill, athleticism and excitement. Like so much press reaction, the case has...

The Perfect Result 0

The Perfect Result

Trinidad & Tobago 0-0 Sweden From a jingoistically English perspective, we couldn’t have asked for much more than this. Trinidad have lost a man for a game. Sweden have now got something of a...

The Heat Of The Moment 3

The Heat Of The Moment

England 1-0 Paraguay Keep repeating the mantra: “it’s the result that counts, it’s the result that counts”. Time, I think, for a little perspective. Reading a few various blogs, messageboards and sites this morning,...

Right, you see… 1

Right, you see…

Rio Ferdinand is a right prankster. No, he’s just like Jeremy Beadle, but without the gammy hand.

Pole-axed 4

Pole-axed

Ecuador 2-0 Poland This was an important match. These two teams were, according to the pre-tournament hype, giong to be battling it out for second place, so neither could afford to fall three points...