June 2006

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Dynamoes Of Kiev

Saudi Arabia 0-4 Ukraine Dearie, dearie me. May I ask a simple question which, I feel, really needs to be asked: How? How the hell have Saudi Arabia managed to qualify for every World Cup since 1994? On the basis of this performance, it’s difficult to see how the rest of the teams from Asia…

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June 19, 2006
Ian

TOGO TOGO TOGO (part two)

Switzerland 2-0 Togo Ah well, we could dream, couldn’t we? A team that contrived to have it’s coach resign three days before it’s first match, only for him to be reinstated the night before. If that wasn’t enough, they then threatened to not play against the Swiss on account of the fact that they still…

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June 19, 2006
Ian

Singing Les Bleus

France 1-1 South Korea Oh dear. Poor old France. Stop sniggering at the back. Whilst it’s easy to fill oneself with schadenfreude and have a good chuckle at Le Republique’s misfortune, we should take a moment to consider their “mal chance”. After they finally, finally broke their finals duck (astonishingly, Henry’s goal against South Korea…

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June 19, 2006
Ian

Great Expectations

Australia 0-2 Brazil Going into this match, one would have thought that Australia were the favourites to win this match. The confidence of their supporters (which ranges from a bright, sunny optimism to a vaguely niggling arrogance) was largely responsible for this, though it was also helped by Brazil’s poor performance against Croatia. Everybody watching…

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June 19, 2006
Ian

Syonara?

Croatia 0-0 Japan After all the excitement of Saturday’s three frankly insane matches, we were back to something approaching drudgery as Japan took on Croatia. It’s worth congratulating Japan for bouncing back from back from what could have been a psychologically traumatising defeat by the Australians, but they still largely had their goalkeeper Kawaguchi to…

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June 19, 2006
Ian

The American Dream?

Italy 1-1 USA This, of course, is the day that everything went, well, a bit crazy. If things hadn’t been bizarre enough earlier on in the evening between the Czechs and Ghana, the USA and Italy threw up an extraordinary match of bad temper, astonishing fouls, and, eventually, two goals. It all started relatively calmly,…

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June 18, 2006
Ian

Czeched Out

Czech Republic 0-2 Ghana The rest of the day was taken up with results that no-one could or would have predicted. I know it sounds like excuses, but consider this: Ghana, whilst they had showed flashes of inspiration against Italy, hadn’t shown that they had anything like the defensive nous to deal with the likes…

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June 18, 2006
Ian
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