France		3	2	1	0	7	4	7
	England		3	2	0	1	8	4	6
	Croatia		3	0	2	1	4	6	2
	Switzerland		3	0	1	2	1	6	1

	Qualify for quarter-finals

21 June 2004

Niko Kovac 5								Scholes 40
Tudor 73									Rooney 46, 68
									Lampard 79

When trying to clear a free kick Ashley Cole shot straight at James, James made a brilliant save but Kovac poked in the
rebound. Owen raced onto Lampard's through pass but a heavy first touch allowed Butina to block, Rooney headed the
rebound to the back post and Scholes headed in his first England goal for over 3 years. Scholes played a one-two with
Owen then laid the ball off to Rooney, he took two touches, one to control the ball and the other to blast it into the
bottom corner, fantastic strike.

In the second half with the Croatians attacking England kept catching them on the break. Gerrard over-hit a lob but Rooney
fared better when he played a one-two with Owen and left the Croat defence in his dust before coolly slotting inside the post.
Without minutes of Rooney's substitution, naturally to rapturous applause, England came unstuck from another Croatia
set piece but Lampard made sure of victory when he skipped away from Srna's challenge and shot wide of the 'keeper.
Gerrard unselfishly tried to setup team-mate Owen on another counter attack but he couldn't work an opening and was
forced to pass.

Mourinho and Abramovich were in the stands, almost certainly eyeing up Wayne Rooney. Everton insist he isn't for sale but
despite their claims they are in no position to reject bids over 45 million. If he stays another season his value will drop.
England vs Portugal for a place in the semi-finals. Poor set piece defending aside England have nothing to fear from the
hosts and SGE has a chance to avenge the World Cup loss to Brazil.

Assists : Rooney, Scholes, Owen, Srna (fk), Beckham

Vonlanthen 26								Zidane 20
									Henry 76, 84

Stiel came off his line for a corner but Zidane beat him to the ball, 1-0. Vonlanthen became the youngest ever scorer in the
European Championships (4 months younger than Rooney) by finishing off a lovely move. Gygax intercepted Silvestre's under
hit pass and knocked the ball into Hakan Yakin, Yakin let the ball run to Cabanas, he passed to Vonlanthen and the 18 year
old steered a first time shot into the corner. Henry finally got off the mark when Saha, on for Trezeguet, flicked on Dacourt's
free kick. Henry scored an 'Arsenal goal' in a France shirt. He ran in from the left, feigned to shoot, sending Yakin crashing
to the ground, then rolled the ball past Stiel.

Henry could have easily scored four but the brace will give him a great deal of confidence. Trezeguet doesn't work in this side.
Saha has to start against Greece.

Assists : Pires (ck), Saha, Vieira

17 June 2004

Rapaic 48 (Pen)								Tudor 22 (og)
Prso 52									Trezeguet 64

Silvestre tried to claim the opening goal from a Zidane free kick but Tudor deflected the ball past his own goalkeeper.
An outrageous piece of skill from Zidane should have resulted in France doubling their lead. Henry played a short corner upto
Zidane, he waited for it to bounce, turned and crossed with his back heel and managed to find Gallas' but the Chelsea defender
missed the target. It would have been the best assist EVER.

Niko Kovac battled for a ball he had no right to win and passed to Rosso who took a dive in the box after Silvestre breathed on
him. Although midget Barthez guessed right Rapaic's penalty was well struck, 1-1. Rapaic crossed to Prso on the edge of the
box, Prso flicked the ball over Silvestre's head but noticed Desailly was about to clear so decided against taking a shot,
Desailly kicked fresh air and Prso lashed a left foot shot into the room of the net. Having given France the lead Tudor couldn't
pass up the chance to help Trezeguet get off the mark in this tournament. Tudor put his 'keeper in the shit with a horribly
under hit backpass, Butina rushed out, the ball struck Trezeguet's arm and while the Croats appealed for handball, Trezeguet
rolled into an empty net. Croatia could and should have won the game at the death. Croatia broke after Zidane lost possession.
Simunic released Olic down the left, Olic skinned Sagnol then cut the ball back to Mornar who turned Desailly brilliant but shot
over with the goal at his mercy.

France haven't created a goal from open play. Croatia need to beat England to qualify. France only need a draw against the
Swiss to go through.

Assists : Rosso (won pen), Rapaic

Rooney 23, 75
Gerrard 82

A wonderfully constructed team game gave England the lead against the run of play. Gerrard was fouled as he passed to
Beckham, Beckham crossed to Owen, Owen took the ball on his chest, stepped inside Marat Yakin and chipped onto
Rooney's head, 1-0.

Haas was sent off for nothing. Vassell replaced the disappointing Owen and within three minutes England had doubled their
lead. Campbell broke up a Swiss attack and Hargreaves punted the ball downfield. Muller, under pressure from midget Vassell,
fell while attempting to head the ball clear and Vassell passed to the onrushing Rooney, Rooney struck a powerful if somewhat
speculative shot at goal, the ball ricocheted off Stiel's near post, hit him in the back of the head and bounced into the net.
Gerrard started the move for England's third with a crossfield pass to Beckham, Beckham slipped in Gary Neville, Neville fired
the ball across the face of goal, Vassell missed but Gerrard didn't. Hargreaves and Vassell selfishly took tried their luck with
team-mates better placed but further goals would have flattered England in fact 3-0 flattered them.

A draw will be enough to see England through to the semi-finals. Switzerland have to beat France.

Assists : Owen, Vassell, G Neville
Red Card : Haas (Switzerland)

13 June 2004

Zidane 91 (fk), 93 (Pen)							Lampard 38

Trezeguet should have given France the lead in the 15th minute but headed Vieira's cross just over the bar. Both teams
cancelled each other out in a forgettable first half until Lampard headed Beckham's free kick past Barthez.

The French dominated possession in the second but failed to trouble James in the England goal. The turning point of the
match came in the 73rd minute when Rooney went down in the box under a clumsy challenge from Silvestre. Beckham's
penalty was brilliantly saved by Barthez though he really should have scored. Eriksson brought on Vassell, Heskey and
Hargreaves in an attempt to try and stop the French monopoly on possession. It worked until the 91st minute when Heskey's
sloppy challenge on Makelele gave France a free kick on the edge of the box. Zidane curled the ball up and over into
the bottom corner, fantastic free kick. Seconds after the restart Gerrard sold James short with a terrible back pass, Henry
raced onto the ball and James floored him as he tried to go round, clear penalty and clear red card. James escaped with
a yellow but Zidane sent him the wrong way as England snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

Other than an early chance for Trezeguet, France created nothing despite a healthy amount of second half possession.
Heskey and Gerrard will be made scapegoats but the real villain was Beckham, had he scored from the spot there would
have been no way back for France.

Assists : Beckham (fk), Makelele (won fk), Henry (won pen)


High on diving, fouls and bad passing, low on quality Switzerland and Croatia served up one of the most mind numbingly
boring internationals you are every likely to see. The game's best chance fell to Olic but he headed against the bar after
Stiel parried Simunic's shot back into play. Croatia failed to take advantage of Vogel's 50th minute red card.

Rubbish, rubbish, rubbish.