15 June 1998

Shearer 41
Scholes 89

Shearer headed in Le Saux’s free kick and Scholes made it 2-0 with a superb
curling shot from the edge of the box following a penetrating run by Ince. England
were superb in the last 25 minutes of the first half and Scholes missed 2 glorious
chances. In the second half they sat on their lead and left massive holes in defence
when going forward, fortunately for them Tunisia didn’t have the class to
capitalise. A very good attacking display, slack defending and far too much diving
from the ginger twat Scholes. Anderton was awful. Sheringham wasn’t much
better and Shearer spends far too much time in wide positions playing crosses into
the box, I was under the impression that was the midfields job.

Attendance : 54,587

Illie 45

Hagi’s exquisite back heel found Ilie via deflection, he ran into the box, sold a
rude dummy to a defender and scoring with a magnificent chipped drive. Despite
the low scoreline this was my favourite game of the World Cup so far. Some
outstanding attacking from both teams, Romania with their quick passing and
Colombia played their usual patient and at times elaborate passing game. Hagi
and Valderrama were superb even though both lack the pace of days gone by.
Munteanu was devastating on the right wing for Romania and Ilie has a lot more
pace and technique than Raducioiu. Romania’s ‘keeper, Stelea, also gave a good
performance. Asprilla performed his usual vast array of circus tricks. Colombia
lack pace in midfield and an instinctive finisher in attack. Judging on this
performance Romania are certainly as good as any of the other teams in the
competition. Great game.

Attendance : 37,572

22 June 1998

Preciado 82

Valderrama tackled a player, probably for the first time in his entire life, played a
fantastic through ball for Preciado to beat Al Ouaer at close range. Both ‘keepers
were excellent, in particular Al Ouear. With better finishing this could have ended
8-8 or something, fantastic to watch as long as remember to switch off your brain
when the teams defend. Colombia are unquestionably THE best team in the World
when it comes to finding elaborate ways in which how to avoid shooting. Preciado
had a goal disallowed for one of those ridiculous handball decisions - the ball
struck Valderrama, Preciado whacked in the rebound.

Attendance : 35,500

Moldovan 46						Owen 82 
Petrescu 89

Two pieces of Sunday league defending cost England dearly, and Le Saux was
involved in both incidents. Hagi received the ball from a throw in, chipped the ball
into the box and Moldovan, who ironically had a wretched first season in England,
ghosted past Adams and scored with a superb volley. Adams, instinctively, did a
Baresi special while falling to the ground, vainly appealing for offside. Old habits
die hard. Shearer drilled the ball across goal and Owen scooped the ball into the
net via Scholes deflection. Munteanu chipped the ball into the box from about
35yds, Le Saux was supposed to be marking Petrescu but Dan waltzed in and
poked the ball under Seamen’s legs.

As I and many others commented, England’s defence looked awful against
Portugal and was equally awful against Tunisia so it’s should be no surprise to see
more awful defending punished by superior opposition. Beckham came on as sub
for the injured Ince and played reasonably well. Sheringham was once again worse
than terrible and clearly someone with such chronic pace has no place in the team.
Owen’s impact was almost immediate however Hoddle should not take any credit
for the substitution, the England supporters and the press and fans back home
virtually forced him to make that decision. Anderton has a decent game but only
a Tottenham supporter would pick him ahead of McManaman, 10 times the player
the cripple Anderton is. Shearer was once again wasted, basically playing as a
right winger. Terrible performance by England, if they get past Colombia they will
probably face Argentina, on this display they’ll do well to keep the score down.
Also lots of diving by the English players was thankfully ignored, sad to see
Shearer appeal for fouls over the type of challenges he dishes out to defenders
every week.

Attendance : 35,000

26 June 1998

Anderton 19
Beckham 29

Bermudez headed out Owen’s corner straight to the cripple Anderton and he
cracked an awesome half volley into the roof of the net. Ince won a free kick,
Beckham curled it into the net.

Mondragon had an awesome game in goal for Colombia. Shearer should have
had a hat-trick and still spends too much time outside the box. Owen and Beckham
were again excellent. Le Saux again sucked like a cheap whore. Anderton can score
all the goals he likes IMO he still shouldn’t be in the team, not after playing less
than 5 games all season and McManaman is still twice the player Anderton is or
ever will be. Macca created a great chance for Shearer when he made his
appearance as sub.

Attendance : 41,275

Moldovan 72						Souayah 10 (Pen)

Sellimi won a penalty, Souayah converted. Hagi’s cross eventually lead to
Romania’s equaliser, Ilie chipped the advancing ‘keeper, Chouchene headed the
ball back and Moldovan volleyed into the net.

The entire Romanian team died their hair blonde for some unknown reason.

Attendance : 80,000