20 June 2006


Klose 4, Klose 43    
Podolski 57    
Having already qualified Ecuador rested five players ahead of their last 16 match
including captain Hurtado and star striker Delgado. A wise move which will no doubt
ender them to the German public as would the defending that gave the hosts an early
lead. Mertesacker hooked a sliced clearance over the back post, Schweinsteiger
volleyed the ball towards Klose and he drilled a low shot into the bottom corner.
He second his fourth goal of the tournament from a delightful Ballack pass. Podolski
got off the mark after missing a couple of chances on a counter attack initiated by the
excellent Schweinsteiger.

Attendance : 72,000
Assists : Schweinsteiger, Ballack, Schneider


Gomez 25  

Bosacki 33, 66

Gomez absolutely hammered a free kick through the Polish wall between Boruc's legs,
I'm sure had he got in the way the ball would have floored him. Zurawski's teasing
corner drew Costa Rica's goalkeeper Porras off his line only he forgot to catch the
ball and Bosacki volleyed in off the underside of the bar. Having made an excellent
save from Krzynowek, from the resulting corner Porras decided to stay on his line only
once the ball sailed across goal he couldn't help himself so ran to mark his near post
as Bosacki headed in his second.

Attendance : 43,000
Assists : Wanchope (won fk), Zurawski (ck), Krzynowek
15 June 2006


Tenorio 9    
Delgado 54    
Kaviedes 93    
Valencia intercepted a loss ball and passed to Delgado, he ran into traffic and having
had a shot charged down played the ball back out wide to Valencia he trapped
the ball, looked up and fired a cross into the box which Tenorio emphatically
headed into the net. Porras made a brilliant save from Valencia's deflected cross.
The impressive Recreativo winger served up another chance right on the stroke of
half time but Delgado missed.

Mendez chested down a cross to Delgado, Delgado headed the ball back, Mendez
flicked it over a defender, Delgado bounced it off his chest then lashed a right
foot volley past Porras. Saborio was unlucky to see a lob come back off the bar,
we still haven't seen a goalkeeper lobbed in this tournament. With Costa Rica
pushing forward, Ecuador hit them with a sucker punch on the break and it was
another fabulous goal. Delgado was standing on the half way line with his back to
play, as he received a pass out of defence from Reasco, with his first touch he flicked
the ball over his head, completely taking out Marin who was closing in, then rolled
the ball out wide to Mendez, he took a few steps forward before whipping a cross
to the back post which Kaviedes met with a right foot volley. GOAL OF THE
TOURNAMENT. Kaviedes put on a Lucha mask to celebrate.

Congratulations to Ecuador supports everywhere, they're in the last 16.

Valencia (almost 21) plays for Recreativo, who have just been promoted back into
La Liga. I don't expect he'll be there much longer.

Attendance : 50,000
Assists : Valencia, Mendez, Mendez
14 June 2006


Neuville 92    
Midway through the first half Klose missed an absolute sitter. Lahm's clever pass
hung in the air and was begging to hit but he headed wide. Germany's other
Polish born striker, Podolski, ruined a fine team move with an atrocious finish from
2 yards out adding credence to some claims made by Polish fans to the BBC that
the duo would help their team (Poland), if you like conspiracies.

A deflected free kick broke to Klose but he shot straight at Buruc. Sobolewski earned
himself a needless second yellow for a pulling back Klose on the half way line. The
Germans poured forward in search of the winning goal. Lahm almost repeated his
opening game heroics, cutting in from the left but Boruc saved and Ballack had a
shot charged down on the rebound however the Germans quickly regained possession
and Schneider thread a pass through to Schweinsteiger, his deflected cross broke to
Neuville and he was denied a certain goal by an outstanding save from Buruc. In the
90th minutes Klose headed a fabulous Lahm cross against the bar, on the rebound
Ballack also hit the woodwork then Neuville had his shot charged down. The hosts
unrelenting pressure finally paid off. Schneider chipped another ball into the space
vacated by Sobolewski, Odonkor, who has a notoriously poor cross, volleyed into
the box and Neuville arrived to slide the ball past Boruc, lastminute.com.

Attendance : 65,000
Red Card : Sobolewski 75 (Poland)
Assist : Odonkor
9 June 2006


Lahm 6  

Wanchope 12, 73

Klose 17, 61    
Frings 87    
Lahm latched onto a hurried clearance and Umana's slip allowed him to run
unchallenged into the box and from the bottom left corner he unleashed an incredible

shot which crashed into the back of the net, in off a post. I've argued for years teams
never play high offside traps at international level but that's precisely what the
Germans did when Gomez slipped a ball through to Wanchope. Lehmann began to
rush his line but, possibly fearful of another Barcelona style disaster, peddled back as
the giant striker strode into the box and calmly pushed the ball into the bottom
corner. Frings and Schneider worked the ball down Costa Rica's left, Schweinsteiger
fired Schneider's cross to the back post and Klose slid in to restore his teams lead.
Klose plundered his second on the rebound after Porras had brilliantly saved his
initial effort. A combination of more naive defending and a blind linesman gifted
Wanchope another goal. Centeno hit a delightful pass between two defenders and
Wanchope again showed great composure to beat a bemused Lehmann. A fantastic
save denied Mertesacker a certain goal. Three minutes from time Schweinsteiger
rolled a free kick to an unmarked Frings who was 35 or so yards from goal and he hit
the most extraordinary shot which suddenly arched away from Porras before piercing
the top right corner of the net.

Fabulous, fabulous game. Costa Rica again put on a show as they had done in the
last World Cup. Germany's defending was abysmal and will be a major cause for
concern when they inevitably face stronger teams.

Attendance : 59,000
Assists : n/a, Gomez, Schweinsteiger, n/a, Centeno, Schweinsteiger (fk)



Tenorio 24


Delgado 80

This was the first upset though the Poles can consider themselves desperately unlucky.
Tenorio punished non existent defending from a throw-in to give Ecuador the lead.

De La Cruz hurled the ball into the box, Delgado flicked it forward and Tenorio darted
across Baszczynski to send a header into the bottom corner. The Poles had a goal
wrongly disallowed for offside. The rest of the first half was so dull I changed

In the second half another mistake by Baszczynski was ruthlessly punished. He

pushed up and tried to play offside as Kaviedes ran onto a pass but the flag stayed
down and the striker centred for Delgado to tap in a second. Substitutes Jelen and
Brozek hit the woodwork.

Attendance : 52,000
Assists : Delgado, Kaviedes