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Monday, June 26, 2006

World Cup Diary - Day Eighteen

A few days working away and its easy to lose track of what’s happening in the World Cup. So how did my first round predictions work out.

Ecuador rested half their first team and lost to Germany leaving me a little disappointed. Although as every other team I bet on to win their group did, I ‘m quiet happy given the number of doubles, trebles etc from the bet.

I correctly predicted England would draw with Sweden sending both teams to the next round. The rest of the groups also panned out as expected.

My outside bet at the start of the tournament is now dead. Unfortunately injury problems up front put an end to the Czech Republics chances of even getting out of the group stages.

The quarter finals started this weekend. Germany seem to be getting better and better as the tournament goes on and comfortably beat Sweden. They meet Argentina (who beat Mexico in extra time) in the quarter finals in what is a tough game to call. Argentina started the tournament very impressively but with the Germans on home soil and growing in confidence this should be a cracking game of football.

England beat Ecuador in unconvincing fashion. Now is the time to start peaking though if they are going to win the cup. No point peaking in the first round to lose out in the later stages of the tournament. Rooney seems almost back to full fitness which is a huge boost to their chances, Joe Cole has been very impressive so far, the back four have for the most part been solid (lets hope the defending against Swedens set plays was a one off) and Beckham has been on top form with his delivery of the ball. If Lampard and Gerrard can click together in the centre of midfield England have every chance of winning. The only weak spot for me has been in goal where Robinson hasn’t looked as commanding and confident as many English keepers in the past.

England will play Portugal in the last eight after they won a bad tempered affair with Holland that saw four red cards.

Results round up
Group Stages

Ecuador 0 – 3 Germany
Costa Rica 1 – 2 Poland
Sweden 2 – 2 England
Paraguay 2 – 0 Trinidad & Tobago
Netherlands 0 – 0 Argentina
Ivory Coast 3 – 2 Serbia & Montenegro
Portugal 2 – 1 Mexico
Iran 1 – 1 Angola
Czech Republic 0 – 2 Italy
Ghana 2 – 1 USA
Japan 1 – 4 Brazil
Croatia 2 – 2 Australia
Togo 0 – 2 France
Switzerland 2 – 0 South Korea
Saudi Arabia 0 – 1 Spain
Ukraine 1 – 0 Tunisia

2nd Round
Germany 2 – 0 Sweden
Argentina 2 – 1 Mexico (A.E.T)
England 1 – 0 Ecuador
Portugal 1 – 0 Netherlands

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