Saturday, June 10, 2006

World Cup Group A: Germany 4-2 Costa Rica; Ecuador 2-0 Poland;

Allianz Arena, Munich

Germany 4 - 2 Costa Rica


Germany - Lahm 6; Klose 17,61; Frings 87;
Costa Rica - Wanchope 13, 73;

World Cup host, Germany kicked off their campaign with a thrilling 4-2 win over minnows Costa Rica. Frankly this game proves to be the perfect opening match with loads of quality goals and action. Germany started the game without talismanic captain Michael Ballack but that doesn't seemed to affect the Germans too much.

As early as the 6th minute, Philippe Lahm, recently one of the nominees over here in the hottest footballer poll, cut in from the left and using his favoured right foot struck a fantastic curling shot that arrowed into the top left hand corner of Jose Porras' net. 1-0 Germany and game on! The World Cup 2002 hero, Miroslav Klose, celebrating his 28th birthday, struck twice in the game as well in the 17th minute after great work from Bastian Schweinsteiger and in the 61st minute, Lahm did the good work as he ran down the left and delivering a perfect cross for Klose to head home. Although Porras was on hand to save the shot, Klose got the opportunity to sweep home the rebound.

Of course Germany is not without problems themselves. They are really rocky at the back and lacks pace. Paulo Wanchope, the former ManCity striker, beats 2 of their offside trap and score both when he's through one on one with Arsenal keeper, Jens Lehmann. I personally think that Germany needs to tighten up their defence before they could really go on to claim the world title.

But when it's 3-2 and Costa Ricans looked for a equaliser, Torsten Frings, on his first touch, rifled home an absolute scorcher from 35 yards out and broke the Costa Rican's heart. A fantastic opening match compared to the lacklustre opening 4 years ago. No banana skin this time and I think Germany did well, just.

Arena AufSchalke, Schalke

Ecuador 2 - 0 Poland


Ecuador - Tenorio 24; Delgado 80;

Wow, this IS the banana skin. Everyone expected Poland to beat Ecuador, comfortably. But they started the game very conservatively and made to pay, as Ecuador showed that they are no push-overs. Nothing much from this game actually. It wasn't a footballing spectacle, but good enough, especially for this Ecuadorians whom went all the way to Germany and to those who thought that Ecuador will get thrashed.

Anyway Ecuador scored when Poland were dominating. Then Poland went in search of the equaliser and it just won't come. Then they were hit by a sucker-punch when Delgado scored an easy tap-in and game over for Poland. Now it looks bleak for Poland to go through.

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