Sunday, July 09, 2006


Schweinsteiger Magic Seals Third Place For Germany:-



GER - Schweinsteiger (56min, 78min), Petit (Own Goal 61min);
POR - Nuno Gomes (88min);

Before I start, let me say I was spot on with my prediction, so all hail me! Nah, just kidding. Just glad that the Germans won it and won it fair and square while the Portugese disappeared down the tunnel without a trace. To be fair they played really well throughout the competition with some moment of brilliance and should be very proud of their performances. They're being written off before the competition started even by their own supporters but they proved them wrong and put up a good show and did not let their fans down, who filled the entire stadium and their cheers and chants nearly brought down the roof of the stadium.

It's a match that doesn't really matter as it only determines the third and fourth placing and maybe for them to salvage some pride. More importantly, this might be the last time we'll be seeing certain players and a chance for the fans to catch a glimpse of the stars that have shone for years and ready to be taken over by the new stars of te future. Oliver Kahn and Figo most notably were the ones that are ready to step down from national duties after this match and you'll expect them to feature much in this game.

The first half was entertaining with lots of chances going the Germans way but they just didn't convert them, with several free kicks just outside the penalty area. Frings, Schneider and Podolski all tried their luck but Ricardo was on hand. Portugese created their own chances as well, with Pauleta coming closest as he tried to side foot an angle shot past Oliver Kahn, but the veteran keeper dived low and showed the world why he's still regarded as one of the best goalkeepers. As usual a few simulations and dives around by the Portugese and Cronaldo was at it again, as he dived blatantly just before half time and he was lucky to escape from a yellow card.

Second half promises to be a great one as both Portugal and Germany seemed to have stepped up and showed some urgency. Portugese clearly had more of the possesion but couldn't do anything about it.

But first blood was drew when Bastian Schweinsteiger, the Bayern Munich winger, cut in from the left and let fly an unstoppable shot that swerved so much in the air that it actually went straight at Ricardo's dive, but it was just too powerful and it nearly broke he net. That very goal opened the game up very much, with Portugal going for the equaliser and Germans hitting them on the counter attack. It was a pretty fluent game with some nice passes around the midfield, but the quality of the passes in the final third for both teams are pretty disappointing.

The second came when a freekick was awarded outside Portugal's penalty area and it was Schweinsteiger again that is there to weave some magic. He hit the shot low and hard into the penalty area and substitute, Armando Petit was unlucky to place his foot at the wrong place as he directed a powerful shot into his own net. Disappointing for the Portguese as they tried really hard but found the Germans just a little better in terms of technical abilities.

The inevitable happened when the Germans found the net again and oh no, it's Schweinsteiger again! He took the ball and hits another stinger shot. It just swerved powerfully into Ricardo's net and there's nothing he could do about it, as the ball was hit at such a pace and angle that nobody would've saved it.

Portugese then brought on retiring star, Luis Figo and his introduction sparked some life into a dying Portugese side, who lacked the killer instinct in the box. His cross for Nuno Gomes was converted nicely, as he dived (diving header I mean..hehe) in and headed the ball into Kahn's net. Kahn would be disappointed by conceding that goal, as he had been solid throughout the night. But it was THAT cross from Figo that's captured the imaginations. It was pure class and 'undefendable'.

At the end, it was the host, Germany who got the consolation price in coming in third. But they should be proud of this achievement, as nobody would have expected them to come thus far. They've done their best and let's give them the credits. And it's nice to see Kahn and Lehmann shaking hands after the match and it's something special in our eyes, that football is not just a game played by 22 guys, but it might be much more than that. The emotions, the joy and the sorrow of this game is something unique to all who love this game. A job well done to Juergen Klinsmann, he did a terrific job.

AWWWW. Heart-warming!


Emma said...

I think Portugal's crappy performance says it all really. Scumbag cheaters.

Drogballs said...

haha yea, they just don't seemed to have a good enough striker. Cheers.