Monday, July 10, 2006

World Cup Germany Update 8

July 9th saw the end of the excellently staged and comepeted World Cup. Hats off to Germany for hosting a finely organised event of the grandest stage. First, let's talk about the little matter of the match that decides who finishes in 3rd place. Hosts Germany, having been heartbroken by the 2-0 loss to the Italians, wanted to finish third in the tournament - a spot to be sneezed at. Portugal also looked to end their fine run on a postive note. But the two teams played like they had nothing to lose and attacked with gusto. Germany ended up the winner, 3-1 thanks in large part to midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, who scored two great goals and also had the last shot before an own goal by Portugal. Portugal played well and were able to score a consolation goal but the Germans were a better team. This match is also significant as it marks the possible very last international matches for two greats of the game - Portugese star Luis Figo and German goalie Oliver Kahn. These two will are not that far off from retiring from club football as well and will be sorely missed.

Now on to the final - I am sure that perhaps a billion bets were placed on who would win the final and ascend as the 2006 World Champions. We had huge discussions on the same at the office and among my friends. This truly is the only world event, even the Olympics pale in comparison. The match started so well, an attacking frenzy which peaked in the 7th minute penalty, converted by Zinedine Zidane. Some minutes later Italy were level when Marco Materrazzi scored of a brilliant header. The match was flowing like fine wine - you pick between Italian or French. We didn't want the ref to blow the halftime whistle. The second half was a little less exciting and it seemed to be headed for extra-time from the first few minutes. But it still was a good game. Extra-time came and went with no goals. Oh then there was the crazy Zidane incident. Zidane vicously head-butted Materrazzi in the chest for what seemed like a pat on the back. In later news it seems like Zidane felt that the Italian called him a terrorist! However, the referee had no choice but to hand out a red card. France now down to 10 men seemed desperate. It was on to penalties now and the bells seemed to be tolling for France. Treseguet missed and Italy were crowned champions for the fourth time ever. The joyous Italians were contrastly mirrored by the deflated French. Zidane was still named the player of the tournament, even though most people, including me, felt that Fabio Cannavaro was the best. Arrivedeci till South Africa in 2010.

Song for the day - "One Wild Night" - BON JOVI


Post a Comment

<< Home