Saturday, July 01, 2006

England and Brazil go home - Quarterfinals Day 2

If one was looking for a horrible game, you found it in the England-Portugal match. England was worthless. Beckham was lost, Rooney acted like a spoiled child and the rest of the team could not put together three good passes to save their lives. The sad thing was, even up a man for an hour, Portugal could not make anything happen.

Don't get me wrong, Portugal played the better ball on the day, but their effort was only good when compared to that of England.

The stand out player for the English side had to be Hargreaves. He made his pk at the end, but his work on the field was magnificent. Lennon was another good player, but one still must wonder why he was pulled for Carragher just 2 minutes before the end of play.

For Portugal, they will get Costinha and Deco back for their Wednesday match, but if they play a similar stifled style, they will fall bad to France.

Which brings us to France. I'm starting to wonder if Zidane might mean 'poison to Brazil' in Portuguese, because if it is possible for one man to beat the great Brazil army, Zidane is that man.

I actually went to a Brazilian bar to watch this game and Zidane was so impressive, even the Brazilians were cheering for him in the end. He did everything and he never fell down or begged for a penalty throughout the process. It is only fitting that Zidane, the retiring force of French soccer, found Henry, the future face of France, on the free kick for their goal.

For Brazil, they had all the talent in the world, but they could never make it come together. Ronaldinho was never impressive, much less dangerous, Ronaldo found some life for a couple of games, but was a shell against France, and the rest were somewhat forgettable. When they were playing against lesser opposition, they were able to mask these problems, but once they came up against a top shelf team, they could not fake their way along.

So Brazil goes home while France is just one game away from recapturing what they lost in embarrassing fashion in 2002. Can Zidane continue to conquer against Portugal or will his years finally get the better of him?


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