Day Four…

Day four-Japas V Australia-

It has been 32 years since the gold and green of Australia was seen at the world cup finals. Guided by ace tactician Guss Hiddink, the Australians have a fighting chance of getting through this group, but only if they can make sushi of the Japs. Zico is head coach of the east Asians, who have Nakata, Nakamura and Ono…Kewell starts. Up front for Socceroos are Viduka, and ???..psycho Wiltshire playing .red card v holland a week ago. Japs are fast, but Aussies have more established players and a physical superiority. Japs have one black player….
Line up; ginger jap looks like monkey…from the series, not the animal..
Prediction–Australia 2-0
(unless Zico selects himself, in which case:1-5 Japs)
(AUS)2 defensive midfielders, the inexperienced Wiltshire….
Schwarzer one of best shot-stopper in tournament,
Kewell and Viduka upfront

1t
Ref is Egypt
jap – 3-5-2
Watch nakata and Nakamura…
18th ranked japan
42nd ranked Australia

Hiddink smart…Nisskens sings Aussie anthem
35C maybe warmer on pitch.
1- foul by Bresciano on Nakata, just outside box….
FK- Hits Kewell in the face. Great start for Nakamura…
4th- Wiltshire chops Alex…sign of things to come..early signs of Australian malice…
6th-viduka down the left,,first shot saved, then rebound saved for corner…static defence..
Jap keeper looks nervous or terrible.
Australian height and strength advantage surely to yield success from set pieces
Fukunishi—–fuk a what?
Komani right back jap, troll.
14- sustained Aussie pressure ends with Bresciano shot…over…
‘a left boot that could open a can of beans’
22- Takahara makes room for a drive from 20 yards..just wide…
25- Bresciano plays lovely one/two with Viduka, his left foot prod, troubles keeper..but shouldn’t of.
26- [/i]GOAL Nakamura .terrible mix-up at the back gifts japan the lead..Schwarzer nowhere… It was a cross. Aussie keeper barged out the path of the ball..Japs lead 1-0
[i]28-
Kewell knocks one inches over the bar…
31- Yellow for captain Miyamoto…barge on Bresciano..deserved.
Aussie crowd booing Jagankasawa writing in agony on grass…
40- Yellow for Takahara.
41-sneaky free-kick from Bresciano round wall, almost curls into net…

HT
Cockatoos have created a few chances from their aerial dominance especially from set pieces….Japs looked energetic going forward but lacking GOOD connection between strikers and midfield. Goal was a joke really to everyone but the Australians. Schwarzer was barged from the front, with his eyes on the ball…
Can Hiddink gain some interest from his investment in the Aussie thugs????Aloisi should play a part with his hulk of a frame….and Midas touch hahaha
the least entertaining 45 minutes of the finals to date…

2T
Japanese hug.
53-Aussie SUB Ratface Cahill arrives for Bresciano…
Brett Emerton could make a decent right back, but he is certainly out of his depth playing in the final third…
Hiddink silently indignant. Skin turning crimson, rage from within
56- Jap injury forces SUB…
(Tsubi for Moniwa)
57- Yellow for Moore after blatant obstruction halts jap breakaway.
59- Weak Schwarzer header from just outside his area almost gifts Japs a second.
61- Big boy Josh Kennedy on for defender Moore.SUB (aus)
Aussies playing 3-4-3
Haven’t seen Kewell at all this half.
Zico doesn’t look like a manager.
These teams, the ones which lack world class players, when they are down and need to up their game, change to a higher gear, they can’t, that is the importance of class over system. No system can work without players, but wicked players can work without complicated system, perhaps without much system at all…
A lot of possession for Aussies but there isn’t much they can do with it except look for the big guys up front…
They must know that this will be halfway to an group stage exit. Aussies must do what they can, throw some caution to the wind, but there is now wind, so their caution is sticking to them like glue…

68-Kennedy fouled right on edge of 18 yard..FK
Good chance for a skilled Free kick artist like……Viduka, through wall, low, well saved by Yamaguchi…, great stop..reactions of a siamese kitten…
20 mins to go but still no sign of real urgency or quality from either side.
Viduka heartless raised hand calling for corner….sorry mark..
75-SUB Wiltshire for ladies-man, Aloisi
77-Aloisi booked..but smiles that famous smirk, blatant push in back.
78- Ono SUB nobody came off…Japs sneak on twelfth man..
Ten mins for Australia to salvage pride and hope…
Hiddink making full use of his technical zone.
Aussie fans look shell shocked..or on ketamine..
Bemusement
84- Aloisi thumps free kick drive, good hit, well saved.
84- GOAL long throw causes mayhem in jap box, keeper fucks up, scramble falls to guess who…yes… rat-man Cahill, yet another ‘right place right time’ routine..he is always very fast to react.1-1
Deserved equalizer, but only just. Japs could have added to their lead by now.
83- Definite penalty missed by ref after Cahill hacks jap attacker 4 yards from goal…lucky, credit to the rat..
10 in 17 for Cahill. not bad for Attacking midfielder.
88;Jap makes space for shot, should have scored…inches wide.
89- Cahill scores stunning strike ..collects ball, looks like nothing on, then unleashes unstoppable curler into top corner ..beautiful goal. In off right post..GOAL 1-2…
93- Aloisi powers through to make it 3-1..disgusting defending from Japs…
GOAL
94- FT first ever victory at word cup finals by Australia. Historical moment.

The Japs tired unprofessionally in the second half, and Gus Hiddink’s intense fitness training paid dividends as Australia’s three goal haul will testify. Tim Cahill proved the most explosive substitution and the second of his two goals was a wonderful example of ‘why not have a go’…However the Japanese could and should ave added to their first half lead. Fitness and physical strength won this one for Australia, wich the pathetic defending, which allowed Aloisi’s goal, dramatically illustrates.
On this form, the Socceroos will struggle against the Croatians, though second spot in the group is now on the horizon. A draw against Croatia may well prove enough, but that is assuming they don’t pummel the Japs, which they could.
A clue-less at times, ultra fit, Australian team were fortunate to beat a very poor Japan.
Brilliant result for Australia,,,though I could hardly say well done..
could Australia take a bigger scalp in Brazil??
‘No fucking way’ is the most succinct answer to that question childishly escaping the mouths of Australians the world over..This is football, not cricket, AFL, rugby, swimming or horse fucking. Football.
Apart from Cahill, two deplorable teams.
Hiddink earned his crocodile shoes when two of the three substitutions won the game for his beleaguered hick army.

Cech and the Czechs v Yankees

The Czechs are one of two dark horses(the other been the French), lining up on that ‘just outside the favourites’ paddock. The aptly named Cech is a world class keeper who makes few errors and many wonderful saves. Nedved, the lupine warrior in the Czech midfield is an unnaturally powerful and determined performer who can tackle, create and shoot with vigour and accuracy from range with his trusted left boot. He is technically immense. Barros in attack: showed us all how much he loves playing for his country at 2004's European championship when he scored six goals. If the giant brute Koller is allowed day-release from the Tombs, on compassionate grounds, the Yankee defence will be in for a torrid 90 minutes. Though, I would hardly agree with their FIFA world ranking of 2nd, I do rate the Czechs as a very solid team, capable of mixing it with the big boys, but not actually one of the big boys.
Talking of rankings, USA’s current 5th place on the FIFA ladder is ridiculous and makes a mockery of the whole FIFA points allocation system. I used to like the American sides of old, Tony Meola, Alexi Lalas, Andre Aggassi, they had real spirit…but now on the eve of the Yankees' opening world cup game of 2006, I am unable to draw any names from the hat except that of veteran campaigner Luke Donovan(Kylie Minogue’s X-lover), who has dropped to midfield to play a more creative role than his swashbuckling, leading the line, attacking of old. PSV’s midfielder Beasley is said, by the Aussie ‘experts’ on the box, to be one to watch, for what though I didn’t catch…
Czech have another potentially lively player called Rosicky, attacking central figure who plays his club football here in Germany with Borrusia Dortmund(actually has recently signed for Arsenal)..home advantage for him then…
The Americans usually bring a lot of spirit and industry to the finals so let us hope for a continuation of that tradition and a vibrant, no holds barred 22 man pitch-brawl…
Prediction-
Any team with a keeper of Cech’s height, reflexes and general class, Nedved’s vision and un-subduable spirit, and the monstrous Koller, in their ranks, will prove dangerous and solid.
Czechs 4-1 McBride

Anthems-I see Brian McBride, he can shoot. Tricky customer., not gunna win a match single-handedly but certainly has the zeal and experience to put away a chance should it come his way..
Also, Claudio Reyna deserves a mention, Man city play maker is capable…
Nedved looks fierce…not a bead of sweat,,such blue eyes and blonde flowing locks of hair…raised by wild wolves…
Kasey Keller, in goal for Yankees , has been in superb form recently///
Ex-man united star Poborsky can still cross like an machine….
Sneezing fit,, must sniff it back up in bathroom..lady sleeping..nice to have her presence, even tho she silent and hopefully in the dream world.
Superb reflexes shown by me as I catch skunk grinder, then buttons as they fall to ground…
.
Barros on bench…Polak on czech bench…
Koller up front on his own, doubt anyone will want to get too close to him.
1T
4- Nedved chopped harshly YELLOW for Onyeni, deserved. 3rd FK already for Czechs
5- Poborsky down the right wing…great ball in finds Koller. No mistake, GOAL 1-0 Koller//
Czechs ravenous/
witch like cackle loud from upstairs flat who open their door to let the cackle permeate the block…212am..
16 Yellow for Rozehnal after he used his knee to stop Donovan.
The Kaiser, stern-faced as ever, taking notes//
24.Nedved down left delivers cross, outSide of his boot, but header pt clean over..
Bruce Arena is the fattest coach at this years finals.
28-Donovan feeds Reyna in the middle who shoots well from 22 yards, hits post, bounces clear. good effort.
Reyna, whose head is bigger than his body, dominant for US..Nedved, Rosicky, Poborsky for Czechs..
Vacuum upstairs…229am Kunts need to be culled.
36- Cross frm Nedved, ball finds its way to Rosicky; one touch then hit into top right corner from 25 yards..great finish GOAL 2-0. No chance for Keller. Deserved lead for Czechs.
Arena reclines in corner of dugout..same face of shame…
Re-assuring that if Koller gets injured or shot, there is a 6ft 5 lad to take his place as Czech tower.

That infamous kiss of injury…
Koller injured after running for ball..stretcher on, and 10 men to carry him. Big man in pain…hamstring?
45- SUB Koller off for fellow golem, Lokvenk
madness in Cech’s left eye.
Koller still in pain, prostrate, hands on face..
Didn’t look like recurrence of knee injury, he was pointing to his thigh when questioned by the physios.
47- HT

Czechs have dominated the game. Big, strong, organized. Their midfield of Rosicky, Poborsky and Nedved is very fluid. Koller did great up front before getting injured and the big mans presence will be sorely missed, though his replacement isn’t exactly a midget. Captain Garakc and his mates in defence have comfortably dealt with the majority of questions asked of them by the spirited but doomed Yankees. Apart from Reyna hitting the post from just outside the 18 yard box, the Americans haven’t really got into the game. I fear they are technically and physically outclassed with the more robust Czechs winning most 50/50s. Donovan and Reyna have been their most prominent players, but they need more of their team-mates to step up their game, though even then, with more of a combined team effort, I doubt the Americans will trouble the very professional Czechs…
On this form, Nedved and co. look safe bets to top the group, unless Italy can break free of the traditional shackles of ‘Slow to get going in major tournaments’…
Rosicky strike was best of tournament to date….

2T
SUBs USA – Johnson and O’Brien FOR Mastroeni and Cherundolo… attack..it will make no difference…
Confirmation of Koller injury- hamstring.
53- Reyna hacks Nedved who wold have run free down left..wolf ok.
60- Reyna booked after lunging through back of Vashilk,,,his third tackle of this type..correct decision,
Arena uninterested, unconcerned, unable to change matters…

US lot of willing, not enough craft/
64-nedved finds rosicky but great defending puts ball safe-ish for corner.
68- Rosicky makes space for belter from 25 yards, central position, hits bar, bounces clear…great technique..red hot rosicky.
67- speculative effort from Johnson US whistles inches past right post of Cech.
71- Johnson gets a chance in 18 yard box, blocked by Novotny?(surely not, is my hearing going?!)
Nedved brilliantly plays in Rosicky who curls ball past Keller, wicked finish, lovely goal….
GOAL 0-3 Rosicky.
Strange how there are already so many players who have scored twice, with not even a full round of games yet played,,Cahill, Klose, Wanchope, Rosicky, Bravo

81- needless yellow for Rosicky..for kicking ball away.
83-SUB Poborsky for Polak!
86- SUB Stajner takes place of Rosicky. Boy done good
would be nice to grab an hour sleep before the Italy game, but then I would have to use my alarm which would wake up the sleeping beauty..so must nail my eyelids open and fight the fatigue…
FT
Men against boys. No apparent weakness in the Czech armour. They could have scored more..Cech didn’t have a save to make..Physically and technically superior to their Yankee opponents…
Nedved looked in great shape.
MOM Rosicky….two extremely well taken goals….

Perhaps the most solid, and in form team I have seen, or equal with Argies….

419am
Italy V Ghana

On paper, it is only the midfield duo of Essien and Appiah, coupled with the defensive prowess of Sammi Kuffor, which should be of concern to the Italians, but this may not be the case on grass.

Ghana are making their long overdue debut in the world cup finals. They easily topped their qualifying group..and have been consistently one of the top five teams in African international competitions(4 African cups). Essien and Appiah are tough tackling psychopaths, who will be sure to scare the hell out one or two of the Itis (with Pirlo and Carmoneresi the likely candidates…) Spirit, determination, brute strength and durability are the key Ghanian skills.
Can this be the year when Italy actually perform to someway near their capability? The three times winners have flattered to deceive in every tournament since 1982, though the 1990 effort on home soil was admirable, but weak at the final test, and their last world cup outing in South Korea/Japan 2002, was an embarrassment to the continent , not just the Italians. Unfortunately left sided superstar, Zambrotta is out injured, though set to return for the second group game when he should be joined by the growling Gattusso who is also laid up with a physical hindrance of some kind. The good news from the medical centre is the inclusion of Nesta in the starting lineup. Nesta. Cannavarro, Buffon, that tragedy producing trio can on occasion be impossible to beat. Pirlo in midfield is extremely accurate from free kicks and corners, though his form towards the end of the Serie A season was poor. The argentine stool pigeon, Carmoneresi will be playing on the right, continuing the mystery of ‘why the fuck is he chosen?’…Luca Toni in attack is great in the air, and more than competent with both feet, scoring 30 goals for fiorentina last season….Gilardino has wonderful technique. Deli Piero and Totti provide the flair and nastiness. In the same order I listed them…Seriously though, Totti is world class able to win the game on his own. And as for del Piero, this is his very last chance to shine on the world stage for his country..take it or leave it Sandra…
One useful piece of news is that Ciro Ferrara was called in to assist the squad. I cant think of a better man for the job….Italy, they will either be amazing or terrible….
(also the country is mired in it’s worst match fixing scandal in their bribery filled history)

Stadium 88% translucent ‘sky’. High tech irrigation with temp control 1C-/+
Happy to hear that Perrotta has taken Carmoneresi’s place in starting XI.
Italy have history of problems against African teams.
‘I think Ghana might have a good chance tonight’ Tony Palumbo..spineless traitor?? Or true Pro.??the next 105 minutes will give us the answers we seek…..

I am watching in silence and darkness..though the sombre atmosphere may well go hand in hand with the Italian performance/////bedtime stories with Lippi and Co.
This will be a very tough test for the Italians..
152/1 Italy
650/1 Ghana Australian Odddds from bookies are racist and out of touch with reality.
I’m nervous for the azzurri, not in a good way, in a ‘you bastards always let me down when my hopes are soaring so damn high’ way..

Lippi trademark tan and cigars…suave. Relaxed..serene,,but for how long?

Ghana very focussed.. Essien looks like a cold blooded killer about to taste blood for the first time in years….

We need a good ref for this one…Brazilian.. good call
Gilardino Totti and Toni…
Forceful kiss for Cannavarro from Ghana captain Steffi Appiah…
Can Totti behave?

1T
2- Toni down injured…nothing serious..
28C
7- Cannavarro hugging defender for corner, ‘time 2 make friends’
Patient probing by Ghana..6-
8- Cannavarro up well to head over from Pirlo deep corner.
Perrota Italy right midfield,..
10- free kick on edge of area…Yellow for de Rossi, foul on Essien,,great tackle..deserved Yellow .Silly. Dangerous free kick.
Essien hopping.
Appiah FK—>>blocked
12-Gilardino denied by keeper and defender/post…
Zaccardo right back for Italy.
16-Pirlo FK played across box Totti blasts into oblivion. Awful.
Muntari -hair like a sea shell
18-great defensive header for throw by Nesta blocks route to goal…
22 Essien in box but well shepherded by Cannavarro
Italy 6 corners 25-
Grosso left back for Italy. Suspect.
27
Toni brings ball down ,turns defender powers shot past keeper off bar off ground and to safety…. great effort
28-Amoah chance to run down left and shoot, no accuracy
29- Pirlo dis-possessed, quick counter,,,close cross shot Asamoah…
31– Amoah down left centre…has a pop. yard wide of top corner…powerful
pendulum is swinging
32- Buffon watching players not ball. Rebound from deflected shot falls to Pappoe who blasts over
Totti looks more mature
33- Totti shoot from 35 yards..brilliant effort curling in the air. pushed over….
34- Cannavarro hits roof of net with header from corner…
34- free kick for Essien uppercut on Toni..325 yards out central..Totti> deflected and lost its fizzzzz
36-weak effort from left boot off Toni. Straight at keeper/
37 Nesta breaks up a Ghana counter-attack with a back heel volley. Class
De Rossi left mid central Italy
40-corner taken short then passed to Pirlo who shapes then shoots, into mid right corner of goal from 25 yards..wonderful strike..deserved..marvellous strike. GOAL 1-0 to my brothers….
Buffon fist in the air
41- Muntari booked foul on Totti
Lippi cleans glasses, wiping away the tears of joy
45-chance for Gilardino, clean through,,saved by keeper..
HT
the most encouraging 45 minutes of football I have seen Italy play, since 1990. No doubt for balance, it will be followed by their worst…..Goal-scorer Pirlo is the best player on the pitch. Totti looks focused, controlled and his typical skilfull self, minus his dickish attitude seen in the past, often to the teams detriment. Anyhow, those two have done particularly well..The two Asamoahs have been lively for Ghana, but no clear cut opportunities one on one with Buffon. Cannavarro and Nesta standing tall. All Italian players doing their bit…as are the Ghanaians who remain dangerous every time they rush forward in numbers….
Can't allow a man like Pirlo time to shape his shot..
8 Italy shots to 1 from Ghana
2T
Shilla on for Pappoe ANG SUB
Lippi studies. still wiping his glasses and eyes..
Del Piero for gilardino??? Inzaghi for Gilardino?? Del Piero for Totti not yet
51- Gilardino into box, but his shot saved by keepers legs .too central…it was Totti who put him through, wih cross pass into right channel.
54- Essien half volley 25 yards, Buffon pushes firmly away for throw..
55- Totti injured. rolling in agony,,,ankle stamped by XXX, straight off Sub carmoneresione of my most despised players in the world game.
bad news for totti and Italy
wind sucked out of Italian sails with Totti going and more so because of arrival of everybody’s enemy: Carmoneresi62- yellow for carmoneresi after he takes legs from player who had skinned him for speed…deserved.'send that swine off'
Essien- eyes of the devil
64- Iaquinta on for gilardino SUB
Cannavarro tackle clears the ball 50 yards
65 yellow Asamoah for hack through poor Pirlo. criminally late tackle…
67- de Rossi puts Iaquinta through, Keeper makes good save//one on one..
SUB 68– Peter Pinpong comes on for Amoah, who I may have been confusing with one of the Asamoah brothers…
73- de Rossi .comedy. throws Doen to the turf (GHA) but nothing given by the ref… in area
de Rossi was concussed still perhaps!(took a boot to the head a few minutes back)
Injury to Iaquinta, scythed down from behind but he was offside….that cheeky eye up(to see what the ref is doing) whilst lying in pain!
79- ANG striker,, dived but did get sandwiched..50/50
on replay Asimaoh dived awful good ref
Essien done lots of good work and shot but lacked precision
82-Del Piero for Toni SUB
Iauqinta down right wing, past keeper, finishes easy with left boot. Kuffor short pass to keeper let him through….GOAL 2-0 well taken.
lippi jumps for joy then kicks a steward in the head. nobody seems to care.
86- Pirlo hacked by Muntari, nasty challenge
African ankle breakers.
Essien flutters eyes —-devil lady…
EvilPersian princess Essien…
88- Iauqinta booked for throwing the ball away..stupid move. More as response to ref’s decision than to waste time…
ref grimaces as he speaks into miniature mike… what is he saying?
93 del Piero crunched and yelps but everyone ignores him!
MOM Cannavarro- Imperious. Unbeaten.
The best side won….

Not since 1990 have I seen an Italian team play so well at the world cup finals. A big statement but one that is based on many years of bi-annual deflation in the EURO championship and world cup. I have had a good feeling about the Italians for some time, with similar feelings making themselves aware, originating from the Argentinians and English, in this same period. They(italians) were ultra safe defensively, with the Ghanaians forced to shoot largely from range. Midfield was energetic, classy and robust when needed. Totti gave his best ever performance in an Italian shirt and his free-kick was the most spectacular attempt seen so far in round one of the finals. The Roma bagboy showed maturity and wonderful technique, but was overshadowed by Pirlo, whose passing and goal were of a consistently world class standard. Luca Toni put in a respectable effort, winning most aerial battles, playing his team-mates in whenever they ran past in a flash of blue and white, and finding space for a few decent shots himself. A very useful target man. Gilardino was disappointing as was Del Piero when he came on for last ten minutes of the game. Iauqinta, the sub who scored Italy’s second, looked very lively and belligerent in front of goal…Ghana had a very strong central midfield, but they were outclassed by their Italian counterparts. Essien got savaged very early on by a typically cynical Italian ankle slice, and it took him about an hour to regain full composure….
Italy go into the ‘teams who have a wealth of class’ group along side Argentina, Czechs and England. I hugely expect to be adding the Brazilians and probably also the French, to that group after tonight’s matches have all drawn to a hopefully blood drenched conclusion with multiple injuries to all non Italians and English now being warmly welcomed by the small army that lives in my flat: the roaches and me, also a few maggots seem to have taken unlawful residence./…at world cup time, every football fan in the world is obligated, by ancient Chinese law, to operate an ‘open house’ policy, whereby any creature stating entry as means to ‘enjoy the football’ must not be denied residence in your abode for the duration of the tournament. Then you are given two weeks to find them adequate alternate housing or are forced to pay a exponentially increasing fine of 1500 $ /hour for an indefinite period which can only be ended by the Sudanese Leader, Al Bashir…

Italy were wicked. With Gattusso and Zambrotta to return, the immediate future looks very promising….
Ghana? May trouble the Yankees, but not the efficient Czechs…

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