FIFA 2006 ....
I am going to post my views about the matches that I see ...
1) Germany 4 - Costa Rica 2
Germans were simply too good for Costa Rica. Klose is always an aerial threat. Podolsky looks interesting. Midfield of Frings (my favourite), Schweinsteiger and Ballack(didn't play) looks superb. Defence is, as always, well organized. As Bernd puts it right, they have managed to surprise even the German public with their superb dispaly.
2) Poland 0 - Ecuador 2
Didn't see this one, but looks like Ecuador have a very good striking pair in Delgado and Tenorio. I guess they will reach the 16.
3) England 1 - Parague 0
If england want to progress, they have to improve and fast. They really need Rooney and pace on the wings in Lennon/Walcott (I would love to see Walcott ... after all he is an Arsenal man !). Even the best midfield comprising Gerrard, Lampard & Beckham look boring if they have nobody to aim at. I personally haven't ever seen Michael Owen play as good as he is hyped to be. Crouch will give them a goal or two and is very awkward to deal with, but Ronney would be too hot to handle for most defences.
4) Trininad 0 - Sweden 0
Didn't see. Freddy and Zlat need to fire ... T&T have provrd they are no push-overs. Will they qualify for 16 ? I guess not.
5) Agrentina 2 - Ivory Coast 0
I really feel sorry for CIV. They are the best of the unknown lot but they have had no luck with the draw. I wish they could make it to 16 at least. On this day it took one of the best efforts from Argentina to down them 2-0 and gave us the best match of the world cup so far. CIV formation is really funny. It seems they play 1-9-1 with only Drogba and the keeper in designated positions. Kolo, Yaya, Zakora ... all were roaming around and creating lot of movement. With experience, this squad will go places. All of these seem to have 2 hearts and 3 lungs by the way they keep running up and down for 90 min. Expect to see a lot of them in europe next season. Both Yaya and Zakora were impressive, lets see if AW signs either. I used to hate Drogba as he was constantly a thorn in Arsenal's flesh in the premiership but now a days I have really started admiring him for his spirit and his fantastic skills. I really felt sad for CIV .... but then Argentina were fantastic. Riquelme was superb as usual and they have Crespo to finish it off. Add to that the most anticipated arrival of Messi and they look supreme. I actually back Argentina to make it at least to the semi-finals.
6) S&M 0 - Netherlands 1
Robben is cool ... but toooooo selfish. If he was playing more for the team, I am sure dutch would have scored at least 3. Dutch played well over all. S&M seemed lost on the big stage. Zigic was poor (AW wants to sign him ?) but so were many of them. Netherlands to 16.
7) Mexico 3 - Iran 1
Didn't see this one. Expect Mexico to pop up into 16 as usual.
8) Angola 0 - Portugal 1
Didn't see. Portugal to 16 and that's that. Can't see them going any further.
9) Italy 2 - Ghana 0
Missed out on this one. Result was expected, but I really wanted to see Italy play. Strikers are not exactly threatening but Totti is good. Defence should be typically italian and their goal-keeper is one of the best. Italy to 16.
10) USA 0 - Czech 3
Rosinsky ... we are going to hear a lot about him in coming years and that to for Arsenal :-). This was a really cool match. Czech midfielders (Rosinsky, Nedved and Poborsky) really tore apart the US. Great creativity, good finishers and resolute defence ... not to forget the best goal-keeper. I think they will make it at least to the semis. Rosinsky scored the goals, but I think man-of-the-match was Nedved. He seemed all fired up. News is that Koller is not seriously injured and should be back at later stages. It will be interesting to see how Czech play against a good defensive side like Italy.
11) Brazil 1 - Croatia 0
Prso was cool. Croats were no push overs. I think they might pop up into 16. Result was inavitable ... Kaka (my candidate for man-of-the-tournament) was class. Ronaldinhio looked fired up ... much more to come from him. Cafu and Carlos were their menacing best ... Cafu ... someone said he is >35 now ... cut him open and see how many hearts and lungs that fellow has ... Only one thing I failed to understand was why Brazil played with only 9 players for >65 min. Adriano and particularly Ronaldo were waste. They are great players, no doubt, they will bounce back, no doubt, but that doesn't mean they play even when they are poor !! I expect to see Robinho more and more ... but at the same time I back Ronaldo and Adriano in particular to bounce back. Brazil in semis (you don't need to be a rocket scientist to say that). --- there defence is still supsect with a goalkeeper who could be the next "calamity james".
12) Australia 3 - Japan 1
I must admit I thought it would be boring and skipped most part of the match. Ppl say it was the match of the tournament so far. Australia fell behind but scored 3 in last 10 min !!! I will surely watch their next match. They might actually make it to the 16 !!!
13) France 0 - Switzerland 0
Why did I see this one ??? A sure candidate for worst-match-of-the-cup. Was it Henry (the best) playing or his clone ??? Ribery is touted to be next Zidane ? He was poor. Zidane did come up with few good ones, but he clearly looks old now. So do Thuram and Veiera. Gallas was good. They need Henry to fire them into the 16 or else it's curtains !!! Senderos played well ... good signs for Arsenal.
14) South Korea 2 - Togo 1
Didn't see. Korea into 16.
15) Spain 4 - Ukraine 0
Didn't see. Spain are promising, should see the next one. Ukraine is mostly a one-man-team. Scheva is a scorer not a creator ... can't see them in 16.
16) Tunisia 2 - Saudi 2
Didn't see. One of them may actually make it to the 16.