lane's world cup diary
1.6.2002 - 9.6.2002
10.6.2001 - 21.6.2002
Spain really are a frustrating bunch
aren't they ?? Just when they have the luck of the Irish against
the Irish, you expect them to go on and do well against the South
Koreans. However, this World Cup was never going to be like
that. The officials in the matches saw to that.
One goal in extra time ruled out for the
Spanish, when the ball clearly did not cross the touchline before being
crossed, left them angry. Then an offside whistle stopped
Morientes going through on goal, while finally the decisive penalty save
saw Lee Woon Jae run up to the taker Joaquin and be almost on his toes
for the kick itself, left them livid. Even in extra time, their
fortune favour the home side, when Morientes seized on a quickly
taken throw and spun a shot against the post.
The only people Spain should be angry
with are themselves. Dominating the first half of the game, they
had the best chances to net, but they could not take advantage of the
quiet Koreans, who perhaps were over-awed by the occasion. That
didn't last until the second half, when they pushed forward more and
forced Casillas to a good save from Park Ji-Sung.
Extra time came and went with a few
golden goal chances, but it came down to penalties and Joaquin was
required to take the fourth penalty, even though he had been struggling
with an injury just before the end. It was a good height for the
keeper to save, but the keeper was a good two yards off his line when he
did save it. The Spanish youngster stopped in his run up to take
the kick, but this has been an unlucky tactic for those who have
employed it so far. And so it proved.
If ever they make a film of the Turkey v
Senegal quarter final, they must surely cast Dustin Hoffman or Tom Conti
as the Turkish coach Gunes, while Bruno Metsu of Senegal will have his
part played by Michael Bolton.
Hasan Suker will probably be played by
Sylvester Stallone, who will be able to recreate his great footballing
expertise (previously on display in "Escape to
Victory"). He would be able to miss open goals at will, just
like Sukur, who contrived to be unable to get on the end of four gilt
edged chances directly in front of goal. Even Heskey would have
put one of them away. It is hardly difficult to see how Hakan is
unpopular among the Turkish team, as he moans about getting good service
and then misses every chance he gets !!
The match was fairly even, with chances
at both ends. Henri Camara stopped the best one, as Fadiga hit a
shot that hit the standing leg of Camara. At the other end, Diatta
produced a great saving challenge as Basturk broke into the box and shot
towards the far corner.
The best chance was in the closing stages
of the first half, when the same Turkish midfielder latched onto a
little chip by Sas (or Sash as the commentator insisted on calling
him). Bastruk nodded the ball past the advancing keeper, but he
could have no truck with the timely intervention of Daf, who slid the
ball out as it approached the line.
No goals in normal time, but after just
three minutes of extra time, Ilhan got across his marker to volley home
a shot past Sylva for the golden goal winner. He had come the
closest in normal time, when a minute after his entry to the game, he
took a pass on the edge of the box and lifted an extraordinary lob, just
over the bar with the outside of his right boot.
Turkey have got to the semi-final for the
first time, almost un-noticed. However, there might be an element
of grudge when they face Brazil in the semi, after what went on in the
They are there by right, as are South
Korea. Let's hope they grace the semis and the standard of play is
up to that already seen.
|RESULTS : -
Quarter Finals : -
Turkey 1 (Golden goal in extra time)
South Korea 0 Spain 0
(South Korea win 5-3 on penalties after extra time)
|INTERESTING FACT : - In
1990, Senegal forgot to enter the World Cup.
|THOUGHT FOR THE DAY : -
Why are officials from countries you have never heard of given the top
games at the World Cup ?? Has it got anything to do with currying
favour with emerging football nations by FIFA big wigs ??
almost anonymous march to the semi-final, Germany have exorcised their
5-1 ghosts and gone further than their victors. However, would the
forces of evil in the shape of biased referees rise up to deny them a
final fling ??
South Korea had gone
further than ever before in a World Cup, so their fervent supporters
were joyous, but expecting more. The early exchanges saw Schneider
force a good stop from Lee Woon Jae in the South Korea goal, while at
the other end, Khan have to save from Cha and Park Ji-Sung. The
action again changed ends, with Jae having to produce a good block to
While he has
scored five goals already, Klose might be in peril of tarnishing his
reputation with amateur dramatics in the professional game. His
flop in the penalty area was treated as just that by the ref and he was
lucky to escape a yellow card.
some goalmouth action, little of note happened until after the break,
when Klose started to give the crowd something more wholesome to
enjoy. His header on goal was well stopped by the keeper and he
had a chance to score with a volley, but contrived to hit it wide of the
target. A short time afterwards, his substitution by Bierhoff,
who's no mug, ended the involvement of the German's head boy.
However, Michael Ballack also lost his head, when he brought down Lee on
the edge of the box and got up to find a yellow card waiting for
him. His second of the competition meant he would miss the final.
four minutes after the caution, he threw it to the wind and starting off
a move in his own half, made a run on the far side and as the ball was
laid back across the box by Oliver Neuville from the right, he met it in
stride. Jae again spread his body and managed to block his effort,
but luck ran out for the host nation and it fell for Ballack to strike
it with his other foot into the net. While the midfielder appears
to be an arrogant player, he appears to be the one who makes the side
function, by linking play and driving the side forward. He will be
missed in the final, but it might allow our own Christian Ziege to be
restored to the team, after being dropped in favour of Bode today.
Korean keeper was equal to a fierce Bode free-kick and then with the
clock running down, Park hit an effort high over the bar to signal the
end of the red challenge. It looked as if they had finally found a
side who could out do them for effort and the South Koreans just ran out
of steam and ideas. They had done their country proud, regardless
of the allegations of decisions being given their way. It was a
unique approach to the game that they adopted form the beginning and
they played with some skill, not just lots of energy. Whether or
not their players will go on to be a success outside of the national
team or outside of their country will be interesting to see. But
Guus Hiddink has made them a unit that takes some beating.
for Germany, well, you always expect them to be there or thereabouts,
but this time, they were expected to fall away quicker than a forward in
the penalty box. Their solid defence has been the basis for their
progress and they will face either Turkey or Brazil, which will make
fascinating watching. Both are better going forward than trying to
keep other sides out, so Germany might have the chance to hit on the
break or might be pegged back in their own half for most of the
match. I, for one, wouldn't like to predict what is going to
|RESULT : -
Semi Final : -
Germany 1 South Korea
|INTERESTING FACT : -
Germany have featured in the World Cup Final in six of the last ten
|THOUGHT FOR THE DAY : - Ballack is hardly the new Gazza is he ??
There was no surprise that in the first
60 minutes of the match Brazil had 11 shots and Turkey 8. It was
always going to be that kind of game.
the first 45, Mr. Rustu, in goal for Turkey, kept them in the match with
a series of saves. It is sad that he will probably be
over-shadowed as goalkeeper of the tournament by the German keeper Khan,
mainly because his team have got through to the final. He showed
bravery and not a little agility in denying the Brazilians the
breakthrough until after half-time. He stopped Roberto Carlos,
Rivaldo (twice), Cafu (in a move replicating the fourth Brazil goal in
the 1970 World Cup Final, but without the same result), Edilson and
Ronaldo from scoring, while efforts from Carlos and Edilson both put
good openings wide of the goal.
had been quite subdued in the first half, with only Alpay's header
making Marcos work and only came alive after the goal. Brazil
didn't look as though they were missing the third of the three "r"s,
with Ronaldinho suspended for his expulsion against England. The
movement and passing were in the true Samba style as they waltzed
through the Turkey midfield. There was a lot of effort being put
in at this stage by the European side, but little reward. Then on
49 minutes, Ronaldo made the defining difference between the two teams.
from midfield, where they had picked up the ball through Edilson, the
ball went out to on the left wing. A short ball inside to Ronaldo,
some thirty five yards out, did not look like it would precipitate what
followed. He burst past four red-shirted Turks and as he entered
the box, let loose a shot on the run that saw his shot squeak past Rustu
and into the goal. The shot looked half-hit on TV, but in slow
motion, he took the ball in his stride, with no back lift and toe-punted
it. Yes, Ronaldo, toe-punted the ball !! The power in that
and the fact that he took the goalie by surprise by doing so made the
shot deceptive and that was why Rustu could only get a hand to it and
not keep it out.
Ronaldo had the
taste for it now. Four years away from the biggest stage in the
world of football had left him with something to prove and he quickly
set up two more gilt edged chances. Firstly, for Edilson, who lost
out to a good challenge from a defender and then Kleberson, who was
right in front of goal and could only hit his shot straight at Rustu.
He went off to rest his thigh injury, but his replacement Luizau could
have wrapped it all up with an overhead kick, but he contrived to hit it
into the ground and it bounced over the top.
Ilhan coming on for the hard-working midfielder Emre, there was a change
in the flow of the game. His pace and trickery in the opponent's
half, set Brazil back a little. He had a header fly over and then
Sas stretched Marcos to touch a cross behind and nearly into his own
net. Sukur had another anonymous game and I bet he wishes he would
be anonymous when he returns home. He did have one volley, but
failed to trouble the goalie.
game was open and entertaining, but there was a gap in class
again. Turkey had their moments of keep ball, but the well drilled
Brazilian side made sure it was in an area that would not threaten their
goal. Big Phil might not be popular back home, but he has done his
homework and arranged his troops to deal effectively with the opponents,
whoever they might be. Not always as gung-ho attacking as past
Brazil teams, but there is a determination to put right what went wrong
four years ago and also to make sure that there is no gaps left at the
rear when they are going forward. With Ronaldinho back for the
final, Germany had better beware. They will be tough to break down
too, but it might be an interesting clash of styles and hopefully, they
will remember that there will be billions watching worldwide and not
produce a final full of fear.
|RESULT : -
Semi Final : -
Turkey 0 Brazil
|INTERESTING FACT : -
Both teams will be playing in their seventh World Cup Final.
|THOUGHT FOR THE DAY : -
Was Rustu's mascara running at the end of the match ??
The Third Way
suppose it was nice to see such an open match with quite a few goals
that will give Brazil and Germany something to live up to tomorrow.
However, when the pressure is off, then teams can play without
fear. Whether they finish third or fourth, no-one outside of their
countries will remember by this time next month.
they will remember is the fastest World Cup finals goal ever.
Having kicked off and stumbled over the ball, the South Koreans
presented the chance to Hakan Sukur to score and even though he had a
dog of a tournament, even he couldn't miss it and prodded the ball past
Jae. For once, Sukur and Ilhan matched up well and gave the hosts
a torrid time with their inter-play.
|RESULT : -
3rd/4th place play-off : -
Turkey 3 South
|INTERESTING FACT : - .
|THOUGHT FOR THE DAY : - Is
it nearly over yet ??
I believe in the Tooth Fairy
of suffering have come to the point where things had to be proved.
Today, in the rain in Japan, Ronaldo did just that.
the initial approach by Germany was quite out of character with their
style of play, they did rock Brazil back on their heels a bit, before
the yellow shirted magicians started to weave their spell.
had a fair share of the attacking play in the first half, but could not
make a lot of it. In fact, Marcos didn't have to make a save until
into the second half. But it was Schneider who made the Germans
tick, with his probing runs along the right hand side and getting the
ball in behind Cafu, who was marauding forward. The best chances
for the Europeans came from Jeremies, who blasted a shot well over and
Klose, who could not quite force his shot past a crowded Brazilian
Brazil were finding it
hard to string passes together past the energetic German midfield, but
they stuck to their guns and the moves started to come. Ronaldinho
twice put Ronaldo in. Firstly, he met the return pass of a one-two
and poked it past Kahn with the outside of his left silver boot, but it
slid past the post. On the other occasion, Ronaldinho lifted the
ball into the box and Ronaldo chested it down, but it ran away from him
before he could get a proper touch past the German keeper.
started to come together before half time. Kleberson has gone
almost unnoticed in this World Cup, save for the negative press he
gained for being included against England. But here, he gave full
expression to his talents and got forward to support the strikers and
when set up on the edge of the box, hit a curling shot that had Kahn
beaten, but not the bar. Then the Bayern Munich keeper did well on
the stroke of half-time to deny Ronaldo again, when the ball broke to
him from a Roberto Carlos shot and his instinctive drive on the turn was
stopped by the out-flung arm of the goalie.
this stage, it looked as though it might not be the toothy grinned one's
day, but that was not to last. Jeremies sneaked in unmarked at a
corner, to stoop low to head goalwards, but Edmilson was on hand to
block his effort. The best effort from Germany, came shortly
after, when Neuville surprised all and sundry with a rasping 35 yard
drive that whacked back off the post. It was only in slow motion replay,
that you could pick up what a good save it had been, as Marcos got
enough of a hand on the ball to deflect it against the woodwork.
67 minutes, the Brazilians turned the game around. Having lost
possession, Ronaldo fought to win it back off Hamann, showing that
whoever you are, hard work pays. He slipped the ball to Rivaldo on
the edge of the area and he let go a fierce shot that Kahn spilled in
front of him. Unfortunately for him, he also spilled it in front
of Ronaldo, who was in smartly to prod past the prone keeper. At
that point, you could almost feel the life flow out of the German team.
kept plugging away as they always do, but with the goal against them,
they started leaving gaps for the Samba boys to take advantage of.
It was only 11 minutes after the first that Kleberson ran on the right
wing, played the ball low into Rivaldo, 18 yards out, but he ran over
the ball knowing Ronaldo was behind him. Having been left by Linke,
who went to Rivaldo and hitting the ball first time, it skidded past
Kahn into the corner of the net. Alan Green's commentary on Radio
Five Live said it all "Ronaldo has won the World Cup for
They never give up
though and pressed forward, with the substitute Bierhoff hitting a fine
shot that saw Marcos dive to his left and palm away as it looked like it
might creep inside the upright. Then, with Ziege on as a late sub,
two chances fell to Metzelder, who failed to make a decent contact with
either. While Bode had made strides down the left in his time on
the pitch, Ziege's crossing had put some doubt in the Brazilian
defence's mind at the end.
three minutes injury time, Denilson came on to run at the opposition and
tormented them with his tricks, but as Asamoah chopped him down on
another run, referee Collina picked up the ball and blew the final
whistle on World Cup 2002. The final had gone the way that most
people thought, but perhaps not in the fashion they had imagined.
No debatable decisions (maybe due to European officials - one Englishman
among them !!), no doubt about the winners and the only question mark
that hung over proceedings is what would have happened four years ago
had Ronaldo been fit to play ??
we will never know. What we do know is that, at the moment, Brazil
are the best team in the world.
|RESULT : -
Final : -
|INTERESTING FACT : -
Cafu became the first player to play in the Final of three consecutive
World Cups .
|THOUGHT FOR THE DAY : -
How is it that the holders have to qualify next time, but the losers
(hosting the next competition) don't ?? Another Blatter