Germany 2006 Day 7 (i)

Three pretty good games today, and my score is 2-1.

Ecuador 3-0 Costa Rica

Fun fact: This is the first time Ecuador have ever got out of the group stages. Okay, so it's only the second time they've been to the World Cup, but still, impressive.

Ecuador are looking quite dangerous right now, certainly a team to keep an eye on. And as for Mr Kaviedes and his yellow spiderman mask, what a great way to celebrate. But, hadn't that been in his sock for over 90 minutes of hard play? Mmmm.. cheesy..

Sweden 1-0 Paraguay

Okay, Sweden needed 88 minutes to score against Paraguay. England needed a Paraguayan player to score for them. Who did better?

Nothing truly shocking about the game, but Sweden shows that slow and steady can, indeed, win the race.

And wasn't there another game played today...?

Oh, yeah...

England 2-0 Trinidad & Tobago

Rooney came back. I like Wayne Rooney, even if he does bear a passing resemblance to Shrek. Mrs Doombreed likes David Beckham, just not the way I like Wayne Rooney, if you catch my drift.

A few comments, though.

This game was English football through and through. Nothing flashy, nothing to make any "greatest Word Cup moments" DVD, but a victory nonetheless.

What's surprising to me (and, probably, to many an England fan) is how we're scoring a lot later in the game. We're used to seeing an England team that goes out and plays well for 45-60 minutes, then falls to pieces in the end. Now, we're staying the course, which can only be good.

Peter Crouch needs to grow up. Before he scored the excellent goal, there was a bad moment where he was called for holding in the goalmouth. I say holding, but in order to keep his opponent down any more efficiently, Crouch would have had to have nailed his feet to the floor. And, when caught, Crouch reacted like it was a unfair call, and he's done that a lot over the last two games. Here's a message: You did it, you got caught, take it like a man and move on. The childish temper tantrums are unbecoming.

Having said that, nicely done with the goal.

I felt, and was giving vent to my feelings, that England was going to pull back and defend, and we'd conceed a goal. Minutes later I was proved wrong when Gerrard left-footed a scorching ball straight into the top corner. Nice.

Trinidad & Tobago should have equalised from a brilliant 92nd minute cross tapped in by John, but fell foul of the offside rule. Which I then had to explain to Mrs Doombreed. Fun.

Overall, not a lot of razzle-dazzle, no great amounts of vroom-vroom-vroom, little to bother keeping the DVR recording for (I was at work for most of the first half), but a victory is a victory.

So, as I said, pretty much 100% England.

Tomorrow we have Argentina vs Serbia & Montenegro, Holland vs Ivory Coast, and Mexico vs Angola.

I see no reason to go against the numbers on these three, so Argentina, Holland and Mexico it is.

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