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Old 2004-06-15, 17:06   Link #121
_Riku_
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I've always liked Germany.. they never quit fighting for their team.. and then we have italy wich is the opposite =/
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Old 2004-06-15, 20:45   Link #122
Yebyosh
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The results of the "Group of Death" are fitting. Tight and exciting.

Tonight we shall find out whether Portugal can rescue themselves and if the Greeks can slay another reputed "Titan" in their group. Ole!
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Old 2004-06-16, 00:15   Link #123
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The Euro 2004 Football Championships.



Van drives in to rescue Holland
by Mark Kendall - Last Updated 16 Jun 2004


Holland fought back from a goal down to claim a draw against Germany courtesy of a late strike from Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Dick Advocaat's men were lethargic and disjointed for much of the game and trailed to a first-half goal from Torsten Frings.

The Germans were good value for their lead, but Holland roused themselves late on and van Nistelrooy rescues what could prove to be a valuable point.

Holland almost got off to a flying start when, after just two minutes, Philip Cocu flighted a delightful through ball to van Nistelrooy, but the Manchester United striker failed to connect with the volley eight yards out as it dropped over his shoulder.

Van Nistelrooy then escaped the attention of Frank Baumann but dragged a weak shot well wide 20 yards from goal.

Christian Worns had the first shot on target after 21 minutes when he got on the end of Bernd Schneider's left-flank cross but did not get enough purchase to trouble Edwin van der Sar.

Kevin Kuranyi forced the Fulham custodian into a more testing save two minutes later when his stinging 20-yard drive had to be tipped over the bar.

From the resulting corner Germany should have opened the scoring but Worns got his free header all wrong and headed into the ground and over the bar.

Rudi Voller's side did move ahead just before the half-hour mark through Frings following more poor Dutch defending from a set piece.

After Cocu gave away a needless free kick on the left-hand touchline with a foul on Philipp Lahm, the Borussia Dortmund star sent in an inswinging cross that deceived everyone and bounced in off the far post.

Kuranyi went down dramatically under challenge from Jaap Stam in the box seven minutes before the break but there were no real protests for a penalty from the Germans.

Rafael van der Vaart, virtually anonymous for most of the first period, announced himself on proceedings on 41 minutes when he pounced on a loose ball that van Nistelrooy failed to control on the edge of the German penalty area and flashed a left-footed effort inches wide with Oliver Kahn well beaten.

Another Schneider corner caused trouble in the Dutch defence five minutes into the second period but Frank Baumann could get no power on his header.

Moments later Schneider delivered another fine centre which Kuranyi was close to meeting with a diving header.

Wesley Sneijder, a half time substitute for the ineffectual Edgar Davids, tested Oliver Kahn from distance with a 25-yard effort but the German custodian, celebrating his 35th birthday, comfortably gathered it.

The Dutch almost got back on terms through a free kick of their own when van der Vaart whipped over a dangerous ball from the right which just evaded Wilfred Bouma at the back post and flew narrowly wide.

Yet another set piece created more mayhem in the Dutch penalty area and, after Stam had let the ball bounce, Kuranyi dived bravely in to send a header just wide - taking a knock in the face from the former Manchester United stopper for his troubles.

Substitute Bastian Schweinsteiger came close to doubling the German lead on 75 minutes when he twisted his way into the box before firing in a drive which deflected just wide off Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

The introduction of Pierre van Hooijdonk added more physical presence to the Dutch frontline and they finally drew level nine minutes from time.

Van Hooijdonk battled gamely on the right flank to win the ball for Andy van der Meyde who outmuscled Fabian Ernst before delivering an inviting cross that was acrobatically turned in at the near post by van Nistelrooy under pressure from Worns.

The goal rejuvenated Holland who pressed forward in search of a winner and Cocu saw his free header from a corner palmed away by Kahn at full stretch.

There was still time for another good effort from Schweinsteiger who drilled a left-foot shot narrowly wide from the edge of the box, and Michael Ballack had the last effort of note when his strike from distance was deflected over for a corner.

http://www.euro2004.com/

http://www.football365.com/

http://www.soccernet.com/
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Old 2004-06-16, 00:18   Link #124
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The Euro 2004 Football Championships.



Heinz stunner saves Czech blushes
by Graeme Bailey - Last Updated 16 Jun 2004


Czech Republic prevented an almighty upset as they came from behind to seal a 2-1 victory over Latvia in Group D at The Municipal de Aveiro.

Dynamo Kiev star Maris Verpakovskis had given Latvia the lead on the stroke of half time, very much against the run of play.

With 20 minutes left the Baltic state looked as if they might hang on for an unlikely victory - but it was not to be.

Milan Baros - who could have easily claimed the match ball after missing numerous chances - blasted home to level, before, with less than 10 minutes remaining, substitute Marek Heinz flashed home a brilliant drive from the edge of the area.

The Czechs had been dominant in the opening period and were virtually camped out in the Latvian half for the first 45 minutes.

As early as the first minute Pavel Nedved was causing problems as his cross almost deceived goalkeeper Alex Kolinko.

Baros then pulled a shot well wide when well placed as the Czechs continued to press.

Nedved had a shot blocked by Igor Stepanovs, before the Juventus star created a great opportunity for Marek Jankulovski - but the left back could only blast wide after being sent clear.

Tomas Rosicky tested Kolinko with a stinging 25-yard drive, but the former Crystal Palace goalkeeper parried the ball wide.

Karel Poborsky then came close to breaking the deadlock as he cut inside from the right and unleashed a powerful drive, but the ball sailed just inches over Kolinko's bar.

The Czechs had began the half at a very high tempo and struggled to maintain it as Latvia sat back, happy to try and soak up the pressure.

Both Andrejs Rubins and Andrejs Prohorenkovs looked dangerous when breaking out wide, and it was the latter who was to provide the opening goal - which silenced the predominantly Czech crowd.

The goal came as Stepanovs brought the ball out of defence and found Prohorenkovs down the left flank with a brilliant pass - the forward then ran at Zdenek Grygera before pulling back a great ball into the six-yard box for Verpakovskis - who could not miss from just five yards.

The goal meant that Latvia came out for the second half with almost no ambition to attack.

The onus was on Czech Republic to break them down, and they again started positively with Nedved seeing his effort deflected into the arms of Kolinko.

Poborsky - the Czechs' most dangerous player - then clipped the outside of the post with a thunderous drive from the edge of the area.

The ex-Manchester United winger then carved out two great opportunities for Baros - but he could take neither.

The first came from an acute 20-yard ball into the area which Baros chested down, but he could only blast over on the volley. The second was a great chance as Poborsky weaved his way down the right past two Latvian defenders and crossed to the back post for the Liverpool star - but he somehow pulled his shot wide of the goal from just six yards when completely unmarked.

Vladimir Smicer and Marek Heinz were then introduced by the Czechs - as they went into all-out-attack mode - but that meant they would be susceptible to any possible counter-attack.

The Latvians' main danger man was Prohorenkovs and he came close to opening a two-goal advantage as he broke down the right and worked his way to the edge of the area as the Czechs' defence backed off and he unleashed a curling effort at goal which dropped just the wrong side of the post.

The Czechs were rattled but they kept coming at Latvia with wave after wave of attack.

Kolinko was called upon to make a brilliant save from Nedved, who thought his volley from the edge of the area had brought his side level - however just moments later the Czechs' dominance finally told.

Again it was Poborsky whose trickery took him past two Latvian defenders before cutting back a cross into the six-yard box which Kolinko could only palm down into Baros's path - and this time he smashed the ball into the net from 12 yards.

Czech Republic knew they could now go on and win the game and Smicer should have put his side ahead when Nedved's back post cross reached him - but he could only head into the side netting.

Marian Pahars, a second half replacement from Verpakovskis, then almost embarrassed Czech keeper Petr Cech who came racing 40 yards off his line - but the Southampton man could only handle the ball when he could have been clear.

Heinz - top scorer in the Czech League from last season - showed his credentials with a superb drive from the edge of the area which beat Kolinko but cannoned off the bar and over.

The Banik Ostrava star then when one better as he produced a great finish to put his side ahead. Jankulovski began the move with a ball for Baros down the left which Kolinko came out to claim, but he could only chip the ball into the area - Mihails Zemlinskis attempted to clear but the ball fell to Heinz who blasted an unstoppable effort with the outside of his left foot into the top corner.

The Latvians did not give in and Vitaliy Astafjevs saw his drive well saved by Cech.

The Czechs deserved their victory, but the Latvians should be applauded for their efforts which contributed to arguably the best game of Euro 2004 so far.

Had Latvia attacked more when they had the lead, then things could have been different for Aleksandr Starkovs's men - who will still fancy their chances of getting something from either Holland or Germany in their remaining two matches.

Karol Bruckner's side got out of jail in some ways, but they produced enough good football to suggest they can go far in the tournament.

http://www.euro2004.com/

http://www.football365.com/

http://www.soccernet.com/
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Old 2004-06-16, 00:22   Link #125
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The Euro 2004 Football Championships.


Best of the day - June 15
We look at the best action from today's games in Euro 2004.
by Graeme Bailey - Last Updated 16 Jun 2004

Player of the day - Karel Poborsky



The former Manchester United star showed that there is still plenty of magic left in his ageing legs.

Tore the Latvian defence apart at will and saw numerous shots fly just wide of the post.

Created the Czechs' all important equaliser with a wonderful run down the right before crossing into the area.

Goal of the day - Ruud van Nistelrooy



The ubiquitous striker was at his brilliant best as he levelled for the Dutch.

Managed to hold off German defender Christian Worns as he leaped to volley home from Andy van der Meyde's cross.

Brilliant piece of centre forward play and well worth our Goal of the day award.

Save of the day - Alex Kolinko



Performed admirably throughout the game and pulled off a brilliant save to deny Pavel Nedved.

The Latvians were winning 1-0 as Nedved let rip a thunderous volley from the edge of the area, only for Kolinko to save full length to his left.

Pass of the day - Philip Cocu



The veteran Dutch star was on the ball as early as the second minute.

The former Barcelona ace picked out Ruud van Nistelrooy with a brilliantly lofted pass that fell straight into his path, but he could not connect with the ball.

Miss of the day - Milan Baros

The Liverpool star eventually bagged Czech Republic's equaliser against Latvia - but only after he missed a number of glaring chances.

The worst - and the one which wins our award - came just after the hour mark when he was picked out by Poborsky on the edge of the six-yard box, but he could only fire wide without even testing Kolinko.

Dive of the day - Jan Koller



Arguably one of the only things Jan Koller did during the whole game.

The giant striker went down as if he had been shot, instead of being lightly shoved by a lightweight Latvian defender.

Tactic of the day - Karel Bruckner



The veteran coach brought on Marek Heinz before the hour mark - as the Czechs looked to get back into the game.

Heinz hit the bar and then bagged the winner with just five minutes left - clever decision from Bruckner.

Celebration of the day - Ruud van Nistelrooy

The out raised arms of the Dutch star, it did not look as if we would see it on Tuesday, but his brilliant finish was well worthy of his extravagant celebration.

http://www.euro2004.com/

http://www.football365.com/

http://www.soccernet.com/
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Old 2004-06-16, 00:29   Link #126
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The Euro 2004 Football Championships.



Spain v Greece preview
by Alex Dunn - Last Updated 16 Jun 2004

Two countries who took maximum spoils from their opening Euro 2004 encounters meet in Porto, aware that victory for either side would secure progression to the competition's latter stages.

Otto Rehhagel's well drilled and competitive Greek side were impressive in beating the much fancied Portugal in the tournament's opening game and the experienced German coach will be hoping for a repeat performance against Spain.

After a display in which Greece exceeded pre-tournament expectations, Rehhagel will be hoping to keep a similar shape and line-up to the side which beat hosts Portugal.

Injury-wise, Rehhagel's major doubt concerns the fitness of influential midfielder Giorgias Karagounis, who is struggling with a niggling ankle injury.

If the Internazionale schemer, who notched the tournament's first goal, fails to resume full fitness a recall for Vassilis Tsartas is the likeliest option for Rehhagel.

The AEK Athens midfielder has spoken of his disappointment in being reduced to a periphery role and would be keen to cement his place if handed an opportunity.

Also potentially sidelined is goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis who has aggravated a shoulder injury. The experienced custodian will undergo a late fitness test but is expected to be declared fit to start.

One other minor worry for Greece is the fitness of Panathinaikos defender Giourkas Seitaridis, who was struggling with a foot injury after Sunday's game.

Spain's narrow 1-0 victory over Russia should not disguise a largely dominant display and with Greece earmarked as Group A's weakest side, Inaki Saez will demand victory from his perennial underachievers.

The quintessential dark horses, Spain normally begin tournaments in an unconvincing fashion and thus will be confident after securing a rare early victory.

Although substitute Juan Carlos Valeron proved to be Saturday's match winner, scoring with his first touch, it is anticipated that the elegant midfielder will once again have to settle for a place alongside Saez on the Spain bench.

However, speculation from the Spanish camp has indicated that there will be changes to Saez's starting line-up.

Valencia midfielder Ruben Baraja faces being usurped by Sociedad starlet Xabi Alonso, whilst Raul may have to share the forward line with Fernando Torres instead of favoured partner Fernando Morientes.

The Real Madrid target man looked slightly laboured in his efforts on Saturday and could now make way for Torres, a rising star with neighbours Atletico.

Otherwise, Saez will content himself with the side that earned an impressive result against an organized but dour Russian side.

Rehhagel will be hoping for a repeat performance from his side but in Spain, faces opposition not short of either form or confidence - which could ultimately prove too much for his Greek side.

http://www.euro2004.com/

http://www.football365.com/

http://www.soccernet.com/
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Old 2004-06-16, 00:36   Link #127
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The Euro 2004 Football Championships.



Portugal v Russia - preview
by Mark Buckingham - Last Updated 16 Jun 2004

Portugal and Russia will not wish to contemplate the implications of defeat when they clash at Estadio da Luz on Wednesday.

After both sides lost their opening games of Euro 2004 on Saturday, a second successive reverse will ruin their prospects of reaching the knockout phase.

Hosts Portugal will be desperate to shed the nerves which afflicted their performance in losing 2-1 to Greece in the tournament's curtain-raiser.

Luiz Felipe Scolari takes his squad to the capital Lisbon looking to somehow ease the burden on his players, who are under pressure to at least advance to the semi-final stage.

Scolari has no injury worries for the contest, which will be the first time Portugal and Russia have crossed swords in a European Championship finals.

Portugal pipped the then-Soviet Union to a spot in the 1984 tournament in France with a 1-0 victory in the final qualifier and Scolari would happily settle for a repeat of that scoreline.

The key question facing Scolari, with a full-strength squad to select from, is how many changes he should make from the team which started the defeat to Greece.

The risk of making wholesale alterations to the side is that those players drafted in could suffer from the nervous tension which hindered the team on the opening day.

If there is to be a change, the most likely swap is for Scolari to bring in Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored the late consolation against the Greeks, for Simao Sabrosa.

Other considerations for Scolari are whether to start with Deco instead of Rui Costa, after the pair played a half each at the weekend.

The Portuguese media are also speculating that Ricardo Carvalho, Petit and Nuno Valente could come into the team at the expense of Fernando Couto, Maniche and Rui Jorge.

Russia will be forced into at least two changes from the team which lost 1-0 to Spain as they seek to end a run of eight games without a win at the European Championship.

Coach Georgi Yartsev has expelled Alexander Mostovoi from the squad following the veteran playmaker's caustic comments after the loss to Spain.

Dmitri Loskov is most likely to take his place while Roman Sharonov is suspended after his red card against Spain, with Alexei Bugayev expected to partner makeshift centre half Alexei Smertin at the back.

Yartsev was also furious with the performance of Rolan Gusev against the Spanish and could drop the CSKA Moscow midfielder in favour of Andrei Karyaka.

http://www.euro2004.com/

http://www.football365.com/

http://www.soccernet.com/
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Old 2004-06-16, 04:35   Link #128
Blaat
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Portugal is goign to lose plain and simple
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Old 2004-06-16, 15:35   Link #129
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Highlights of the Portugal-Russia game until now:

Portugal scored at 6'
Russia's goalkepper received a direct red card, meaning he had to leave the field.
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Old 2004-06-16, 20:46   Link #130
Yebyosh
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The results of last night's matches (Portugal defeating Russia, Spain drawing with Greece) means that Russia is out. That group is practically open for Greece, Russia or Portugal to go through. Whichever of these three wins their last match is definitely going to go through. If all of these three drew however, Portugal is out. So while Portugal is in control of their destiny once again, they have to do it at the expense of the Spainiards. The Spainiards would not lie down and die for if they lose, they're likely to be out too. So Spain or Portugal, who would it be...
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Old 2004-06-17, 02:09   Link #131
Blaat
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I'm wrong...again

Oh well Portugal played 'well' in the first half, but poorly in the second one. Not using the 10 man advantage. I can't see them beating Spain though,

Today's matches:

France - Croatia
England - Switzerland

Its easy to say that France and England are going to win
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Old 2004-06-17, 10:12   Link #132
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The Euro 2004 Football Championships.



England v Switzerland preview
by James Pearson - Last Updated 17 Jun 2004

England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson is set to revert to his controversial diamond formation for Thursday's crucial Group B match with Switzerland in Coimbra.

Eriksson is aware that the heat in the afternoon kick-off could play a massive part in the game and he is set to go back to his favoured diamond formation which he ditched for the opening game defeat to France.

England have been handed a massive boost with Paul Scholes fit and available for the tie.

The Manchester United man had been a massive doubt for the clash all week after twisting his ankle against France, but trained on Wednesday.

After coming through practice without any difficulties Scholes is fit and ready to take his place in at the head of the diamond with Frank Lampard to revert to the defensive role and Steven Gerrard and David Beckham playing on the wings.

Gary Neville was also a slight doubt, but he is ready to battle against the Swiss although defensive midfielder Nicky Butt is out.

The Red Devil suffered medial ligament damage to his knee in training and will now miss the remainder of the tournament in Portugal.

Fit again John Terry is set to start in defence in place of Ledley King, despite the Tottenham man's fine display against France.

England coach Sven Goran Eriksson is keen to have as many players available as possible following their disappointing last gasp defeat to France last Sunday.

The defeat means The Three Lions can not afford any more slip-ups in Euro 2004 and anything other than a three-point haul against Kobi Kuhn's side will mean an early exit.

Meanwhile, Switzerland will tackle England in confident mood following their goalless draw against Croatia with just 10-men.

Kuhn has no injury worries ahead of the clash, after coming through their contest against Croatia in Leiria unscathed, and is expected to field a near unchanged line-up.

Switzerland's only absentee is Johan Vogel, who is suspended for his dismissal from their opening draw at Dr Magalhaes Pessoa.

Marseille's Fabio Celestini looks set to start in place of the PSV Eindhoven man.

http://www.euro2004.com/

http://www.football365.com/

http://www.soccernet.com/
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Old 2004-06-17, 10:13   Link #133
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The Euro 2004 Football Championships.



Croatia v France preview
by Alex Livie - Last Updated 17 Jun 2004

France go into their game with Croatia in a strong position following their injury-time heroics against England.

Les Bleus coach Jacques Santini has the luxury of being able to rest some of his jaded stars, something which was handed to him by Zinedine Zidane's two-goal salvo on Sunday.

Croatia lacked a cutting edge in their opening game against Switzerland and coach Otto Baric will be keen for the likes of Ivica Olic and Dado Prso to find their shooting boots.

France boss Santini has few injury worries, although Chelsea anchorman Claude Makelele could be rested after damaging his shoulder in the win over England.

If Makelele is allowed to put his feet up while his team-mates enter the heat of battle, Olivier Dacourt could be asked to deputise.

The soon-to-be Tottenham boss is toying with the idea of recalling captain Marcel Desailly and full back Willy Sagnol, while striker David Trezeguet's position is in jeopardy after he underperformed against England.

Those who failed to take the field against England had a run out in a friendly against Portuguese second division side Desportivo Das Aves on Monday, with the likes of Louis Saha, Steve Marlet, Sylvain Wiltord and Desailly all pressing their claims by performing well in the 4-0 win.

Santini will be determined to clinch top spot in the group, and three points against Croatia would go some way to securing that, but he may feel it prudent to keep his key players fresh.

French players have stated that they expect Croatia to come out and attack, which will suit their game, and this could allow Thierry Henry the space to play he was not given against England.

A defeat at the hands of France would not be the end of the road for Croatia, as they would still have their destiny in their own hands provided England beat Switzerland, and Baric has hinted he may well rest some of his key men for the likely pivotal encounter with The Three Lions.

Five Croatians - Prso, Boris Zivkovic, Ivica Mornar, Milan Rapaic and Nenad Bjelica - are on cautions and Baric will not want to see any of them miss the England game through suspension.

The Dr Magalhaes Pessoa stadium in Leiria will play host to the game and Croatia will be happier to be playing later in the evening than when they faced Switzerland.

France hold the edge in meetings between the two nations, winning all three encounters, and Lilian Thuram will have fond memories of their first clash - he scored twice in the 2-1 win on home soil in 1998 which helped them on their way to World Cup glory.

Thuram is not a regular scorer for his country and he will almost certainly take team success over personal glory on Thursday.

http://www.euro2004.com/

http://www.football365.com/

http://www.soccernet.com/
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Old 2004-06-17, 10:55   Link #134
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Scrumhalf you missed the aftermath of yesterday's matches
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Old 2004-06-17, 13:36   Link #135
_Riku_
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lol @ Totti
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Old 2004-06-17, 13:53   Link #136
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England 3 - 0 Switzerland
23', 75' Rooney
82' Gerrard


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Old 2004-06-17, 14:10   Link #137
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Very poor, boring game. England was dissapointing and Switzerland wasn't dangerous enough.
If it weren't for the red card the game would have ended at 1-0.
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Old 2004-06-17, 20:52   Link #138
Yebyosh
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Croatia 2 - France 2

Viva la Croatia!!!
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Old 2004-06-18, 02:26   Link #139
Blaat
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wow that was a nice match. Sure first half of the game was boring as hell. Then came the equalizer and the second goal for Croatia. Then the entire match shifted in high gear.

Entertaining, very entertaining.
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Old 2004-06-18, 03:18   Link #140
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True, but today's the highlight of the group stage:

Italy - Sweden

With Totti being suspended for being a disgrace to modern football and showing us everything that's rotten with it, Italy is at a disadvantage against self-confident but still cool-headed Sweden. Christian "Chippen" [The Chip] Wilhelmsson will start the match on the right midfield, while ordinary right winger Mikael Nilsson is taking the field as a right back just as he did against Bulgaria when Teddy Lukic had to be substituted because of an injury. A very offensive team, the only more offensive choice would have been exchanging Tobias Linderoth for Kim Källström, but why would you want that? Two former Elfsborg players (Anders Svensson and Tobias Linderoth) on the central midfield, what could possibly go wrong?

Italy 1 - 2 Sweden are my hopeful predictions, but it will probably in most likelyhood end in a draw.

Ah well, HEJA SVERIGE FRISKT HUMÖR, DET ÄR DET SOM SUSEN GÖR! HEJA HEJA HEJA!
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