RESULTS AND REPORTS
Costa Rica struggled to qualify for the
Cup, and struggled all the way through the group stages. It
lost every single match, but did score three goals to their
opponents' nine. The closest loss was to Poland, 1-2.
Ecuador showed promise during its second
qualification, and showed even more during the group stages,
where it only lost to Germany, 0-3, and did not concede a
single goal otherwise. Ecuador dropped out after a loss to
England in the Last 16.
Germany did not have to qualify for this
Cup, as it was the host. They had little trouble during
their group matches, winning the first match 4-2 and the
others 1-0 and 3-0. Its last 16 opponent was Sweden, which
it disposed of 2-0. Germany's biggest challenge was
Argentina, who had been showing quite some promise in their
group stages, but it survived to win on penalties. Germany
nearly survived another draw with Italy, but two quick goals
right at the end of extra time relegated Germany to the
third-place playoff. They won 3-1 against a strong
Poland led Europe Group Six for most of
the way, but lost to England and qualified as a runner-up.
It came into a tough group, and lost its first two matches
to Germany and Ecuador, meaning it was the 'first group to
leave the World Cup'.
England had an easy run to
qualification, won its first two games easily and drew its
third. It scored very few goals – five (with two against) –
and continued its low scoring with a 1-0 win against Ecuador
in the Last 16. It drew with Portugal in the semi-finals and
lost on penalties.
Paraguay won only its game against
Trinidad and Tobago after a disappointing qualification
(fourth in South America). It fought back somewhat at
England and Sweden, however, losing both those matches
Sweden was another runner-up in Europe
Group Eight, finishing second to Croatia. Sweden won against
Paraguay and drew with England, but a surprise draw with
Trinidad and Tobago saw it gain just five points and settle
for second place. It lost to Germany in the Last 16, 2-0.
Trinidad and Tobago had a tough run to
qualification, playing off home-and-away against Bahrain.
Few people expected them to rise up in their first Cup, but
changed their minds when they drew with Sweden. It still
fell to England and Paraguay to settle for fourth spot.
Argentina qualified with no trouble at
all, finishing second behind Brazil. They showed their power
by beating Serbia & Montenegro 6-0 in the group stages.
Their power started waning after the group stages, however -
a 2-1 win against Mexico in extra time and a 1-1 draw with
Germany saw it out on penalties.
Cote d'Ivoire pipped Egypt and Cameroon
for qualification in its first Cup, but unfortunately lost
two matches early, to Argentina and the Netherlands, so
bowed out of the tournament quickly. Praise must be given to
them, though, for their hardy 3-2 win against Serbia &
Montenegro from a 1-2 half-time.
The Netherlands took top placing in
Europe Group One. They ended up with similar results to
Argentina in the Group stage, the only difference being
goals (8 to Argentina, 3 to the Netherlands). The
Netherlands lost to Portugal in the round of 16.
Serbia & Montenegro, with top placing in
Europe Group Seven, only scored two goals for the entire
group stage, both of which were against Cote d'Ivoire. This
was its most spirited match, as they got up 2-0 in 20
minutes before Cote d'Ivoire held on for a victory.
Angola scraped in over Nigeria in Africa
Group Four to make its first ever World Cup, but had a bad
first match, as Portugal scored within 4 minutes and Angola
could come up with no answer. However, its other two matches
were neat draws that aggregated only two goals.
Iran made it in through an impressive
placing in Africa Group Four. However, it scored just one
draw in the group stages with two losses, predictably to
Mexico and Portugal. Iran was not disgraced, however - it
held on for a last-minute draw with Angola.
Mexico had a very easy run into
qualification, but had somewhat of a hard-fought opening
match, as 2 of its 3 goals were scored in the last 15
minutes. A draw against Angola saw it scrape its way into
the Last 16, where it lost to the Argentinian powerhouse
Portugal didn't lose one game in Europe
Group 3 nor in the group stages. The World No.7 took on the
Netherlands in the Final 16 and managed to win 1-0. A close
penalty win against England saw them into the top four in
the world, but two losses to France and Germany saw the
gutsy Portugal settle for fourth spot.
The Czech Republic pipped both Finland
and Norway to enter the tournament, then had its only
victory against a weak US side, 3-0, before losing to Ghana
and Italy 0-2 each, seeing it bow out by 3 points.
Ghana won against South Africa and the
Congo to qualify from Africa Group Two for its first
tournament. Ghana lost against powerhouses Italy, but came
back for defeats of the Czech Republic and the US (the
latter pipping the Czechs). Its Last 16 match was against
Brazil, which it predictably lost 3-0.
Italy stayed on top of an easy Europe
Group Five to qualify, and it seemed that it could do no
wrong throughout the entire tournament. After topping the
group stages undefeated (a draw with the US being the only
blot on its record), it defeated Australia 1-0 in the
eleventh hour to advance into the quarter finals. There it
won 3-0 against Ukraine and came up against host nation
Germany in the semi-finals. A victory there saw it up
against France in Berlin on July 9, 2006, where a 1-1 draw
saw a penalty shootout. A perfect 5 against France's 3 gave
Italy its fourth FIFA World Cup.
USA was ranked 5th in the world when it
qualified, easily taking a spot in North America. However,
it failed to win a single match against lower-ranked teams.
Its only point came from a gutsy 1-1 draw against Italy.
Australia got through to only its second
tournament by pipping Uruguay on penalties. Inexperience
showed against Brazil and Croatia, however a last-minute 3-1
win against Japan gave Australia entry into the Final 16,
where it was beaten by a controversial decision against
Brazil, as top in the world and
defending champs, won through easily and continued its run
with three wins in its group stage. It easily took out Ghana
in the Last 16, but lost to a rising French team 0-1 in the
quarter-finals. However, excellent play was shown in all its
Croatia won Europe Group Eight, but
failed to show their strength by losing to Brazil and
drawing to Japan. It needed to win against Australia to
progress; however, a last-minute goal drew the match and saw
Croatia out of the Cup.
Japan won its Asia group, but lost a
supposedly easy match against Australia. It drew with
Croatia and lost to Brazil 1-4. The disgraced Japan only
scored 2 goals throughout the group stage.
France scraped through Europe Group
Four, then scraped into the Last 16 in second place, one
point ahead of nearest rivals South Korea. However, a
critic-silencing 3-1 victory over Spain and 1-0 victory over
superstars Brazil saw France into the semi-finals. An early
goal from captain Zinedine Zidane gave France a 1-0 victory
over Portugal and access to the Final against Italy. Another
early goal, then last-minute red card to Zidane gave Italy a
big chance in penalties, where it exploited France's
weaknesses and sent them to second place.
South Korea qualified badly, but still
managed to win against Togo and draw with France. A victory
would see them through, and France second... but it was
against group dominators Switzerland. South Korea ended up
one point behind France.
Switzerland survived Europe Group 4 and
a match against Turkey, but were much more promising against
the rest of its group, with a 0-0 draw against France and
two 2-0 victories, which saw it into first place without
condecing a single goal. However, it lost to the team from
Ukraine in the Last 16.
Togo took out its Africa group with just
one loss. However, it scored only one goal against South
Korea in a 2-1 loss, and (somewhat predictably) failed to
Saudi Arabia conceded two goals on the
way to qualification but came into a tough group which was
made tougher by a 2-2 draw to fellow underdogs Tunisia.
These were the only goals Saudi Arabia scored.
Spain made somewhat of a mess of Europe
Group Seven by being unbeaten, but finishing second. Spain
started well with a 4-0 victory against Ukraine and 3-1
victory over Tunisia. Another victory saw it up against
France for the last 16, where it lost 3-1.
Tunisia just managed to get in, using a
70th minute goal against Morocco. When Tunisia made it, it
had as bad a run as Saudi Arabia, drawing one match and
losing the other two. It wasn't for lack of trying, howver:
it lost to Ukraine 1-0.
Ukraine took out such names as Turkey,
Greece and Denmark to win Europe Group Two and become the
first European team, except for Germany, to qualify. Wins
against Saudi Arabia and Tunisia gave it second place, and a
playoff against Switzerland, which it managed to win on
penalties. However, a match against Italy was too much for
it, and it dropped out in the quarter-finals.
Germany 4 df 2 Costa Rica
Poland 0 lost 2 Ecuador
Germany 1 df 0 Poland
Ecuador 3 df 0 Costa Rica
Germany 3 df 0 Ecuador
Costa Rica 1 lost 2 Poland
Germany (9 pts) and Ecuador (6 pts) advance
England 1 df 0 Paraguay
T&T 0 drew 0 Sweden
England 2 df 0 T&T
Sweden 1 df 0 Paraguay
Sweden 2 drew 2 England
Paraguay 2 df 0 T&T
England (7 pts) and Sweden (5 pts) advance
Argentina 2 df 1 Cote D'Ivoire
S&M 0 lost 1 Netherlands
Argentina 6 df 0 S&M
Netherlands 2 df 1 Cote D'Ivoire
Netherlands 0 drew 0 Argentina
Cote D'Ivoire 3 df 2 S&M
Argentina (7 pts) and Netherlands (7 pts) advance
Mexico 3 df 1 Iran
Angola 0 lost 1 Portugal
Mexico 0 drew 0 Angola
Portugal 2 df 0 Iran
Portugal 2 df 1 Mexico
Iran 1 drew 1 Angola
Portugal (9 pts) and Mexico (4 pts) advance
Italy 2 df 0 Ghana
USA 0 lost 3 Czech Rep.
Italy 1 drew 1 USA
Czech Rep. 0 lost 2 Ghana
Czech Rep. 0 lost 2 Italy
Ghana 2 df 1 USA
Italy (7 pts) and Ghana (6 pts) advance
Australia 3 df 1 Japan
Brazil 1 df 0 Croatia
Brazil 2 df 0 Australia
Japan 0 drew 0 Croatia
Japan 1 lost 4 Brazil
Croatia 2 drew 2 Australia
Brazil (9 pts) and Australia (4 pts) advance
France 0 drew 0 Switzerland
South Korea 2 df 1 Togo
France 1 drew 1 South Korea
Togo 0 lost 2 Switzerland
Togo 0 lost 2 France
Switzerland 2 df 0 South Korea
Switzerland (7 pts) and France (5 pts) advance
Spain 4 df 0 Ukraine
Tunisia 2 drew 2 Saudi Arabia
Spain 3 df 1 Tunisia
Saudi Arabia 0 lost 4 Ukraine
Saudi Arabia 0 lost 1 Spain
Ukraine 1 df 0 Tunisia
Spain (9 pts) and Ukraine (6 pts) advance
Germany 2 df 0 Sweden
Argentina 2 df 1 Mexico
England 1 df 0 Ecuador
Portugal 1 df 0 Netherlands
Italy 1 df 0 Australia
Switzerland 0 lost 0 Ukraine (penalties)
Brazil 3 df 0 Ghana
Spain 1 lost 3 France
Germany 1 df 1 Argentina (pen.)
England 0 lost 0 Portugal (pen.)
Italy 3 df 0 Ukraine
Brazil 0 lost 1 France
Germany 0 lost 2 Italy
Portugal 0 lost 1 France
Germany 3 df 1 Portugal
Italy 1 df 1 France (pen.)