June 14, 2002, Chandigarh, India
Brazil eliminate Costa Rica
Brazil, Costa Rica enthral with Latin magic
Debutants Equador oust Croatia
Germany hope to continue dream run against Paraguay
Russians need a draw to qualify
Favourites position new experience for USA
Butcher guides England to strong position
Del Piero saves blushes for Italy
Oita (Japan), June 13
Jared Borgetti appeared to have sealed Mexico’s first ever victory over Italy with a moment of blinding skill in the 34th minute when he glanced an angled header into the top corner of the net from a chipped pass by Cuauhtemoc Blanco.
But five minutes from time, substitute Alsesandro del Piero rapped home from close range to rescue Italy from a dispiriting defeat and put them in the second round.
The match ended in farce when both teams, knowing the result in the other game with bottom-placed Ecuador beating Croatia 1-0, played keep-ball for the four minutes of injury time.
Italy had few answers to Mexico’s dazzling skills on the ball and rarely threatened Oscar Perez’s goal until del Piero’s goal although, for the second game running, they had two ‘’goals’’ ruled out by a linesman.
Italy finished the group in second place with four points, three behind leaders Mexico. They will play the winners of group D, South Korea, Portugal or the USA.
Ironically, Italy drew 1-1 with Mexico in 1994 to qualify through the group stages before losing to Brazil in the final on penalties. Mexico have never beaten Italy in 10 meetings.
The Italians started brightly and Filippo Inzaghi had a goal disallowed in the 13th minute after he had been put in by Francesco Totti.
Three minutes later Totti produced a magnificent back-heeled flick into Christian Vieri’s path but the burly striker fired high and wide over the bar.
Totti then missed a great chance from 10 metres out, firing wide after Inzaghi had run at the Mexican defence and slipped the ball into his path.
Vieri blasted a volley straight at Mexico ‘keeper Oscar Perez after neat work from Cristiano Zanetti and Totti.
Totti, enjoying his return to a deeper playmaking role, fired a free-kick just wide of Perez’s right hand post in the 24th minute as the Italians sought to turn their pressure into a precious goal.
But Borgetti rose above Paolo Maldini and looped his header over a stationary Gianluigi Buffon in the Italy goal after a stunning build-up to put the Mexicans ahead.
Five minutes after the restart Totti put Inzaghi through on goal but the Italy striker hesitated allowing Perez to push the ball away.
Then the Mexicans went close to a second when Jesus Arellano saw a shot cleared off the line by Fabio Cannavaro, after a smart exchange with Blanco.
Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni replaced Inzaghi with Vincenzo Montella as his side desparately sought a goal.
Montella had the ball in the net after another Totti through ball, but the linesman had flagged for offside well before the substitute slotted home.
Once more Totti provided an opening in the 72nd minute with a first-time pass over the top for Vieri but his touch let him down and Perez was able to clear the danger. Reuters
Brazil eliminate Costa Rica
Suwon, June 13
Goals from Ronaldo, Edmilson, Rivaldo, Junior and a Luis Marin own goal cancelled out strikes from Paulo Wanchope and Ronald Gomez.
Brazil’s victory puts them alongside Spain as the only teams so far to race into the round of 16 with an unblemished record, but they still have plenty to work on if they are to claim a fifth world crown.
The result spelt the end for the ‘Ticos’, with Turkey’ 3-0 triumph over China just kilometres down the road at the Seoul Stadium ensuring the Europeans go through at the central Americans’ expense.
Despite the emphatic scoreline Brazil will not be overly happy. In a wildy fluctuating game full of chance and error, their backline minus Roque Junior, was shaky at best and the holes were exploited by Costa Rica.
Alexandre Guimaraes, the Brazilian-born Costa Rican coach, said he was proud of his team who he said deserved to be in the next round.
“I am very proud and happy with our style,” he said. “We came here to show the world the improvements in Costa Rican football and today we showed that against one of the best teams in the world.”
Brazil started the match minus three regulars — Roberto Carlos, Roque Junior and Ronaldinho — and their steadying presence was missed.
Costa Rica should have opened the scoring after eight minutes but an unmarked Mauricio Wright sent his header sailing over the bar.
Brazil pounced first in the 10th minute when Ronaldo nipped in ahead of two defenders to poke home via a deflection off Marin.
The Inter Milan sharpshooter, who played the full 90 minutes for the first time in the tournament, made it 2-0 minutes later when he shook off his marker to whip the ball through the legs of a hapless defender for his third goal in South Korea.
Edmilson made it 3-0 with a spectacular overhead kick as he perfectly picked up a Junior cross seven minutes before half time.
Costa Rica pulled one back through Manchester City’s Wanchope just before the break and a strike by Costa Rican Ronald Gomez early in the second half looked like a fightback was on.
But Brazil brought on Ricardinho for Juninho with half an hour to go and he immediately made a difference, lashing over a low cross which Rivaldo latched on to for his third goal of the tournament.
A minute later and Junior, who was later carried off on a stretcher, made it 5-2 when he broke clear down the left and rifled a shot past goalkeeper Erick Lonnis.
Rivaldo went off with 20 minutes to go giving new young talent Kaka his first taste of World Cup football, which he lapped up in a game that had it all.
Brazil are now unbeaten in 10 matches and head to Japan tomorrow for the round of 16. AFP
Brazil, Costa Rica enthral with Latin magic
Suwon (South Korea), June 13
The Central Americans went down 2-5 to Brazil and out to Turkey on goal difference — both teams finished with four points — but they kept faith with their own attacking style and could easily have won an extraordinary match 7-6.
The game often seemed like a throwback to a bygone era as both teams abandoned the chores of defending and went upfield with seemingly wreckless abandon.
Curiously, it was the sort of match which Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari last year said was not possible in modern football.
"There’s no more beautiful game," he said before a World Cup qualifier in Argentina last year. "You are not going to see the Brazil of 1958, 1962 or 1970 again. We are in 2001."
Yet today, the same Scolari sent his team onto the field with only one tackling specialist in midfield and with clear orders to attack from the outset.
With Costa Rica doing the same, the two teams produced the sort of game that perhaps only two Latin teams are capable of.
"It reminded me of the Brazil versus Peru game in 1970, two teams playing with similar styles to this, a great game, lots of goals," said Costa Rica coach Alexandre Guimaraes, who was born in Brazil and became a Costa Rican citizen in 1984.
Of the seven Latin American teams at the World Cup, Costa Rica are probably the one which has remained most faithful to the traditional style of short passing, clever flicks and dribbles.
While the likes of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay have looked almost undistinguishable from European teams — where most of their top players are based — Costa Rica have kept their own identity, perhaps helped by the fact that nearly all of their players are home-based.
Guimaraes was asked why his team could not have played for the goal-less draw, which would have given them the point they needed to go through.
"It was more important to defend our style," he said.
"Anyone could have played for the draw but we didn’t want this, we wanted to show that we are good enough to compete and to play our own game," he added.
"We qualified very well with this type of game, we had an excellent Copa America with this type of game, fifth place, and with this type of game we were eliminated on goal difference," he said.
"I believe that Costa Rica are very proud of what we did in this game, of what we have done in the World Cup. We have always stood by this style, the players have shown they are good enough."
Asked about Brazil’s defensive weaknesses, he replied: "Instead of showing whether or not Brazil are weak at the back, Costa Rica played a game which showed the virtues of Costa Rica."
Unfortunately, over-elaborate finishing eclipsed those virtues and ultimately prevented the team emulating the success of their 1990 counterparts, who reached the last 16. Costa Rica created a hatful of chances in all three of their group C games but, with striker Paulo Wanchope not at his best and their all-time leading goalscorer Rolando Fonseca not hitting form, too many went begging.
They started well, beating group lightweights China 2-0 in their opening game, but then drew 1-1 with Turkey before losing to Brazil.
"We have to learn from this experience because, in a short championship, if you let the opponents off the hook, you lose," said Fonseca. Reuters
Debutants Equador oust Croatia
Yokohama, June 13
The 1998 semifinalists, who beat group rivals Italy 2-1 in their last game, were unable to lift themselves as Ecuador recorded their first World Cup finals win thanks to Edison Mendez’s sharp 48th-minute finish.
Croatia’s best effort was an Alen Boksic shot after 34 minutes that shaved a post.
Croatia went into the match knowing a two-goal win would guarantee their passage but made little headway in the first half, with only the movement of the experienced Boksic posing any real threat.
The 32-year-old turned sharply to direct one effort on to the post after 34 minutes and, on the stroke of half time, hooked a fine Milan Rapaic pass goalwards only for Ecuador defender Augusto Porozo to head clear with his goalkeeper beaten.
With the group in a state of flux, Mexico’s 1-0 half time lead over Italy meant the point would be good enough for Croatia. But Ecuador were not out of it either, knowing a 3-0 victory would also put them through.
With this in mind, Gomez brought on Alex Aguinaga after 40 minutes, despite the fact that the inspirational midfielder is barely fit due to a thigh problem.
The South Americans, who only had an outside chance of qualifying themselves, stunned Croatia by taking the lead three minutes after the start of the second half.
Ulises De la Cruz crossed from the right and when Agustin Delgado headed the ball down, Mendez lashed it past Stipe Pletikosa in the Croatia goal.
Mirko Jovic’s Croatia vainly drove forward in search of an equaliser but Ecuador’s defensive line held firm to leave the team from the Balkans heartbroken.
In the second group G match, which was played at the same time, Italy and Mexico drew 1-1 to qualify for the second round. Reuters
Turkey power into second round
Seoul, June 13
Turkey had started the match needing a win to have any chance of going through after a defeat to Brazil and a draw with the Costa Ricans had left them with only one point from their first two games.
Goals from Hasan Sas, Bulent Korkmaz and a late volley from Umit Davala secured the win for Turkey, who finished level on four points with Costa Rica - beaten 5-2 by Brazil in Suwon.
Victory had effectively been assured for the Turks after only nine minutes, when they surged into a two-goal lead to pile on the misery for China, already eliminated after two defeats.
Feeble Chinese defending after six minutes saw the Turks go 1-0 up, Galatasaray’s elusive midfielder Hasan Sas seizing on a mistake by Li Weifeng to blast high into the net.
Soon afterwards China’s captain and goalkeeper Jiang Jin was picking the ball out of his net again, Bulent’s back-post header from a cross by Hasan Sas looping up and dipping under the bar.
The early blitz could have knocked the fight out of China but they responded to the setback well, moving forward confidently.
They almost pulled one back near the half-hour mark when Yang Chen saw a thunderous volley come smashing back off an upright with Turkish keeper Rustu Recber well-beaten.
Indiscipline soured a good opening 45 minutes for Turkey, with Emre Asik and Emre Belozoglu both picking up yellow cards which will see them suspended for the next match if their side reach the last 16.
China also saw Yang Pu cautioned for diving inside the penalty area. Chinese attempts to staunch the Turkish onslaught were made more difficult on 58 minutes when second half subsitute Shao Jiayi was sent off for a clumsy tackle on Emre Belozoglu after just 13 minutes on the pitch.
Parma striker Hakan Sukur almost gave Turkey a third midway through the second half but his header was palmed away with a fabulous reflex save by Jiang.
Finally the third Turkish goal came six minutes from time, Umit Davala drilling in a low right-foot volley which gave Jiang no chance. AFP
Korea wary of resurgent Portugal
Inchon, South Korea, June 13
While co-hosts Japan can go through with a draw against Tunisia or even a one-goal defeat, South Korea need a draw against group favourites Portugal to ensure they do the same.
Coach Guus Hiddink has honed a fast, attacking brand of football that has won South Korea new respect, but in Portugal he sees one of the world’s top teams recovering from a shaky start.
"The Portuguese team regained their power after the first shock in the first game in which they were sleeping," Hiddink told reporters, referring to Portugal’s 3-2 defeat by the USA.
"They are very dangerous," he said. "Its very obvious we have to stop their powerful attack."
Portugal were Europe’s most prolific team in qualifying, scoring 33 goals in 10 matches.
Still, Hiddink said the South Koreans would not settle for playing a defensive game.
"We adapt...but we also try to take the initiative," he said, promising "a controlled attack, not blind attack".
The one mistake South Korea will not make is to become obsessed with Portugal’s key players like Luis Figo and Rui Costa.
"We cannot mark world class players with two or three players," he said. "(But) we will defend (against) them, we have players who can do so."
South Korea’s back line is anchored by captain Hong Myung-bo, a steely veteran in his fourth and probably last World Cup.
Up front, Ahn Junghwan is likely to be used more after coming on as a substitute to score the 78th-minute equaliser that salvaged a 1-1 draw against the USA.
"I’m demanding a high pace and he’s capable," Hiddink said. "He can play 45 minutes or maybe, if necessary, a little bit longer on a high level."
Speedy left winger Lee Young-pyo is back from a leg injury and could also figure in Hiddink’s plans for more substitutes to keep fresh legs on the pitch.
"Some players because of little injuries cannot play full time so I have to keep some fresh players on the bench to go in in the second half," Hiddink said.
Portugal, after the shock U.S. defeat, crushed Poland 4-0, with a hat-trick from striker Pauleta.
In their first finals in 16 years, the Portuguese hope Figo and other veterans from a team that won the 1991 FIFA World Youth Championship can repeat the feat at the World Cup.
"It’s an extremely important game for our careers, and in our lives as footballers," left back Rui Jorge said of the match against South Korea. "If we should win this game, we will reach a very high point. We all hope to reach it, so we naturally feel good because we can achieve something we have wanted for years and years."
Coach Antonio Oliveira is likely to stick to the same tight formation he used against Poland, rather than the open team which left space for the USA to score three goals in 36 first-half minutes.
Oliveira used Joao Pinto to probe the Poland defence then brought playmaker Rui Costa on later.
Right back Nuno Frechaut, doubtful after spraining an ankle, could be replaced by Abel Xavier who has recovered from a torn thigh muscle. Reuters
hope to continue dream run
Seogwipo, June 13
Unfortunately for Paraguay and perhaps fortunately for Germany, No 23, Nelson Cuevas, may not be available for the second-round World Cup match.
The Germans themselves will be missing three starters when the two teams meet on Saturday at this South Korean “honeymoon” island resort for a place in the quarterfinals. For one of the teams, the World Cup honeymoon will be over.
Cuevas, a 22-year-old striker, came off the bench in the 61st minute in Paraguay’s final group B match against Slovenia, with his team trailing by a goal and down a man.
The striker scored twice, helping his team gain a 3-1 victory and clinch a place in the second round.
But then he limped off the field in the final minutes with a suspected torn muscle.
The German coaching staff, led by team chief Rudi Voeller and his deputy Michael Skibbe, watched the match yesterday evening and came away impressed by “No 23.”
“He was very good, but he went off injured and we’ll see if he can play,” Skibbe said today.
Skibbe drew parallels between Germany and Paraguay.
“Like us, they lost a man early in the match but turned the game around in the second half with a great fighting performance,” Skibbe said. “It’s a well organised team and they have some experienced players.
“Goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert is always capable of doing something extraordinary and he organises his defence very well,” Skibbe said. Chilavert was responsible for Slovenia’s goal but he also produced some big saves in the second half.
“We know that we have to play at our limit to overcome anyone.
Look at Paraguay’s qualifying run: they beat Brazil, they drew Argentina twice. They have very fast players,” Skibbe added.
“They wasted a lot of chances and they have some weaknesses but I won’t discuss them now,” he said.
Paraguay and Germany have never played each other, but Skibbe noted that Paraguay went out against France in the second round four years ago on a sudden-death goal.
“We know we’re going against history,” Chilavert said. “But we’ll fight to the death.
“From now on, the losers go home. Germany is a formidable side, but Paraguay has great players and we are capable of rebounding in any match as we showed against Slovenia.”
Germany played much of its last group match against Cameroon with 10 men after the expulsion of defender Carsten Ramelow and won 2-0 with a strong second half.
“We are all healthy and that’s important, because we have to replace some players,” Skibbe said.
In addition to Ramelow, the Germans will be missing important midfielders Christian Ziege and Dietmar Hamann, who are both suspended. Another midfielder, Joerg Boehme, has gone home because of a torn muscle suffered while warming up before the Cameroon match.
“We have to adjust our line-up because we are missing several people and we’ll have to adjust it because of our opponent,” Skibbe said.
The Germans switched from a three-man defence to a four-man backline in the second half against Cameroon and the players want to keep that system.
Having advanced to the second round, the Germans have reached their proclaimed goal. The three-time champions are now hungry to stay in the tournament, however, and prove the skeptics back home wrong.
“It would be very unwise to underestimate anyone. All matches have been very tight,” said midfielder Jens Jeremies, who is expected to come in for one of the suspended starters.
“Maybe it’s good to bring in a few fresh players. They are hungry and they don’t want to play just one match,” he said. “We support each other and that’s why I think we’ll be around for a while yet.”
If the Germans aren’t familiar with Cuevas, they certainly know Paraguay’s other striker, Roque Santa Cruz, who plays his club soccer for Bayern Munich.
“He’s a great player, he is going to be one of the greatest players in Europe,” Jeremies said of the team-mate who will be his rival Saturday. “And he’s a great guy.”
Paraguay also will be without Carlos Paredes, suspended after his red card against Slovenia.
“It might seem like a mismatch, but with the kind of players I have on my team, I’m sure we’ll go into the game without any fear,” said Paraguay’s Italian coach, Cesare Maldini. “This side can surpass what it did in ’98.” AP
Russians need a draw to qualify
Shizuoka, Japan, June 13
The game is likely to be the last in charge for the losing coach.
Belgium’s Robert Waseige has already announced he is stepping down to take over at Belgian club Standard Liege next season.
Russian counterpart Oleg Romantsev, who is also coach of Spartak Moscow, will almost certainly be forced out should Russia fail to qualify from one of the easiest groups in the tournament.
With three points to Belgium’s two, Russia have the simpler task. They only need a draw to qualify having beaten Tunisia 2-0 in their opening game before losing 1-0 to Philippe Troussier’s exuberant Japan side, a result that prompted riots in Moscow.
Romantsev is hoping to have playmaker Alexander Mostovoi fit again after nearly four weeks out with a hamstring injury.
His expected return should benefit teenagers Dmitry Sychev and Marat Izamilov, the only bright sparks so far for the Russians.
“The pressure is growing and we have to concentrate our minds more,’’ said Russia’s general manager Alexander Polinsky.
“We have to fight and struggle more actively on every segment of the pitch. We lacked determination against the Japanese.
“It’s hard to see which team is the strongest. I respect the Belgium team a lot.’’
Tomorrow’s game will be Russia captain and defensive organiser Viktor Onopko’s 100th match for his country.
Dour Belgium, lucky to escape with a 2-2 draw against group leaders Japan, were held 1-1 by Tunisia in their second game, a surprise result that has kept the group wide open.
Waseige, a Francophone under siege from a critical Flemish media, at least has the benefit of a fully fit squad from which to choose.
Defender Nico Van Kerckhoven has recovered from his thigh injury and will return to his left-back role. Central defender Glen De Boeck also suffered no reaction to his foot injury in the Tunisia game.
With only a victory sufficient, Waseige will have to abandon his normal caution. Striker Wesley Sonck, whose pace could trouble the Russia defence, should lead the attack. Experienced captain Marc Wilmots, scorer of two goals already and playing in his fourth World Cup, will be the man Russia have to watch most carefully. Reuters
Japan pin hopes on Inamoto
Osaka, June 13
Inamoto, the midfield pocket-battleship who has been the revelation of Japan’s campaign, will banish all thoughts of his problems at English club Arsenal as Japan chase the point they need to reach the last 16 from group H.
An eye for goal, tireless running and tidy passing have made Inamoto one of the players of the tournament so far, helping to earn him man-of-the-match awards against Belgium and Russia.
But the euphoria of scoring the 1-0 winner over the Rusians in Yokohama on Sunday and his early success has been soured by news that Arsenal have released him on a free transfer.
Inamoto promises that the disappointment of being axed by the Gunners will not distract him from the task in hand against Tunisia, where he will be appearing in front of adoring fans from his home city.
“We haven’t got anywhere yet,” Inamoto said. “The most important thing is that we get the right result in Osaka.” The right result for Japan will be a draw or a win, and even a narrow defeat for the Asian champions could send them through depending on the outcome of Belgium’s meeting with Russia.
Japan currently lead the group with four points from two matches, ahead of Russia on three and Belgium on two. Tunisia, on one point can still qualify, but realistically need a big win over the Japanese to do so.
Tunisia are likely to be hampered in their challenge by seasonal rain, expected to favour Japan coach Philippe Troussier’s slick-passing side. Though Japan’s fears of becoming the first World Cup hosts to fail to reach the second round have receded since victory over Russia, they will not take anything against Tunisia.
“I think it’s going to be a tough match,” said Japan midfielder Shinji Ono, aiming to attack the net himself after setting up Takayuki Suzuki’s goal in Japan’s 2-2 draw with Belgium in their opener.
Centre-back Tsuneyasu Miyamoto said the Tunisians seemed “capricious” and did not play compactly. “But we’ll have to watch out for their speed in attack,” he said.
Kashima Antlers striker Atsushi Yanagisawa said he expected Tunisia to go down fighting. “They still have a chance of reaching the final round, so they’re going to be tough,” he said.
Tunisia coach Ammar Souayah sounded a pessimistic note about Tunisia’s chances of pulling off a remarkable escape act.
“It’s going to be a tough match particularly after we lost to two (J-League) club sides in warm-up matches. Japan will cause us much trouble,” a gloomy-sounding Souayah said in Kashihara.
But Souayah has not completely given up hope, and drew encouragement from the way his team fought back from a goal down to earn a 1-1 draw with Belgium in their second game. AFP
Favourites position new experience for USA
Daejeon, June 13
Although USA have upset group D favourites Portugal and drew with co-hosts South Korea, they still need to beat the Poles to get into the last 16 for the first time since they hosted the finals in 1994.
The Stars and Stripes have come a long way since France ‘98 when they didn’t win a game.
The Americans are on level points with Korea and could miss out on the last 16 if Poland upset them and the co-hosts and Portugal draw their match with the tournament co-hosts in Incheon tomorrow.
USA have three players on a yellow card from earlier games — defenders Frankie Hejduk and Jeff Agoos and midfielder DaMarcus Beasley — and any of them could be stood down for the Poland encounter.
“We need to play our best team against Poland regardless of our yellow card situation,” coach Bruce Arena said today.
“But we are going to look at the cards, the fitness of some players and certainly our opponents.”
Although Poland have lost both their games here without scoring a goal, Arena is cautious about tomorrow’s match.
“Poland had an outstanding run in qualifying matches, but they haven’t shown their best in this World Cup,” said Arena.
“We have to anticipate that they will show their best against us on Friday.”
The USA had assistant coach Glenn Myernick scout the Polish players leading up to the World Cup and Arena is confident he has the run-down on all their strengths and weaknesses.
Arena is particularly aware of the threat posed by Nigerian-born striker Emmanuel Olisadebe, midfielders Radoslaw Kaluzny and Jacek Krzynowek and the outstanding goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek.
Kaluzny went off injured early in the first half of the 0-4 loss to Portugal while Marseille playmaker Piotr Swierczewski is suspended from the last match after receiving two yellow cards.
“We know that Poland will have to make a couple of changes because of a suspension and an injury,” said Arena. “I’m hoping Glenn will give me an understanding or their full playing roster.
“There’s a lot of good players in the Poland team and we have to be ready for a real difficult game.”
Poland goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek has vowed to help South Korea achieve their goal of reaching the World Cup second round after being bowled over by the co-hosts’ hospitality. AFP
Exit unjust, say
Argentinians Naraha, June 13 Sweden finished the pre-tournament favourites’ hopes with a 1-1 draw yesterday which followed the Argentine’s 1-0 defeat by England. Both results were ground out with safety-first approaches by the European teams. Young midfielder Pablo Aimar summed up the mood in the twice-winners’ camp that they had been hard done by. He said: “It’s difficult (to score) when a team defends with 10 men. We did everything we could but we couldn’t (win), it’s not that we didn’t want to. We didn’t score the goals to match our chances.” “Teams are getting results from defending with lots of players. Let’s hope they don’t continue to benefit from that because otherwise people will stop coming (to watch).” Veteran striker Gabriel Batistuta, who has played his last game for Argentina, said: “The goal looked smaller and smaller and it wouldn’t open for us.” “That Argentina are leaving this World Cup is unjust...I know what this team is worth and I know what we gave in these three matches.” “The only team that’s going to end the four-year cycle well are those that come out world champions. All the others will feel bad.” “We’re devastated,” Juan Sebastian Veron added after boarding a train at nearby Hirono with a small group of team mates bound for Tokyo where they were going to meet up with their families. “We can’t understand what happened. It still hasn’t sunk in,” Veron, who was accompanied by Hernan Crespo, Claudio Lopez and Juan Pablo Sorin, told Argentine reporters on the train.
Naraha, June 13
Sweden finished the pre-tournament favourites’ hopes with a 1-1 draw yesterday which followed the Argentine’s 1-0 defeat by England. Both results were ground out with safety-first approaches by the European teams.
Young midfielder Pablo Aimar summed up the mood in the twice-winners’ camp that they had been hard done by.
He said: “It’s difficult (to score) when a team defends with 10 men. We did everything we could but we couldn’t (win), it’s not that we didn’t want to. We didn’t score the goals to match our chances.”
“Teams are getting results from defending with lots of players. Let’s hope they don’t continue to benefit from that because otherwise people will stop coming (to watch).”
Veteran striker Gabriel Batistuta, who has played his last game for Argentina, said: “The goal looked smaller and smaller and it wouldn’t open for us.”
“That Argentina are leaving this World Cup is unjust...I know what this team is worth and I know what we gave in these three matches.”
“The only team that’s going to end the four-year cycle well are those that come out world champions. All the others will feel bad.”
“We’re devastated,” Juan Sebastian Veron added after boarding a train at nearby Hirono with a small group of team mates bound for Tokyo where they were going to meet up with their families.
“We can’t understand what happened. It still hasn’t sunk in,” Veron, who was accompanied by Hernan Crespo, Claudio Lopez and Juan Pablo Sorin, told Argentine reporters on the train. Reuters
South Africans proud of team Johannesburg, June 13 More than 1,000 ardent fans gathered for South Africa’s match against Spain at a big screen in the city, where they whistled, leapt, screamed and howled at every goal or high point in the game, undeterred by a bitingly cold wind. But South Africa crashed out of the World Cup following a 3-2 defeat by the formidable Spanish side ranked among the favourites for the title.
Johannesburg, June 13
More than 1,000 ardent fans gathered for South Africa’s match against Spain at a big screen in the city, where they whistled, leapt, screamed and howled at every goal or high point in the game, undeterred by a bitingly cold wind.
But South Africa crashed out of the World Cup following a 3-2 defeat by the formidable Spanish side ranked among the favourites for the title. AFP
captain to return home Sendai, June 13 "There’s no chance that I can play in this World Cup," the Barcelona defender said at the team hotel the day after Sweden qualified for a second-round game against Senegal on Sunday. "Of course I’m disappointed. I’ve had a tough time all spring long, but that’s life."
Sendai, June 13
"There’s no chance that I can play in this World Cup," the Barcelona defender said at the team hotel the day after Sweden qualified for a second-round game against Senegal on Sunday. "Of course I’m disappointed. I’ve had a tough time all spring long, but that’s life." AP
Butcher guides England to strong position
Manchester, June 13
England were well-placed at 273 for four after winning the toss. Surrey left-hander Butcher had faced 166 balls including 13 fours.
After his 94 in his side’s second Test victory at Edgbaston he was once again in sight of a hundred.
Alec Stewart was seven not out in his 118th Test - an England record-equalling mark alongside Graham Gooch in a match Sri Lanka must win to square the series.
Following a 27 minute break for bad light, England’s batsmen resumed with the rain heavier than when they initially went off.
And they lost Graham Thorpe (32) shortly afterwards.
Eric Upashantha had a miserable first Test in England but induced an inside edge through to wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara.
Thorpe, who the tourists thought they had caught behind when he was on five, stood his ground.
But West Indian official Steve Bucknor, in his world record-breaking 67th Test as an umpire, gave Thorpe out and television replays suggested he was correct.
And 262 for four nearly became 262 for five when Stewart, on nought, cut Upashantha and Mahela Jayawardene in the gully failed to hold on.
Earlier England saw captain Nasser Hussain depart for his tea score of 16 when he skied fast bowler Dilhara Fernando to Muttiah Muralitharan at mid-off.
Trescothick faced 152 balls including 14 fours and put on 126 for the second wicket with Butcher. But he was dropped twice in two balls soon after lunch with England on 122 for one.
Trescothick (64) cut fast bowler Fernando, playing his first Test of the series after recovering from a stress fracture of the back.
Hashan Tillekeratne took off in the gully but failed to hold what would have been a brilliant catch.
England (Ist innings):
Trescothick c Jayawardene b Muralitharan 81
Vaughan c Vaas b Fernando 36
Butcher not out 85
Hussain c Murali b Fernando 16
Thorpe c Sangakkara b Upashantha 32
Stewart not out 7
Extras (b-5 lb-2 nb-9) 16
Total (4 wkts, 72 overs) 273
FoW: 1-66, 2-192, 3-219, 4-262.
Bowling: Vaas 17-4-50-0, Upashantha 7-0-50-1, Fernando 18-2-87-2, Muralitharan 28-9-74-1, De Silva 2-0-5-0. AFP
Styris lifts Kiwis to exciting win
Trinidad, June 13
Styris lashed an unbeaten 63 off 72 balls as he and Nathan Astle (91 not out) converted a flagging New Zealand innings into 212 for five off 44.2 overs before rain showers caused a lengthy delay yesterday. The 26-year-old from Northern Districts then returned to claim six wickets for 25 runs off seven overs as the West Indies fell nine runs short of their adjusted Duckworth/Lewis target of 212 off 33 overs.
Fleming c Hooper b Dillon 4
Astle not out 91
Nevin b Dillon 13
McMillan c Jacobs b Cuffy 1
Vincent c Hooper b Gayle 18
Harris c and b Gayle 1
Styris not out 63
Extras (lb5, nb3 w-13) 21
Total (for five wickets) 212
FoW: 1-4, 2-42, 3-48, 4-76, 5-90
Bowling: Dillon 6-1-26-2, Cuffy 8-1-40-1, Colymore 8-0-41-0, Gayle 7-0-27-2, Hooper 10-0-32-0, Ryan Hinds 5.2-0-1-0.
Gayle c Harris b Styris 60
Chanderpaul b Hitchcock 14
Lara c Nevin b Styris 0
Hooper c Bond b Styris 24
Sarwan b Styris 2
Jacobs not out 60
Hinds c Astle b Styris 4
R Hinds c Bond b Styris 11
Collymore run out 8
Cuffy run out 0
Dillon not out 1
Extras (b3 lb5, nb3,w7) 18
Total (for nine wickets) 202
FoW: 1-49, 2-56, 3-97, 4-103, 5-114, 6-128, 7-150, 8-193, 9-193.
Bowling: Tuffey 4-0-29-0, Bond 6-0-43-0, Hithcock 7-0-29-1, Styris 7-0-25-6, Vettori 3-0-27-0, Harris 3-0-18-0, Astle 3-0-23-0. AFP
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