Monday, June 12th 1006 was the 4th day of the FIFA World Cup and it saw three good matches. The First match was between Asian team Japan and Australia, who were making a world cup appearance after 32 long years. They had to go through a playoff match against Uruguay ( I think) to get to play in Germany. Japan opened the scoring in the 26th minute with a hotly-debated goal from Nakamura. Australia struggled to find the back of the net and were getting extremely tired and frustrated when substitute Tim Cahill poached a goal in the 84th minute which rejuvenated the australian team. He added another a few minutes later and another substitute, Aloisi hammered home the third in injury time as Japan watched dumbstruck! The Scoreline of 3-1 in favour of Australia seemed like a distant probability, right upto the 84th minute!
The Second match of the day was between the Czech Republic and the USA. The Czech took an early lead thanks to a thundering header from Jan Koller and then Thomas Rosicky added two more,either side of the break. USA were unlucky not to have scored, a shot from captain Reyna striking the upright in the 28th Minute. The Czech held on for a richly deserved 3-0 win. The last match saw my favourite team – Italy taking on African minnows Ghana. Both sides played very attractive football and the game was well-balanced. I was expecting the italians to run away with the game but credit to the Ghanians, not only they defended well, there were moments when their attack was also probing. Italy earned no less than 7 corner kicks in the first 25 minutes but none of them could produce a goal. The deadlock was finally broken in the 40th Minute by Andrea Pirlo, who struck from just outside of the D. The Italians added another one in the 83rd minute courtesy of Jaquinta who latched onto a backpass to slam home th ball into an empty net. The match finished 2-0 in favour of Italy but it doesn’t mean that the Ghanians played poorly. In fact, they could restrict the Azzuri to only two goals, that should be creditable enough!