With the FIFA WorldCup reaching its Quarter-Finals stage, it is all to play for! Winners move on and Losers go home. It was the same in the round of sixteen but now its down to 8 teams…and four matches. The first of the QF’s was played between Germany and Argentina. A match of which I missed the greater part because of a party but somehow managed to return back home just in time for the Penalty shootout. And after a nerve-wracking 10-12 minutes, Germany came out on top, having beaten Argentina 4-2 on penalties. The match ended 1-1 and remained thus even after Extra Time..thus necessiating a penalty shootout. Argentina missed two penalties, which were saved by Jens Lehmann as easy-as-pie! They were mere tap-ins rather than powerful strokes and that proved to be the Argentinians undoing!The Second QF was a master-piece menagerie of attacking & defensive play from Italy who romped home with a 3-0 victory over a hapless Ukraine side. Zambrotta scored as early as the 6th minute and then Luca Toni added two more in the second half in what was a comfortable win for the Italians.
I had to miss both the QF’s that were played out on 1st of July owing to my journey back to Hyderabad! And what a shame I missed the matches which saw England and brazil bow out of the World Cup! I caught the highlights today and boy! did the French outclass the Brazilians…..they simply blew’em away! And it was heartbreak for England as they went out on Penalties for the umpteenth time in a major tournament! I’m not sure opening the shootout with an out-of-form Frank Lampard was a great idea! His shot was short on confidence and Ricardo saved it with ease. Gerrard’s shot was almost a carbon-copy of Lampard’s and Ricardo saved that too. Christiano Ronaldo thumped home the winning penalty which sealed a 3-1 win for Portugal, sending them into the Semi Finals after 40 years!
The two Semi-Final lineups now are Germany Vs. Italy & France Vs. Portugal. I’m sure they’ll turn out to be cracker of matches……may the best team win. P.S: Italy is the best team