Saturday, 1st July
Ricardo Saves The Day
England vs Portugal
Of the ten previous meetings with Portugal, England have won three and drawn five.
In Euro 2004 the teams drew (2:2 aet) with Portugal winning the penalty
shoot-out. Portugal beat England in Eindhoven (3:2) during Euro 2000. Portugal also won
the Mexico 1986 encouter (1:0) in the Monterrey
In England 1966, England beat
Portugal in the Semi-Final (2:1) before going on to lift the trophy. So beat Portugal in
Gelsenkirchen and lift the trophy in Berlin, perhaps.
So, here goes. Will it be third time lucky in the battle with Scolari.
David Beckham and Luis Figo came out onto the pitch side by side and
smiling; Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo also chatting together on the way to the
In the steamy heat, of an indoor Schalke Arena, the two teams started
slowly. The first reasonable chance came when David Beckham lined up for a free-kick, in
the 6th minute. Alexandre Ricardo dived to punch it away but only as far as Steven
Gerrard, on the right. The Liverpool captain came back into the area and just chipped to
high for John Terry.
A couple of minutes later, Terry gave the ball away in the England
half and Cristiano Ronaldo sent in a confidence building shot for Paul Robinson.
From Luis Figo's 12th minute free-kick, the ball came off Gary
Neville's knee and bounced towards Cardoso Tiago; but Paul Robinson scrambled to it first.
Both teams spent a lot of time on patient builds but not really
finding the opening without the spark and enthusiasm of passionate off the ball running.
Perhaps someone needed to take a risk.
Cristiano Ronaldo enjoyed his encounters with Gary Neville but Pedro
Pauleta was pretty quiet.
In the 39th minute, a pass to David Beckham was nicked from his toes
and a move down the left ended with Figo cutting inside Frank Lampard and then just
curling the ball wide of the top corner.
Talking about corners, the first one came in the 41st minute; to
Portugal. It was taken short and crossed in for Tiago to get a free header; which Paul
Robinson pushed away, even though it was going wide.
Just before half-time, Joe Cole made an opening for Frank Lampard to
shoot but it was easily collected. A David Beckham free-kick on the edge of the area was
David Beckham had to retire early in the second-half, injured, to be
replaced by Aaron Lennon; with Gary Neville taking over as captain.
Frank Lampard had plenty of time and space when he received Steven
Gerrard's corner in the 53rd minute; but as in the whole tournament, he leant back and
Then the nerves started to set in and the tougher tactics over-boiled
with Wayne Rooney getting frustrated between two players and stamping on Carvalho.
Cristiano Ronaldo was the first to run to the referee to press the case for Rooney's
Wayne pushed his Manchester United team-mate away; in front of the
referee and received a straight red card. Ronaldo winked; he knew how to get Rooney to
Portugal continued the rolling and theatrics at any opportunity.
In a final flurry of activity, just before the end of normal time,
England earned two corners with John Terry's shot to the top corner getting a deflection.
Sven Goran Eriksson still has a substitution to make, while Luiz
Felipe Scolari has played all his cards.
Portugal started the first period of extra-time by trying to stretch
England, with their extra man.
Steven Gerrard and Peter Crouch raised the heartbeats of England fans,
eight minutes into the first-period of extra-time but Luis Miguel managed to head away
from the towering Crouch.
Again England made another advance on the Portugal goal.
This may not be a classic game but it has plenty of excitement as
ten-man England continued to battle away.
One minute before the end of the first period, Cristiano Ronaldo's
raising shot flew over Paul Robinson's fingertips and the crossbar.
England might have played with ten men on the pitch for almost an hour
but the English fans were their eleventh.
England 0 -
After Extra Time
The two goalkeepers wished each other luck before they took their
places on the hotspot.
Portugal: Simao Sabrosa -- Scored.
England: Frank Lampard -- SAVED.
Portugal: Hugo Viana -- HIT POST, with Robinson gone wrong way.
England: Owen Hargreaves -- Scored, Ricardo seemed to get a hand to it.
Portugal: Armando Petit -- MISSED.
England: Steven Gerrard -- SAVED.
Portugal: Helder Postiga -- MISSED.
England: Jamie Carragher -- Scored but had to be retaken. SAVED.
Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo -- Scored.
Portugal weren't good enough to beat ten-man England in an hour but Alexandre Ricardo
saved their blushes with goalkeeping heroics.
England: (Captain David
1 Paul Robinson; 2 Gary Neville, 3 Ashley Cole, 5 Rio Ferdinand,
6 John Terry; 4 Steven Gerrard, 7 David Beckham, 8 Frank Lampard,
11 Joe Cole, 16 Owen Hargreaves; 9 Wayne Rooney.
Portugal: (Captain Luis Figo/Simao
1 Alexandre Ricardo; 5 Fernando Meira, 13 Luis Miguel, 14 Jorge Nuno Valente, 16 Alberto
Ricardo Carvalho; 7 Luis Figo, 8 Armando Petit, 17 Cristiano Ronaldo, 18 Nuno Maniche, 19
Cardoso Tiago; 9 Pedro Pauleta.
Referee: Horatio Elizondo
52 Mins (England) - 19 Aaron Lennon on for David Beckham
63 Mins (Portugal) - 11 Simao Sabrosa on for 9 Pedro Pauleta
65 Mins (England) - 21 Peter Crouch on for 8 Frank Lampard
74 Mins (Portugal) - 10 Hugo Viana on for 19 Cardoso Tiago
86 Mins (Portugal) - 23 Helder Postiga on for 7 Luis Figo
118 Mins (England) - 15 Jamie Carragher on for 19 Aaron Lennon
30 Mins - John Terry (England)
44 Mins - Armando Petit (Portugal) - will miss semi-final.
107 Mins - Owen Hargreaves (England)
111 Mins - Ricardo Carvalho (Portugal)
62 Mins - Wayne Rooney (England)
2006 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
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