Germany first into quarter finals

Germany have defeated a 10-man Sweden side 2-0 in the first knock-out match of the 2006 World Cup Finals in Munich.

    On the double: Lukas Podolski sends the crowd into a frenzy

    Two goals in eight minutes from German striker Lukas Podolski stunned Sweden in the first half and after the Scandinavians had defender Teddy Lucic sent off for a second bookable offence in the 35th minute, the result was a forgone conclusion.

    In the 4th minute striker Miroslav Klose was put through on goal, but his shot was saved by keeper Andreas Isaksson only for the ball to fall to 21 year old Podolski who drove a shot goal bound.

    The last ditch efforts of BK Hacken defender Lucic were to no avail as he tried to head the ball off target only to see it go into the back of the net.

    Polish born Podolski had his second goal in the 12th minute after a great ball from Werder Bremen striker Klose left the Cologne striker with an easy shot on goal with which he made no mistake.

    German forwards Lukas Podolski
    (l) and Miroslav Klose (r)

    To make matters worse for Sweden, defender Lucic didn’t even last the first half as he received his second yellow card from Brazilian referee Carlos Simon, leaving his side with 10 men for the rest of the match.

    The Swedes got the lifeline they needed in the 53rd minute when defender Christoph Metzelder clattered into the back of Henrik Larsson in the box, with referee Simon pointing to the spot.

    Former Barcelona striker Larsson stepped up to take the penalty himself, but blasted high over the bar with keeper Jens Lehmann hardly moving, in one of the worst World Cup penalty attempts seen since Roberto Baggio’s at USA ’94.

    Had Larsson converted his penalty the match would have taken on a whole new complexion with the Swedes only needing one further goal to send the game into extra time and possibly a penalty shoot-out.

    As it turned out, the second half fizzled into a midfield battle with the odd long range effort, mainly from German captain Michael Ballack, with the 10 Swedes doing a good job of holding the Germans at bay.

    German fans celebrate their
    quarter final berth

    In first half action, Ballack had a shot on goal in the 11th minute that went just wide to the left, and then had another shot from long range in the 18th minute which was this time on target, forcing Rennes keeper Isaksson to dive at full stretch to save.

    Not to be left out, Klose’s Werder Bremen team mate Torsten Frings had a shot from long range which was tipped over by the Swedish keeper, and from the ensuing corner Bastian Schweinsteiger, playing on his club side’s home ground, had a long range shot of his own which went inches wide.

    Sweden had their best chance of the first half in the 40th minute when striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s swivelling shot almost beat keeper Jens Lehmann at his near post.

    Although the Scandinavians had to play much of the match with 10 men, their execution was poor and they never really looked like threatening in front of goal, as has been the case for them throughout the tournament.

    Lars Lagerback’s men now go home at the same stage of the tournament as they did four years ago, and although they made it to the second round, they must be disappointed with the way they have played.

    Germany now have a quarter final match in Berlin on Friday, 30th June, and await the winner of the match between Argentina and Mexico to be played later tonight.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    We visualised 1.2 million votes at the UN since 1946. What do you think are the biggest issues facing the world today?

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.