Frings can only get better

A spectacular 30-yard pile driver from midfielder Torsten Frings has punctuated Germany's 4-2 victory over Costa Rica in the opening match of the 2006 World Cup.

    German players celebrate a goal during their powerful victory

    The midfielder's goal also set the record for the highest number of goals in an opening match of the World Cup finals as the sides eclipsed the 4-1 result between France and Mexico on the opening day of the inaugural 1930 tournament.

    The size and manner of the victory is likely to lead to an explosion of confidence from the host nation after they dominated their Central American opponents throughout the match.

    Frings' 87th minute goal was just reward after he and midfield partner Lukas Podolski superbly controlled the tempo of the match.

    And Polish born striker Miroslav Klose showed he had lost none of his goal scoring touch from Japan/Korea 2002 with two goals of his own either side of the break.

    Both were true poacher's goals as he finished after superb delivery. The first came on 17 minutes from midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger who found himself in space inside the penalty area, his sharply hit cross finding Klose who converted from six yards out with his left foot.

    On 61 minutes the provider was Philipp Lahm, whose pin-point cross found the striker. The Werder Bremen player first attempted to convert with his head and when that was parried, finish with authority.

    Lahm had earlier wrote himself into the history books and countless football trivia quizzes when he became the first goal scorer of the 2006 tournament.

    On six minutes, the Bayern Munich defender cut back and launched a stunning strike from the corner of the penalty area to send the crowd into a frenzy.

    His performance throughout the match was outstanding, with his runs forward having him dubbed the "Bavarian Roberto Carlos".

    Costa Rica's two goals came from their only two shots on goal. Both times former West Ham United striker Paulo Wanchope found himself in space to convert his chances when one-on-one with keeper Jens Lehmann.

    While neither goal was the fault of the Arsenal keeper, his inability to save either will give coach Jurgen Klinsmann the conundrum of whether to recall his arch rival Oliver Kahn.

    Should he be dropped Lehmann may choose to blame Arne Friedrich, who on both occasions found himself to be the sole defender keeping the lanky striker on side.

    The biggest impact the result may have is consolidating national support behind the team who will have been more than aware of the need to start the tournament in a positive fashion.

    They have done so and it is now the fans' turn.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


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