Last 16: Germany v Sweden; England v Ecuador

Germany 3 Ecuador 0

Klose 3’ 43’ Podolski 57’

After an early scare in which Kaviedes nearly put Ecuador ahead inside the first minute, it took Germany less than four to stamp their authority on the game. After just three and a half minutes, the ball was crossed across goal from the right by Mertesacker, Schweinsteiger received it and turned it back for Miroslav Klose to plant it firmly in the back of the net.

At the end of the first half, Klose scored the second, squeezing past goalkeeper Mora and slipping the ball home. 2-0 at half time.

Goal number three came in an end-to-end run, where a Kaviedes shot was charged down and Podolski, in a lightning run, shot goal number 3.

Costa Rica 1 Poland 2

Gomez 25’ Bartosz Bosacki 33’ 66’

The 12 shots by Costa Rica and 10 by Poland demonstrate that this was not a one-sided affair. Costa Rica opened the scoring with a 25-minute free kick by Ronald Gomez but Poland were level by the interval and in the middle of the second half, went ahead in an end-to-end match.

Final classification of Group A

Germany (goals: 8-2) 9 points

Ecuador (5-3) 6

Poland (2-4) 3

Costa Rica (3-9) 0

England 2 Sweden 2

Joe Cole took the lead after 34 minutes with a wonderful drive which could win the goal of the tournament award. Sweden struck back in the second half with a dangerous period from corner kicks. Marcus Allback struck the equaliser on 51’ connecting to a corner from the left. Three minutes later, Ljungberg flicked on a corner from the right and Robinson turned the ball against the crossbar. On 58’ after another corner from the left, Melberg hit the bar.

Rooney’s temper tantrum after being substituted was totally avoidable (69’) and his substitute, Gerrard, not only cleared the ball off the line on 71’ but headed England’s second goal after 85’. When all was set for an England victory, Sweden hit back through Henrik Larsson on 90’.

On a sour note for England, Michael Owen was stretchered off two minutes into the game with a serious knee injury, his World Cup hopes apparently over. It is the end of the dream duo, Owen-Rooney, as England’s injury nightmare flares up again.

Paraguay 2 Trinidad and Tobago 0

A Brent Sancho own goal on 25’ and Nelson Cuevas on 86’ salvaged Paraguay’s pride but Trinidad and Tobago by no means leave Germany without a lot of friends they made through their entertaining football. They were unlucky to leave the tournament without points or goals but gained a lot of admirers. The Socca warriors will be remembered for many years to come.

Group B Final Classification

England (5-2) 7 points

Sweden (3-2) 5

Paraguay (2-2) 3

Trinidad and Tobago (0-4) 0

Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY

PRAVDA.Ru