Portugal 2- 0 Iran
In such a night as this
When the sweet foot did gently kiss the ball
And it did make no noise, in such a night
Riquelme methinks crumbled the Serbish walls
And sigh'd his soul into the empty net
Where six goals lay that night
In such a night
Did young Ronaldo swear he'd show his skills
Messing around with many tricks and flicks
And ne'er a good one
Czech 0 - 2 Ghana
PLUCKY GHANA UPSET CZECHS
"I'm really upset," cried Czech Republic star Pavel Nedved, "those mean Ghana players laughed at my long girly hair and called me names. What? You mean upset in the sense of an underdog triumphing? No, no. Ghana are a quality team. And we had a passenger up front. Literally. All our strikers are injured so we waited at the airport for some guy with a Czech passport. He played up front for us today. I don't even know his name."
Italy 1 - 1 USA
1) "Match-fixing scandal? Us? You must be thinking of a different country called Italy." So spoke Italy coach Marcelo Lippi after watching his side scrape a draw against a 9-man USA team. "If you think about it, in some cultures match-fixing isn't even immoral. Not that we bought the referee today. The fact that the USA had two players wrongly sent off and a goal harshly disallowed is simply proof that the Virgin Mary is smiling down on us. I repeat, we didn't pay the referee 50,000 Euros in an underground car-park."
2) "I disagree with the referee's decision one million percent," said Italian coward Daniele De Rossi, who was sent off for attempting to demolish Brian McBride's head, "McBride really hurt my elbow when he threw his face into it. He should have been sent off, not me. I told Lippi we should have given the ref more money - you get what you pay for."
Brazil 2 - 0 Australia
1) Brazilian referee Markus Merk denied accusations of bias: "If you look at the statistics, I gave 20% of my decisions in favour of Australia. That's even more than FIFA told me to give."
2) Australia's Harry Kewell didn't let his appalling open-net miss affect him: "The other day I realised that football is essentially boring. At the start of this World Cup I was irrationally enthusiastic. It seemed like referees were going to prevent cheating, and most of the teams seemed to want to attack and score goals. In the last few days we've gone right down to the bottom of the hill again. I can't be arsed with it."
3) "Of course we're still everybody's favourite team," said Brazil left-back Roberto Carlos, "They love us because we're dead funny. First, you've got my free-kicks, which are hilarious. Second, you've got the fat guy waddling around - even the Presidente makes jokes about him! Third, the sight of the mighty Brazil timewasting with 30 minutes to go against Australia will have the other teams in the World Cup laughing till they bleed. The referee? No, that's too awful to be funny."
Ecuador 0 - 3 Germany
1) "We were desperate to avoid England in the next round," said impressive German left-back Philipp Lahm, "Here in Germany we watch Owen Hargreaves every week, and we know that there is no way to stop him. He's like a force of nature. Oh, and Jermaine Jenas as well."
2) "We lost deliberately, of course," said Ecuador's Carlos Tenorio, "We are desperate to play England in the next round. We've seen how charming the England wives and girlfriends are, and we want to learn much more about this word 'chav'. What does it mean when people say, 'England are a team of chavs representing a nation of chavs'? For the peasants and migrant workers of Ecuador, this word chav is endlessly fascinating."
3) Germany's free-scoring hitman Miroslav Klose is the overwhelming favourite to finish as the tournament's top scorer. What has inspired him? "I promised a sick boy that I would win the golden shoe if he got better. But it turns out that the boy's mother is an ex-girlfriend of mine, and she cut up my suits just because SENTENCE DELETED ON LEGAL ADVICE. So if I win the golden shoe I'll dedicate it to Amnesty International instead. I hear they are doing good work about human rights in countries such as DELETED ON LEGAL ADVICE."
Sweden 2 - 2 England
19th JunePortugal 2 - 1 Mexico
England Training Session Schedule
10 Minutes per slot
Slot 1 --- Jogging
Slot 2 --- 50-yard passes
Slot 3 --- 'Hargreaves in the middle'
Slot 4 --- Defending corners (CANCELLED)
Slot 5 --- Penalties (we'll need this for the final, boss!)
Slots 6,7,8 --- Phone calls to wives and girlfriends
Slot 9 --- 60-yard passes
Slot 10 --- Something about tactics?
"Portugal were lucky, FACT," snapped Mexico's Luis Perez, who was sent off for slipping inappropriately. "We have been studying European football for years and we know all about the harmful effects of Effort Inflation." Perez was speaking after a second half in which Mexico appeared to have limitless energy, while Portgual trudged around the pitch as though their legs were full of coins. "A few years ago, footballers talked about giving 100%. In Mexico we were content. I remember one newspaper headline in 1995, which said '100% is Enough'. But in Europe there is this hyper-inflation, and someone says 'I give one hundred and one percent' and then it all goes crazy. 110%. 120%. Last week I heard an England player say he was going to give 150%! No wonder they stop in the second half. Today we created many many chances in the second half and Portugal were lucky that we were unlucky. I guarantee no European side will win the World Cup. I guarantee it 101%."
Holland 0 - 0 Argentina
1) "Diego asked us not to score too many goals," said Argentina's Pablo Aimar, "So we didn't try our best."
Maradona made his unusual request after hurting his back during Argentina's callous dismantling of Serbia. "I hurted my back," said the dastardly cheat genius, "From dancing up and down every time we scored a goal or made a substitution, and every time I seen myself on the big screen. And I had my heaviest bling on and all. My back went into spasm in the taxi home, and I spent the night in a clinic sleeping on a peppermint bean bag."
2) "We played quite well, all things considered," said Dutch coach Marco van Basten, "The entire team was kept awake all night by German frogs, and when we gave the players sleeping pills, they all had the exact same nightmare; that of wee Archie Gemmill scoring against us in 1978. Then at breakfast the hotel gave us long sausages with short buns. We got mustard all over our shoulders. The last straw was when FIFA gave our players urine tests before being allowed into the stadium. The tests showed that three of our players had been drinking 'unofficial' beer, and it was still in their bloodstream and they were refused entry. We had to smuggle Arjen Robben in inside a peppermint bean bag."
Czech 0 - 2 Italy
1) "One point twenty-one gigawatts? One point twenty-one gigawatts? Great Scott!" So said Francesco Totti when reporters told him how much energy Pavel Nedved had put into this match. "And how much energy did I expend?" asked Totti. In reply, a reporter held up three Supersaver AA batteries.
2) "No, that is not FIFA policy," sighed FIFA chief Sheep Bladder, denying rumours that Italy were effectively being given a bye to the semi-final, "It's true Italy had some good fortune in their group games, and it's true they have an easy second round game, and a straightforward quarter-final against Ukraine or Switzerland. But just look at who they will probably face in the semi-final - East Timor. They're a good team. And I think Italy will play Luxembourg in the final. So it's not like we just decided it's Italy's turn this year. No way."
Ghana 2 -1 USA
"One point twenty-one minutes? One point twenty-one minutes? That's heavy." So said Ghanish midfielder Michael Essien when reporters told him how much actual playing time there had been in the second half. Ghana wasted 24 minutes by faking injury and over 10 minutes by delaying throw-ins. Essien told reporters, "I myself wasted three minutes by telling Markus Merk, the incompetent referee, about the time I fell off a sink and invented the flux capacitor."