World Cup 2006: Day 7

Equador 3 – Costa Rica 0
Ecuador becomes the first team to qualify for the second round. They have not let in any goals and have scored 5. This is starting to look like a team that people will not want to meet. It’ll be interesting to see what they can do against Germany. After all the talk about their qualification because of altitude, this must be a sweet redemption for the Ecuadorians.

England 2 – Trinidad & Tobago 0
It’s official. England are struggling.

They left it for the last 10 minutes to score against T&T and did not look convincing at all. The bright spot–Rooney came on as a second half substitute. Lampard missed about seventy chances, and Owen and Crouch didn’t play all that well either. Crouch did score the go-ahead goal but he wasn’t threatening.

Gerrard scored a brilliant goal to beat Hislop who must wonder what he did to Stevie. FA Cup final and now this. Aaron Lennon was superb as a substitute and his pace caused the T&T defence a lot of problems. England’s defence was pretty solid, though John Terry had to make a goal-line clearance to prevent T&T from taking the lead.

Sven Goran Ericsson is going to get roasted in the English media for the way the team are playing. And, the Theo Walcott questions come out again. Why take Walcott if you’re going to make him warm the bench? Second thoughts Sven?

Having said all this, if Rooney gets to full match fitness, England will be a different team. Wayne ‘Great White Hope’ Rooney is something special and if I were an opposing defender, I would’ve liked him on the bench.

Sweden 1 – Paraguay 0
I watched only a part of this game and it seemed like a repeat of Sweden’s first match–Sweden created a lot of chances but failed to find the net. Thankfully, Freddie Ljunberg (of Arsenal, I might point out) used his head to put Sweden ahead and that’s the way it stayed. I’ve not been impressed with the Swedish finishing. They’ve created loads of chances but the goals have eluded them. Goals, as you realise, are important if you want to stay in the tournament.

The final match of the group should be interesting. Sweden will fancy their chances against the English but will they get the goals?

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