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EA Sports Virtual World Cup: Day 5


Match: 18
Teams: Ecuador vs. Costa Rica (Group A)
Location: FIFA World Cup Stadium Hamburg; Hamburg
Date: June 15, 2006

Players: Jared Jeffrey (Costa Rica) vs. Chris Miller (Ecuador)



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Final Score: CRC 1 – ECU 0

Jared Jeffrey's Take (Ecuador):
  Costa Rica bounced back from their opening match loss and dominated the game. We possessed the ball for the majority of the match, but I must say Ecuador did have a few counters, but Costa Rica’s defense held tight. The winning goal came around the 70th minute as Gomez pounced on a cleared ball off a Costa Rica corner kick and slammed it home past the ‘keeper. Ecuador couldn’t finish any of their chances which gave me the chance to secure three points and move into second place. I’m tied with Ecuador right now, but I’m playing Poland, while they have to face Germany. Poland has yet to even score a goal, but I know what happened to the U.S. in 2002, so I have to be ready if I want to secure a spot in the next round.



Match: 19
Teams: England vs. Trinidad & Tobago (Group B)
Location: Franken-Stadion; Nuremberg
Date: June 15, 2006

Players: Sheanon Williams (Trinidad) vs. England (Alex Miranda)



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Final Score: ENG 2 - TRI 0

Sheanon Williams' Take (Trinidad & Tobago):
  I know Trinidad isn’t the strongest team in the tournament (okay, probably the weakest), so it doesn’t help when for the second game in a row I get a good shot on goal, but it hits the post instead of going in. Just like against Sweden after I hit the post, the rest of the game was a defensive one for me and that’s exactly what happened against England. They were the much better team and scored in each half. The first goal came when somehow the smallest guy, Joe Cole, headed home a corner kick. And then the second half had Wayne Rooney dribble through like five guys and beat my ‘keeper (guess he healed quickly or that’s what Alex said). Two games, no goals, no points. Paraguay next. It would be nice to at least get a goal.


Match: 20
Teams: Sweden vs. Paraguay (Group B)
Location: Olympiastadion; Berlin
Date: June 15, 2006

Players: Sweden (Kirk Urso) vs. Edgar Barajas (Paraguay)



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Final Score: PAR 3 - SWE 1

Edgar Barajas's Take (Paraguay):
  I came out this game and a had a bunch of chances. Without hesitation, I was on the board when Carlos Paredes hit a rocket in to the upper 90. From there it was just domination by Paraguay as Sweden couldn’t really do much. They had a few chances, and put one away to pull even when Ljunberg got past my defenders, but from then on it was my game. Right before the half, I took a two-goal lead when Jose Cardozo got on a breakaway and scored. The second half was similar to the first and I put the game away in the 78th minute when Cardozo scored again. The win helped me keep even with Germany, which will be my last opponent of the final round. As it will be a game that doesn’t matter, I figure I won’t worry too much.



Match: 21
Teams: Argentina vs. Serbia & Montenegro (Group C)
Location: FIFA World Cup Stadium Gelsenkirchen; Gelsenkirchen
Date: June 16, 2006

Players: Chris Miller (Argentina) vs. Danny Wenzel (Serbia & Montenegro)



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Final Score: SCG 1 - ARG 0 

Danny Wenzel's Take (Serbia & Montenegro):

  The match was really defensive game for both sides, as each team was playing very conservative. We both had chances but no one really had a great look and it appeared that the game was going to be a draw. Well, that is until the Man of the Match, Mr. Kezman converted a volley into the upper 90 that was pretty much an unstoppable shot for the Argentina ‘keeper to save. After coming off their huge 4-0 victory in their first game, I think Argentina came out and underestimated the Serbs, even though we knocked off Holland. It was another really big upset for me and puts me in the driver’s seat in the group.



Match: 22
Teams: Netherlands vs. Ivory Coast (Group C)
Location: Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion; Stuttgart
Date: June 16, 2006

Players: Temi Molinar (Netherlands) vs. Brek Shea (Ivory Coast)



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Final Score:
NED 2 - CIV 0

Brek Shea's Take (Ivory Coast):
  Well, playing in the Group of Death, I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but now I haven’t even been able to secure one goal. I’m out of the race it appears and I still have a game against the group leader, Serbia & Montenegro. I came out and dominated the first half against Holland with Drogba almost scoring a number of times. It would have been nice to convert one of his chances because Holland pulled it out at the end of the game. Nistelroy got the game-winner in the 80th minute and then Cocu tallied the insurance goal.



Match: 23
Teams: Mexico vs. Angola (Group D)
Location: FIFA World Cup Stadium Hanover; Hanover
Date: June 16, 2006

Players: Jared Jeffrey (Angola) vs. Tom Norton* (Mexico)
* Norton is a U-17 team coordinator



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Final Score: ANG 1 - MEX 0

Jared Jeffrey's Take (Angola):
  It’s great to see Mexico losing its second game, and I was glad to provide it to Norton. Angola dominated the match in every way. I think Tom actually said he was embarrassed by his performance. My defense wouldn’t let Mexico do much in the match and when they had chances they couldn’t finish. I kept pushing and pushing until I finally broke through in the 71st minute when Akwa buried his shot into the net. I think this puts Mexico out of the running for the Round of 16. Angola still has a shot, but they’ll have to win their last game against Iran.
 

Match: 24
Teams: Portugal vs. Iran (Group D)
Location: Waldstadion; Frankfurt
Date: June 17, 2006

Players: TJ Nelson (Portugal) vs. Dersu Albofathi (Iran)



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Final Score: POR 3 - IRN 0

Dersu Albofathi's Take (Iran): 
  Although Iran came out with some good chances, Portugal silenced the Iranian fans with two shocking goals. Both came in the first half, with Figo slamming one home from distance and then a couple minutes later, Gomes spun at the top of the box before unleashing a blast past my ‘keeper. Desperate to get back into the game, the Iranians made a final push in the final 20 minutes of the game, constantly fighting to win possession. I was getting a little rough as I fought for the ball and I received a red card, which really didn’t help my chances late in the game. I didn’t have any more attempts on goal as Portugal pushed into my defensive half and finally added a third goal when Figo tapped one in from close range.
 
Match: 25
Teams: Italy vs. USA (Group E)
Location: Fritz-Walter-Stadion; Kaiserslautern
Date: June 17, 2006

Players: Joey Sorrentino (Italy) vs. Brandon Zimmerman (USA)



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Final Score: ITA 1 - USA 1

Brandon Zimmerman's Take (USA):
  This was probably the United States most important match and we needed to get a result to secure our spot in the top two of the group. We were confident coming off the huge win against the Czech Republic, but we knew Italy wouldn’t be intimidated. The game was on and off and there wasn’t really too much excitement. We both had our chances, but Kasey Keller and Buffon were at their best and were not going to let in a dribbler. After a scoreless first half, I fell behind when Italy came away with a goal that never should have happened. I tried to clear the ball, but couldn’t get it out of the area and Totti was able to pounce on the loose ball and push it past Keller. I kept pushing in the attack and just five minutes later, Landon saved the day. DaMarcus pushed it to him near the top of the box and he pushed the ball to his right before hitting a great shot that Buffon couldn’t get to in the low left corner. After my first two games, I’ve got four points and am sitting in good position to win the group. Go USA!


 
Match: 26
Teams: Czech Republic vs. Ghana (Group E)
Location: FIFA World Cup Stadium Cologne; Cologne
Date: June 17, 2006

Players: Danny Barerra (Czech Republic) vs. Eric Lichaj (Ghana)



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Final Score: GHA 2 - CZE 1

Danny Barerra's Take (Czech Republic):
  After falling to the U.S. in my first game, I knew this match was going to be huge for me if I wanted to get out of the group. Once again, I scored first, so things were looking good. The goal came when I slipped a ball through the backline and Smicer ran onto it for a breakaway that he finished low. It all changed when Ghana pulled even right before halftime. Amoah finished off a pass from Essien from the six yard box. I thought I’d be able to take the lead back, but they pulled off another goal in the 68th minute and the upset was in the making. Their second goal was scored by Essien as he dribbled through a couple players before pushing it past my keeper. This was another huge upset against us and just made for a real bad year for the Czechs. Doesn’t look like the No. 2 rating held up this time.


 
Match: 27
Teams: Brazil vs. Australia (Group F)
Location: FIFA World Cup Stadium Munich; Munich
Date: June 18, 2006

Players: Edgar Barajas (Brazil) vs. Brandon Zimmerman (Australia)



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Final Score: BRA 2 - AUS 2

Edgar Barajas' Take (Brazil):
  After falling in my last match to Croatia, I knew this was a must-win game. The game started slow again for me and even though I was playing better, Australia managed to get two goals. Viduka got one through and then Archie Thompson scored another, but I still knew that I would be able to come back so I kept pushing forward. Literally two minutes after their second goal, I put the first goal in. Ronaldinho got free behind the defense and blasted it into the goal. There wasn’t much time left and I was still down by one, but I finally got the last goal in the 88th minute when Ronaldo dribbled in from the right side. A tie still keeps my chances alive for the next round, which I should definitely be in with as good of a team as Brazil.
 

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