Report by David Walker

The Earth Cup has been lowered from 32 to 16 participating nations as the knockout phases commence. This is how the final 16 faired as they battled for a put in the quarter finals.

Argentina have been firm favourites to see off Mexico but Ricardo La Volpe’s facet have been not there to simply make up the numbers. Captain Rafael Marquez gave Mexico a shock lead after four minutes but Argentina hit back again 5 minutes later by way of Hernan Crespo, though it is questionable no matter whether the Chelsea striker touched the ball. With the 90 minute draw secured at seven/two, the match looked to be heading for penalties until Maxi Rodriguez produced what could be objective of the tournament to deliver Argentina into the quarter finals.

Germany set up a mouth-watering quarter final encounter with Argentina after seeing off Sweden. Lukas Podolski showed his Golden Boot credentials with two ambitions right after 3 and 11 minutes to win the match for the hosts at odds of 8/eleven.

England had been predictably short odds at 1/two to defeat surprise 2nd round qualifiers Ecuador but their 1- victory wasn’t convincing. Ecuador ought to have scored early on when Carlos Tenorio’s latched onto an error by John Terry, but his shot was deflected off Ashley Cole and on to the bar. David Beckham curled in a decisive no cost kick following 59 minutes to safe victory.Portugal defeat fancied Holland at odds of 23/10 through a solitary Maniche goal right after 22 minutes but it was four sendings off and plethora of yellow cards that was the game’s primary chatting position. Maniche, Costinha, Petit, Figo, Deco, Ricardo and Nuno Valente were all booked, with Costinha and Deco also getting their marching orders for Portugal, although Van Bommel, Boulahrouz, Van Bronckhorst, Sneijder and Van der Vaart noticed yellow with Boulahrouz and Van Bronckhorst also viewing red.

Italy had been odds on jollies at 4/seven to see off Australia but additional time looked probable until finally the Italians won it with a controversial injuries time penalty. Lucas Neill was adjudged to have fouled Fabio Grosso and Francesco Totti swept residence the resulting spot kick to send 10-guy Italy into the quarter finals.

Switzerland and Ukraine have been involved in quite possibly the worst match of the tournament so much, with very first-time qualifiers Ukraine securing their put in the last 8. Each sides played out a goalless, ninety minutes draw at two/1 and with no targets in extra time, the first penalty shoot-out took location. Switzerland were equally very poor from 12 yards out with the Ukraine triumphing three-.

Brazil were unconvincing versus Ghana, but the three- scoreline will have happy big hitters who took them at 2/7. Ronaldo and Adriano gave Brazil a cozy 50 percent-time lead with objectives after four and 45 minutes and Ze Roberto rounded off the win with a 3rd 7 minutes prior to the conclude.

Spain were favourites to beat France, but it was the 1998 winners who pulled off the victory at 11/five. David Villa’s penalty gave Spain the lead following 27 minutes, but Franck Ribery on forty, Patrick Vieria on 82 and Zinedine Zidane on ninety turned the match close to in favour of the French.

About the Writer

David Walker runs free bets and Melanie Slade web sites.

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