Saturday, July 08, 2006

Germans gather in millions in Berlin, one last time. Of course, they would prefer to gather tomorrow and watch the manschaft in the Final, still today is the last legendary gathering of the 'fan mile'.

No holding back for the ‘manshaft,’ this is their final game of the tournament. No cup, but honor is the price. In round one, I referred to the wooden spoon. Well, in this case, this would be the match for the golden spoon.
Naturally, this is also the last game for Portugal, and they do not know holding back. This promises to be a loaded match, the battle for the 'Bronze'.
"It is deafening, here in Stuttgart," says the commentator while the German crowd fires on their ‘manschaft.’
The game starts with a struggle on the midfield. Both Germany and Portugal neglect to maintain possession and built any momentum past the halfway line.
Germany composes first, a German striker volleys the ball from twenty meters. The ball bounces, shaves a defenders arm, and goes a meter wide.
Portugal first serious strike is in the seventh minute. A Portuguese striker takes a, honestly earned, free kick. From forty meters out, he curves the ball to the edge of the penalty box, where a German defender heads it back to the halfway line.
The television show Figo on the bench, slightly injured they say.
Luiz Scolari, the coach for Portugal, belches his opinion on the sideline over a Portuguese corner that is send too close to the goal.
"Probably the most amiable coach," says the commentator while Kahn, Germans keeper, plucks the ball out the air near the first post.
Moments later, Pauletta, for Portugal, beats the offside trap, facing only Kahn.
"Pauletta does not have the finishing touch," says the commentator while Kahn comes of his line to block Pauletta's shot.
Germany takes control over the match, the Portuguese keeper takes he show. In the twentieth minute, he ‘fingertips’ a shot from sixteen meter over the crossbar. Portugal defends by fouls. They continue to give away free kicks around their penalty box, pushing their record holding yellow card lead. However, Germany fails to find the target.
In the thirty-six minute, a Portuguese corner ball combs the hairs of a Portuguese striker, but does not change direction.
"That seemed to go through the player," shouts the commentator.
The first half ends scoreless.
In the second half, the Germany defense gets a grip on the Portuguese offensive tactics and they take command of the match. Schweinsteiger strikes from twenty-five meters.

Suddenly Germany leads.
Portugal tightens their defense. But in the sixtieth minute, they foul one time too many. Schweinsteiger, for Germany, takes a free kick from forty meters. He sends the ball inside the traffic in the penalty box, and an unlucky Portuguese defender deflects the ball into the net.


"Own goal," shouts the commentator.
Portugal fights back, creating chances. Ronaldo, for Portugal serves Deco, his teammate, a sharp pass through the middle. Deco shoots at a tight angle. Kahn, the goalie for Germany, saves.
In the seventy-seventh minute, again Sweinsteiger fires from twenty meters. In the next ten seconds, he scores, receives a yellow card for taking his shirt off, and is substituted.

I can see him still grinning, taking his place on the bench.
Portugal throws in their last weapon. Pauletta is substituted for Figo. Late in the game, Figo manages to custom tailor a high curve ball for a diving teammate.


"A terrific header," shouts the commentator. “Some respect for Portugal."
Nevertheless Germany is the third place winner of the fifa 2006 world cup. Respect for Portugal is optional.