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The Independent Football

Player of the day

Player of the day Petit (Portugal)

More commonly known by a nickname applied because of his size, the 25-year-old Armando Goncalves Teixeira usually plays a midfield holding role just in front of the back four. It is a position he has occupied for his club side, Boavista, since joining them two years ago, and his tough, spirited performances – allied with some tidy passing and neat link-up play – were instrumental in them winning a first league title in 2000-01. That season's work earned international recognition and Petit played every qualifying game as Portugal topped their group ahead of the Republic of Ireland.

Venue of the day Ibaraki

The Kashima Stadium, which hosts Ireland against Germany today, is home to the J-League's Antlers, holds 41,800 at capacity and features a statue of the former Brazilian Antler, Zico, outside. Ibaraki prefecture is proud of its football heritage but is better known nationally for its fertile agricultural land and food. "It is just like heaven," the region's official website says. Recommended half-time snacks include anko nabe (anglerfish stew), natto tempura (fried fermented soy beans) and charcoal broiled shamo (gamecock).

On this day 5 June 1986

The USSR took the lead with a powerful long shot that saw Rats (Vasily) beating Bats (Joël) before Luis Fernandez equalised for France in Leon, Mexico. The break-up of the Soviet Union has arguably seen Ukraine emerge as its strongest footballing nation but only Russia, who face Tunisia today, are at this World Cup.

Quotes of the day

The crowd was more than a 12th player for the Japanese team. They were exceptional.
Robert Waseige, the Belgium coach, salutes the Japan fans after the 2-2 draw with the host nation yesterday.

I am hurt but I am not sick.
Bora Milutinovic, the China coach, after the 2-0 defeat by Costa Rica.

It was a good atmosphere – a manic atmosphere. I would call it new Japan.
Philippe Troussier, the coach of co-hosts Japan.

I think for the people, for our fans, this is an enormous day.
Guus Hiddink, the South Korea coach, after the 2-0 victory over Poland.

My team is now anxious to go on and bring the people of Korea a lot of enjoyment.
Guus Hiddink.

It's the same for any other team. If the team doesn't qualify for the next stage, the coaching staff just have to quit.
The Russian coach, Oleg Romantsev, feels the pressure.

It is quite pleasing to say that the lads have been scoring a hell of a lot of penalties.
David Seaman, the England goalkeeper, says the team are already practising for a shoot-out.

I don't know exactly what Keane said to the players and the coach, but you can see that it was a good decision to throw him out.
Rudi Völler, the Germany coach, adds his views on the Roy Keane affair.

Team of the day

Alliterative XI

Rustu Recber (Turkey)
Erik Edman (Sweden)
Mohamed Mkacher (Tunisia)
Steve Staunton (Rep Ireland)
Maciej Murawski (Poland)
Kevin Kilbane (Rep Ireland)
Zinedine Zidane (France)
Zlatko Zahovic (Slovenia)
Damien Duff (Rep Ireland)
Claudio Caniggia (Argentina)
Bosko Balaban (Croatia)

Phrase of the day Football sayings in another tongue

Vorsprung durch Technik? Nee, Jungs! Bei Duff geht's um Talent.

which is German for...

Advantage through technical research? No mate! With Duff, it's sheer talent.

Stat of the day

58The number of fouls, 29 apiece, committed by Japan and Belgium in their 2-2 draw in Group H yesterday.


3: Miroslav Klose (Germany)
2: Jon Dahl Tomasson (Denmark), Christian Vieri (Italy)
1: Pape Bouba Diop (Senegal), Patrick Mboma (Cameroon), Matt Holland (Ireland), Dario Rodriguez (Uruguay), Michael Ballack (Germany), Carsten Jancker (Germany), Thomas Linke (Germany), Oliver Bierhoff (Germany), Bernd Schneider (Germany), Gabriel Batistuta (Argentina), Roque Santa Cruz (Paraguay), Francisco Arce (Paraguay), Teboho Mokoena (South Africa) Quinton Fortune (South Africa), Sol Campbell (England), Niclas Alexandersson (Sweden), Raul (Spain), Juan Carlos Valeron (Spain), Fernando Hierro (Spain), Sebastjan Cimirotic (Slovenia), Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Mexico), Hasan Sas (Turkey), Ronaldo (Brazil), Rivaldo (Brazil), Ronald Gomez (Costa Rica), Mauricio Wright (Costa Rica), Takayuki Suzuki (Japan), Junichi Inamoto (Japan), Marc Wilmots (Belgium), Peter Van der Heyden (Belgium), Hwang Sun-hong (South Korea), Yoo Sang-chul (South Korea).

Red cards

CROATIA: Boris Zivkovic
TURKEY: Alpay Ozalan, Hakan Unsal (2 bookable offences).

Yellow cards

All players one card each

ARGENTINA: Walter Samuel, Diego Simeone
BELGIUM: Peter Van der Heyden, Gert Verheyen, Jacky Peeters, Eric Van Meir
BRAZIL: Denilson
CAMEROON: Raymond Kalla
CHINA: Li Tie, Xu Yunlong, Li Xiaopeng
COSTA RICA: Luis Marin, Mauricio Solis, Ronald Gomez, Walter Centeno
DENMARK: Jan Heintze, Martin Laursen
ECUADOR: Augusto Porozo, Ulises de la Cruz, Cleber Chala
ENGLAND: Sol Campbell
FRANCE: Emmanuel Petit
GERMANY: Christian Ziege, Dietmar Hamann
ITALY: Fabio Cannavaro
JAPAN: Kazuyuki Toda, Junichi Inamoto
NIGERIA: Efe Sodje
PARAGUAY: Julio Carlos Caceres, Denis Cañiza, Ricardo Tavarelli, Juan Carlos Franco
POLAND: Jacek Krzynowek, Tomasz Hajto, Piotr Swierczewski
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Jason McAteer, Steve Finnan, Steven Reid
SAUDI ARABIA: Mohammed Noor
SENEGAL: Aliou Cissé
SLOVENIA: Amir Karic, Sebastjan Cimirotic
SOUTH AFRICA: Aaron Mokoena, Pierre Issa, Benedict McCarthy, Sibusiso Zuma
SOUTH KOREA: Park Ji-sung, Cha Doo-ri
SPAIN: Juan Carlos Valeron
SWEDEN: Marcus Allback, Andreas Jakobs son
TURKEY: Fatih Akyel
URUGUAY: Gustavo Mendez

Highs and lows

Highest aggregate: 8: Germany 8 Saudi Arabia 0.

Most goals by a team: 8: Germany 8 Saudi Arabia 0.

Biggest margin of victory: 8: Germany 8 Saudi Arabia 0.

Most goal by a player: 3: Klose (for Germany v Saudi Arabia)

Hat-tricks: Klose (for Germany v Saudi Arabia)

Fastest goal: 7 min: Vieri (for Italy v Ecuador)

Biggest crowd: 62,561 (France v Senegal)

Smallest crowd: 25,186 (Paraguay v South Africa)

Most bookings in a match: 8 (Paraguay v South Africa)

Fewest bookings in a match: 2 (France v Senegal, Croatia v Mexico)

Most fouls in a match: 58 (Japan v Belgium)

Fewest fouls in a match: 21 (Rep of Ireland v Cameroon, Uruguay v Denmark)

Most shots on target in a match: 18 (Brazil v Turkey)

Fewest shots on target in a match: 9 (Rep of Ireland v Cameroon)



Former Ireland international, writer, broadcaster

You have to fancy Germany a little bit. Ireland had a good second half against Cameroon but that was only 45 minutes. And you can't judge too much about the Germans from the Saudi Arabia game. I think there will be goals in it, so let's say 2-1 to Germany. Ireland without Roy Keane will be missing something. I'd have expected Ireland to beat Cameroon. But taking into account what's happened, you have to scale down the expectations now.


Sports Editor, Die Welt, Hamburg

I think the score will be 1-1. The German side are not any way as good as the 8-0 against Saudi Arabia says. The Ireland team are able to fight very much, and are in the position where they have to, and it could be a draw because of that. During the World Cup preparations Germany played Wales and lost 1-0, they could play in a similar fashion against Ireland. I think Robbie Keane will be an important player, and Michael Ballack for Germany.


Barman, The Irish Harp pub, Berlin

I would say 2-1 for Germany, but that's because I'm German. To explain that, I would say Ireland gave Cameroon too much ball in the first half and then had to work hard in the second. Germany had an easy game against Saudi Arabia and for a tough, physical game against Ireland they will be fresher for longer. I do think Matt Holland is fantastic, though. Whatever happens, we'll have a fantastic time here, Irish and German fans together, singing, partying, great.