1994 FIFA World Cup Third-Place game and Final
  • 1994 FIFA WORLD CUP
    Part 5

    There was a great deal of sadness for both Brazil and Nigeria as their greatest chance reach a final had been dashed. Brazil were heartbroken that once again there wouldn't be a chance to get their hands on the cup while Nigeria knew that this was perhaps their best chance of reaching a final and it was hard to imagine if they could ever repeat such heroics again.

    The Third-Place game would be quite an uneventful game which nothing of note happened other than the Brazilians getting an early goal in the 8th minute and they could've had more goals had it not been for a stubborn Nigerian defence who played for their lives to keep Brazil out yet at a cost of failing to find a single shot on target and it was said that Brazil's keeper had very little to do.

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    Brazilian players celebrate after taking the early lead
    Even in the second half, the score remained the same in which Brazil would be victorious in a rather anti-climatic game, though it was mere scant consolation for not winning the World Cup For Nigeria, they would return home as heroes for going further than any other African team and their run did not go unnoticed by FIFA as from the next World Cup onwards there would be now five African teams [1].

    The World Cup would get just a little bit more global at that point...for Brazil they wondered if their bad luck of recent years for not winning the famous trophy would end and they would have to wait for 1998 to see if their luck would ever change.

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    Final result of Third-Place match
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    At long last came the day of the final and across Argentina, a country waited in the hope that they would be able to win their third title in front of their own fans which surely would've been something quite incredible. That said, they were up against the Azzurri who had been, according to their fans, long overdue for victory and this game had the extra factor of being a rematch of the Quarter-Final in which Argentina had defeated Italy in their own backyard and the Italians were out for revenge.

    What followed would be one of the dramatic World Cup finals in living memory as Argentina took the lead thanks to a penalty and looked to have gotten a second goal in the 27th minute but for some strange reason was ruled offside much to the disgust of the home crowd as to make matters worse, Roberto Baggio scored in the 39th minute to put Italy equal before the break. Not quite a walkover for Argentina...

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    Wonder what happens next? Argentina players just after the first half whistle
    Fears of an Italian fightback proved to be all for nothing as in the 54th minute, Maradona scored to put his country back in front and it was the said that the stadium rocked to it's foundations and once again the hosts look set to win the game. However it would be less than 10 minutes later in which the game turned on it's head yet again in which Baggio once again scored to get Italy back level yet again and with that the momentum was with Italy.

    To make matters worse for Argentina, Maradona would get injured and forced to go off leaving Argentina to lose their train of thought as Italy would carry on to find that goal that would surely win and that would happen in the 75th minute in which Massaro would fire in the goal that would go on to win the game for Italy to claim their long awaited third World Cup and leave the Estadio Monumental into complete silence. Revenge was sweet for Italy in what was said to be by many one of the greatest World Cup finals ever [2].

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    Joy for Italy
    It would mark the end of an era for Argentina as it would turn out to be Maradona's last game for Argentina and his hope to end his career on a high didn't turn out the way he wanted. Despite bad ending for the hosts, Argentina had put on a great World Cup that year and had shown the world that they were on the verge of of become a major country in the upcoming years.

    For Italy, the country could finally celebrate that finally they had gotten their hands on the cup after so long and who knows if they could repeat the same process in France 1998?

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    Final result of the 1994 Final

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    Final results of the Knockout Stage of the 1994 World Cup


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    • [1] Five African teams for 1998 as in OTL.
    • [2] Compared to OTL's final which I still consider the worst final ever for just sheer boredom.
    And thus, Italy are the champions and no bad penalty for Baggio here. Anyway hope you enjoyed this final update for 1994 and we shall move into 1998 soon when things in OTL start to catch up with TTL. Here are the teams for 1998 which does look quite different from OTL slightly...

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    Who do you think will do well in TTL's France 1998, you'll notice some teams didn't quite, er...breakup as with OTL. Until then, catch you later for that update whenever it might be! :)
     
    1998 FIFA World Cup Seeding and Group Stage
  • 1998 FIFA WORLD CUP
    Part 1


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    After the excitement of the 1994 World Cup, many wonder just what nation might've been suitable to host the final edition before the end of the century. It was then decided that the World Cup would return to Europe for the 1998 World Cup and it would be France that would host, the country of origin which had first come up with the idea of the World Cup.

    As always, the 32 teams were seeded though it was quite interesting that following Nigeria's brave run in 1994 [1] that it would be the first time an African team would be seeded and speaking of Africa, following their run during that World Cup, it was decided that a firth spot would be given for African teams via a play off with the runner-up in the OFC Section which would turn out to be New Zealand and the African team who would face them with the lowest points tally in qualification would be South Africa [2].

    South Africa would defeat the Kiwis and qualify for their first ever World Cup. Speaking of debuts, this was the tournament in which saw Jamaica make it's first appearance and some pointed out that had the likes of Canada, New Zealand and Northern Ireland had qualified, then it would be almost nearly many members of the Commonwealth playing at a World Cup together [3] though the idea would be floated around to introduce football for the Commonwealth games, hopefully for 2002 games in Manchester but that remains to be seen...[4]

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    The drawn teams for the 1998 World Cup
    The inclusion of Nigeria among the seeded teams did bring with it a number of problems of ranked teams, largely those that came from the Spanish, Yugoslavian and Welsh football associations who felt they should've been placed in a high ranked position. As with most FIFA controversies, these were ignored and nonetheless the final draw took place and it would be on June 10th that the games began...

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    The opening match would be the World Champions, Italy, taking on Norway in a game that perhaps to not many people's surprise, Italy won [5] with Columbia later on that day also claiming victory in their game over Jamaica who would sadly end up being the whipping boys of the group. Italy would end up winning all their group games getting a perfect score and looked set for was hopefully a good chance of defending the cup.

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    Italy vs Norway in the opening group game of the 1998 World Cup
    Going into second place would be Columbia who would finish a comfortable three points ahead of Norway, though it was in the last game that the South Americans faced them in a winner takes all game and the match would be won by a penalty from Columbia that would be enough to send them through. No one knew how well Columbia could go far in this World Cup though it was an improvement over the last time...

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    Final results of Group A at the 1998 World Cup

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    The former hosts of the last World Cup, Argentina, would find themselves in a good group in which featured Austria, Scotland and Saudi Arabia. Like with Italy, Argentina would get full points by winning all their group games and it would be the battle for second place that would be the real focus of interest in which Scotland and Austria would fight it out to try and progress to the second round, though it would not be a good start for either of them. Austria would be get beaten in their opening game with Argentina though Scotland arguably had it worst as they could only draw with Saudi Arabia in what was looked on as one of the most embarrassing Scottish performances ever with the blame being set on the advance age of the Scotland team [6].

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    Live Fox broadcast of Scotland vs Austria
    It would be Scotland that would snatch the second place spot just a point ahead of the Austrians though there still be many Scottish supporters who felt the team had been poor and perhaps didn't deserve to be in that position. With all that said, some felt that Scotland might pick up in the second round while for Argentina, there was much to be expected of what was quite a young and positive team that many felt had a chance...

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    Final results of Group B of the 1998 World Cup

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    The host nation would be placed in what they felt was quite a soft group to get out from with only Denmark being the one team that looked as if they could trouble them and that would certainly be a thing in which France could only draw with the Danes in their opening game [7] though the hosts would make amends by winning all their next group games to ultimately win the group to progress to the second round.

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    Though Denmark would join the French in the next round, they nearly didn't make it in which they found themselves 2-0 down to Japan in their final group and looked like they were going to make a shock exit. However they would rally round to make the game and tie and thus had what they needed to go through and Japanese hearts everywhere were crushed. Away from this, France knew a lot of pressure would be one their shoulders to win the cup in their backyard. Could they do it...?

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    Final Group C results of the 1998 World Cup

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    Group D was quite an unusual one in which not many knew how it was going to shape out in which it featured three quite fancied teams in the likes of Spain, Iran, Nigeria and Australia, though it was the African side that many wanted to see complete their heroics from before and they would do that in dramatic style when they defeated Spain in their opening match. Despite winning the group in the end, Nigeria could only draw their following group games and it would turn out that Group D would be the tightest as many results didn't go the way many thought they would.

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    Australia vs Iran in their opening match
    It would end up being a shock that after many World Cups that had saw Australia reach the second round constantly since 1970, they would miss out on the last 16 by finishing a point behind Spain and this was without Australia losing a single game, though all three games ended in draws and left a nation stunned and angry at how this had happened with many saying the first game with Iran which ended in a draw [8] was to blame. Speaking of which, Iran would end up not doing too badly and might've even gone through to the last 16 for the first time had they beaten Nigeria. Alas, Group D was without shadow of a doubt a truly fascinating Group.

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    Final Group results of Group D at the 1998 World Cup

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    Group E would be pretty much Group E for England mainly as they would end up winning all their group games and it seems that they were on a high following their Euro '96 victory at home [9] as well as being a large contrast to the poor show in Argentina in 1994. However the surprise team to join England into the next round would be Tunisia who seemed to invoke the spirit of 1978 [10] and did more than enough to go through. Both Paraguay and Czechoslovakia [11] would be flops despite some putting bets on them going through.

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    England vs Tunisia at the 1998 World Cup
    While it did raise a few eyebrows seeing Tunisia progress, some in FIFA felt that it was justified showing that having a fifth African team was indeed worth the change and with the addition of a fifth African team in the World Cup seemed to only increase hopes among many on the African continent that it wouldn't be long until an African side would win the World Cup...

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    Final Group E results of the 1998 World Cup

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    In typical World Cup hype fashion, Brazil went into this tournament as favourites to win and would show the world that they meant business in which they blew away all their opponents to win all three group games. While Brazil going through was pretty much a foregone conclusion, Romania and Morocco both hoped to join Brazil in the next round, but in the end they would end up having a disappointing experience in which neither of them got through.

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    Live Broadcast of Brazil vs Morocco
    The team that would end up joining Brazil would be none other than Mexico. For a team that loved it's football, they had greatly underperformed since reaching the final in their own backyard many years ago and many felt that they were due for some sort of success here by making the second round and maybe actually be a dark horse for this World Cup. In the meantime however, many eyes would be on Brazil and seeing how they might do...

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    Final results of Group F of the 1998 World Cup

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    Group G might've been joked to be G for Germany, however this group would end up being perhaps the most tightest group of the lot as it would be something of a group of death featuring Germany, Yugoslavia and Cameroon with poor South Korea looking set to be the whipping boys and whom ended up with zero points in the end. However when Germany could only draw with Yugoslavia [12] in their opening match [13], the group seemed to turn on it's head.

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    Germany vs Yugoslavia in their opening match
    The Germans, Yugoslavs and Cameroonians would all get a victory and two draws between them which meant all three ended up on five points each and it would be settled by goal difference in Yugoslavia ended up winning the group and Cameroon would sneak into second place to deny the Germans a place in the second round which proved to be another shock in itself. Many though would say this German team was very poor and would be part of a transitional period for the national side [14] while for the other two, their World Cup adventure was just starting...

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    Final Group G results of the 1998 World Cup

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    The final group would see the Dutch grouped with Wales, United States and Chile, though it would be quite a tight group in itself. The Dutch got off to a good start by beating the United States 1-0 while Chile would get the better of the Welsh in their game. However the next games would make things rather crazy in which a pumped up United States shocked Chile while Wales held the Dutch to a 0-0 draw. How was this group going to end up like?

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    Wales vs Netherlands in their second group game
    The final group games would see the Dutch defeat Chile 2-0 and the Welsh would defeat the Americans 1-0 which was more than enough to see them both go through to the next round while the United States and Chile were left hugely disappointed that neither of them could see them both go through and would now have to look for next time to see it either could go one step better than this time. For the Dutch and Welsh, they were on their way.

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    Final results of Group H of the 1998 World Cup
    With the 16 teams now in place and the number of shock results that had seen who had gone through, the question would be how many more shocks were to follow here? Time would tell in France...

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    • [1] Look back ITTL's 1994.
    • [2] As what so happened to be in OTL qualification.
    • [3] As some of you members have pointed out! ;)
    • [4] With football being more popular here than IOTL, who would like to see that for TTL's Commonwealth games?
    • [5] As with OTL result.
    • [6] The Scotland team was the oldest team at the 1998 World Cup and got the nickname 'Dad's Army' for good reason.
    • [7] Unlike in OTL in which the French beat them.
    • [8] As what happened in the first leg of OTL play off
    • [9] England win Euro '96 here.
    • [10] Check back on TTL's 1978.
    • [11] So yeah, Czechoslovakia hasn't broken up here due to the 'velvet divorce' being pushed back and eventually falling apart due to the EU only allowing a single entry to enter to to influx of former Soviet countries which they reluctantly accept.
    • [12] Yugoslavia is still together here though that means Croatia are butterflied away here I'm afraid to say sadly.
    • [13] As with OTL.
    • [14] That Germany team was rather poor if you remember, does worse here.

    So here we are with 1998 and hopefully you are liking some of the results here. As always, our next set of fixtures:
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    Italy vs Scotland

    Nigeria vs Denmark

    England vs Mexico

    Argentina vs Cameroon

    Netherlands vs Columbia

    France vs Spain

    Brazil vs Tunisia

    Yugoslavia vs Wales
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    So who and why do you think your teams might do well? Until then, stay safe!



     
    1998 FIFA World Cup Last 16
  • 1998 FIFA WORLD CUP
    Part 2

    The opening last 16 game would be with the world champions taking on Scotland [1] and the game itself was pretty much an easier bet to say the Italians were going to win and there wasn't very much to say that right from the start, Italy utterly pulled apart Scotland's aged team with no one having to wait long until Italy opened the scoring in the 18th minute which would remain that way until the end of the first half.

    Scotland however at the start of the second did have a chance to equalise through a penalty but the penalty taker, John Collins, made a mess of the kick in which he saw his shot save and Italy would begin to regain their domination of the match in which it would take until the 59th minute in which Italy scored yet again to leave the Scots a mountain to climb.

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    Will Scotland get back into the game?
    There was nothing else that Scotland could do as Italy would then pull their men back to shut out the Scots which stopped them from scoring and in the end the score was what many expected and there would be no heroics for Scotland like last time and instead they would make the next flight home were now a lot of work was going to be needed to help bring in fresh blood to bring the team forward for their hopes of making it to the 2002 finals in Japan [2], would they make it...?

    For Italy though, their hopes of defending the cup now looked a bit more hopeful now and who knows if they might be able to use the talent they had in that squad to go on and try and win the World Cup back-to-back?

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    Italian joy after the second winning goal

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    Following that game, the next game would see the Netherlands take on Columbia, the latter being very happy to make it this far considering their disastrous trip to Argentina last time round [3]. The Dutch though had a lot to prove following a terrible time at Euro '96 [4] and this was a chance to put things right. Columbia would start off quite well yet they failed to use their advantage to score goals which meant only one thing that could happen...

    It would be Bergkamp for the Dutch that scored shortly before the break, though his goal was against the run of of play with Columbia looking like the team that throughout the first half was going to break the deadlock. From that moment onwards, Holland began to take control of the game and they would keep the poor Columbians out to score a goal for the rest of the first half.

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    The Columbian team prior to their game with the Dutch
    Things wouldn't get any better for Columbia despite the fact that the Dutch didn't look like that they had anything left in them to score. As of a result, the second half would end up being quite a strange half in which neither side seemed to find the next goal which would decide the game, however neither side could find it and thus the game would end 1-0 for the Dutch who took great joy and finally getting into the last eight for the first time after many years.

    For Columbia, their World Cup adventure was over yet despite how rather anti-climatic it had been, they could take the small bit of joy that they had done better than before and maybe they could use this as a springboard for the next World Cup. For now though, another game done...

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    Dutch joy of reaching the last eight

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    The following day would see the host make it's appearance in the round of 16 and it would be a big game in which Spain stood in their way and it was so tight that no one could predict just how the game would go, even if France were hosts. The game that followed would be one of the closest matches of that World Cup in which both played a defensive game and clearly didn't want to let in the first goal.

    In terms of attacking, there was little to none of that and nothing seemed to happen in either half though Spain did have a penalty claim wrongly refused by the referee which seemed to be the only talking point of the whole game and with that, 90 minutes of play came to an end in which the game would be decided on sudden death with the golden goal [5].

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    The Spanish team
    Extra time would be really tense as one wrong move would pretty much decide the whole game and no one wanted to mess up. However it would be in the 114th minute that the breakthrough finally happened with Blanc decided to volley a shot from quite far distance and to everyone's amazement, the ball slammed into the back of the net that was all that was needed to give the French the victory to progress.

    For Spain, it was a horrid blow and the question of Golden Goal would be brought up if it should really be a thing. For France however, a nation not only breathed a sigh of relief but also joy as they were in the last eight after a long time. Who knows if the hosts could do well on home soil...?

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    French joy after beating Spain

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    Just after that game would then see Nigeria, the surprise side of the last World Cup, would be taking on a plucky Denmark in which many felt that the African side would get the best of the European side and for good reason. They had done very well in the group and many hoped that going on another run to the last four would be a good way to show the world that their run was no fluke.

    However what followed would be total shock in which within 12 minutes, Denmark would take a 2-0 lead and Nigeria were stunned and were totally not expecting this as were likely many more. Nigeria couldn't find a way back into the first half which ended with the Danes holding onto their unlikely lead. Was there a way back for the 4th best ranked team of the World Cup that tournament?

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    Denmark vs Nigeria in the last 16 match
    If that score line was bad enough for Nigeria, things would go from bad to worse as Denmark went on a rampage to score two further goals to utterly ruin Nigeria and yet despite Nigeria finding a goal in the 78th minute it was nothing more than a consolation goal as Denmark went riding on to book a place in the last eight and to say this was a dramatic fall from grace for the Nigerians would be an understatement [6].

    Already though and rather unfairly, the cries of Nigeria's fluke run in 1994 was being called out though it was strange just how much Nigeria had fallen since then. They would have to look at themselves to find out what was needed for 2002. For now though, this was Denmark's time to enjoy the moment...

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    Live broadcast of the game

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    The following day would see Brazil take on Tunisia and it seemed that from the start, the game would be a foregone conclusion that Brazil would be victorious in this game, though that was what many said when Nigeria went on to play Denmark. This time however there would be no real surprise as Brazil would utterly rout the African side 3-0 in a game that was so comfortable that was nothing to say about it as it was just...well, typical for Brazil.

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    Ronaldo celebrates victory that sends Brazil into the last eight
    With Tunisia's defeat would mark another African side's dismissal from the World Cup and compared to what had been happening before for African teams before, this was certainly not what many hoped would happen. For Brazil though, it was looking to be business as usual in their hopes to finally get their hands on the cup after all these years. How many times had that been heard before?

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    After that game came the turn of England and Mexico to take on each other in what many expected England to take care of the Mexicans. However it wouldn't be quite easy for England as Mexico would make things quite hard for them but this was soon stopped when England won a penalty in which Shearer put it away and England looked to be going on to win it as the first half ended.

    However near the start of the second half, Mexico scored to get themselves back into the game which suddenly seemed to turn the game on it's head. However England would regain the lead thanks to Owen in the 69th minute which proved to be more than enough for England as the game would slow down somewhat and it was all that was needed for the victory to take them onwards to take them into the next round.

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    England players celebrate after getting the winning goal.
    After their Euro '96 victory at home, England now hoped they could add to their triumph with a victory in Paris in a few days time. Though given the quality of teams still left, that idea might look a little bit foolish to some...

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    The final day of the round of 16 started with Yugoslavia taking on Wales in a game that saw both teams quite level and it was unsure by many just as to who would win the game and what the final score would be. As expected, the game would be quite a slow one to start of with as both sides spent about the first ten minutes probing each other trying to see who was going to blink first.

    No goals would happen in the first half, however it would happen in the second half that the deadlock would be broken in which Yugoslavia scored in the 48th minute and that seemed to wake up the Yugoslavs to try and make more goals, however a plucky Wales defended for their lives yet at the consequence of not being able to score which would see Yugoslavia move onwards to the next round.

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    Yugoslavian fans enjoying themselves in Bordeaux
    Wales might've been disappointed at the outcome of the final score yet many did say that with the type of squad they had, that they might've overachieved. With that though, Yugoslavia went plodding along into the last eight in which their dark horse nature always made them one to watch out for...

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    With Brazil through, no way were their arch rivals Argentina going to let them leave them behind and standing in their way would be the ever present Cameroon who were no stranger to Argentina and now had developed something of a rivalry between the two. However this was quite a fresh Argentina was more than up for the challenge to take care of this Cameroonian side.

    They had a bit of luck in which they were awarded a penalty within six minutes which put them in a good place for the first half which would end with them getting another goal in injury time to give them some space going into the second half. However neither could find another goal in the second half which for Argentina was not a real concern to them as the final score was what they needed to be in the last eight.

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    Happy Argentine players after getting the early goal
    That match itself would be the last game of the round of 16 and with that saw a number of what many considered the usual teams to be this far at this point. Who just knew who would the team to come out on top of the rest of the pack? Still more twists and turns to follow...

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    Final results of the Last 16 of the 1998 World Cup

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    • [1] Fun fact, had Scotland won the second place IOTL, they would've faced Italy in the last 16 then.
    • [2] Let's see if they do better here...!
    • [3] Look back on TTL's 1994 WC.
    • [4] Things go worse for them at TTL's Euro 96.
    • [5] As yes, first time we get 'Golden Goal' in TTL!
    • [6] So yes, the game goes about the same as OTL's result.
    So here we are, hope you are all doing well as things with me are quite tense with news of what looks like another lockdown looming which does not feel good for my health...but I'll try and not think too much about as here is the next fixtures:
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    Italy vs Denmark

    Netherlands vs France

    England vs Argentina

    Brazil vs Yugoslavia
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    So wherever you maybe in the world or closer to home, stay safe and hope to hear from you soon. Stay tune for next time.
     
    1998 FIFA World Cup Quarter Finals
  • 1998 FIFA WORLD CUP
    Part 3

    The opening match of the Quarter-Finals would pair up France with a very good Dutch team and yet despite the home advantage, it would be the French that would find themselves on the backfoot within 16 minutes of the game as the Dutch took a shock lead and seemed to take the game by the scruff of the neck and it looked like it was going to be a long night for the French. However Zidane would quickly reply with a goal in the 27th minute that gave much of the home crowd much of a sigh of relief.

    The Dutch though never gave up and always gave the French many scares in that first half and looked set to score again, however Zidane would come to France's aid again with another goal that not only came against the run of play but also right in injury time to give the French the lead. At halftime, the Netherlands team walked off wondering how they had let the game slip from their grasp and hoped that things would get better in the second half.

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    Zidane leads France in the Quarter-final
    The second half would start off in quite explosive fashion in which the Dutch won a penalty in the 52nd minute and looked like they were going to get back into the game, however it would end up being saved and from then on the poor Dutch struggled to find the back of the net as the French began to defend and it would all end up blowing in the face of the Dutch when Petit would score right in the final seconds of the game for France that helped booked their place in the last four and the Dutch were left heartbroken. Despite what the score line might suggest, the game was a lot closer than many would admit and many would ask if France deserved to be there [1]. With that though, the Quarter-finals had began.

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    The following match would see the World Champions, Italy, playing against underdogs Denmark and though many would say that Italy had this game in the bag though it would be a shock that Denmark would end up taking the lead within the first two minutes of the match though Italy wouldn't take long to get a goal back within a few minutes and then in the 27th minute, Italy got another goal to complete the turn around which end the first half seeing Italy lead 2-1.

    If Italy though thought they were going to get it easy then they were in for a shock as Denmark scored within five minutes of the first half starting and that really gave this game a different edge with Denmark starting to cause many problems for the champions and there would be controversy in the 57th in which Denmark were denied a penalty which should've been given which to top it off a few minutes later would see Italy pop up with another goal that proved to the one needed to win the game for the Italians and onwards to the Semi-finals [2].

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    Though the result overall had been something many expected, a good few did give the Danes credit for given the champions a scare and if Italy were going to try and defend their crown, then they would have to do better. With that though, the first two had made it through and the following day would see another two hoping to make it into the Semi-finals.

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    The following day would open with rivals England and Argentina taking on each other in what was their first encounter at the World Cup since 1990 [3] and there was a lot riding on this as the prize was a place in the last four. It would be Argentina who would open scoring via a penalty, though incidentally England would get back into the game via a spot kick themselves. However England would then take the lead thanks to a wonder goal from Owen [4] which looked like it was going to help get England to move forward but Argentina would strike at the death of the first half to put the game level.

    The second half would be well documented for David Beckham's infamous sending off and the game would see a number of yellow cards being shown and despite all this, neither could find the winning goal though Sol Campbell did have a goal chalked off which might've won the game for England, all in all, the game would end up going into extra time and yet even then neither could find a winner [5]. Penalties it would be then.

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    Beckham's sending off
    When it came to the spot kicks, it would be Argentina that held their nerve and thus saw them progress to the Semi finals from a game that many would say was one of the great Quarter-final games and this wasn't the first time that England had lost to Argentina on penalties. Beckham would end up being blamed by the English press for England's failure [6] and he would need to prove himself for the future to gain their respect. For now though, they would have to wait another few years...

    --------
    Despite being a country gripped with ethic tension, the Yugoslavian football team had been a very welcoming for many and here standing in their way for an unlikely place in the last four was Brazil. Yugoslavia would actually cause some problems by keep their defence tight yet brazil kept pressing the Yugoslavs up the field and it seemed only a matter of time until it was breached and that would happen in the 27th minute with a powerful shot from Rivaldo which gave Brazil the lead.

    Despite trying to get more goals, Brazil couldn't seem to break down the Yugoslavs and the first half ended with a slender lead for Brazil. Truth be told Yugoslavia didn't look like scoring themselves with it looking like their main plan was to simply keep Brazil out as best as they could but yet Brazil would get some breathing space in the 60th minute with another goal that was all that was needed to claim victory and their passage into the last four.

    1998-brazil-jugoslavija-jovan-stankovic.jpg

    Brazil vs Yugoslavia in the Quarter final
    Despite the loss, Yugoslavia hadn't done too badly as it might've been more for Brazil, however no one ever thought that Brazil might be troubled and once again looked like they were going to go all the way to the final. With that final Quarter-final, the last four had made it and now with two teams from Europe and South America each, no one knew exactly who was going to make it...

    1998 13.png

    Final results of the 1998 Quarter-finals

    ---------
    • [1] As with OTL Quarter-final, France struggled in that game like here.
    • [2] The game is the same outcome for Denmark though this time they lose to Italy.
    • [3] From TTL.
    • [4] As with OTL.
    • [5] The game is pretty much the same as OTL Last 16 game.
    • [6] Beckham still is getting abuse ITTL.
    So there we are, sorry for the delay, just had work to do and I haven't had time to get this updated. Anyway, here is our last four:
    --------
    Italy vs Argentina

    Brazil vs France
    --------
    So as always, who will go all the way and from 2002 onwards here, should I include a vote for which country should host the World Cup for TTL? Remember, football is more popular here so we can go somewhat off the beaten track here, though FIFA corruption aside...

    Until then though, take care and see you soon.
     
    1998 FIFA World Cup Semi-Finals
  • 1998 FIFA WORLD CUP
    Part 4

    For the third time in a row at the World Cup, Italy and Argentina would find themselves facing off each other in what was starting to turn into a rivalry between as by this point, both had been knocked out by the other in their respected countries when they were the hosts. This time nobody knew what quite to expect. The first half would prove to be quite a tedious affair in which nothing of note seemed to happen though many would note that Italy looked a little bit better than Argentina due to the latter having played extra-time in their last game.

    After a boring first half, things would pick up for the best in the second half when in the 57th minute Di Baggio scored what was at that point a well deserved goal for the Italians and it looked as though Italy might add to their lead, however Argentina didn't give up in one of the strange moment in which the losing time started to play better Argentina were going for it but were running out of time as the game reach it's final five minutes. Then it happened in which Argentina snatched a goal in the 88th minute which now saw the game dragged into extra-time.

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    Di Baggio before the goal
    Extra-time would prove to be quite an end-to-end affair, a far contrast to the boring first half, though it meant that both side's defence was pretty much non existent as goals looked set to be flying in from all angles. Yet despite this, neither side could find the golden goal that would help them win the match and thus the game would be sorted out on spot kicks. Sadly for Argentina, they were exhausted from playing yet another game of extra time and their final two penalties would ultimately be saved which handed victory to the Italians.

    For the champions, the hopes of defending their crown now looked a real possibility and for a nation that for so many years had failed to get into a final, they had managed to pull that off twice on the trot but could they get back-to-back World Cup victories? That would be a thought for another day but for now, a nation celebrated reaching the final while for Argentina, it was heartbreak for them. So close yet so far...

    c2b63dca2140b9ab1886569c2277a828.jpg

    Argentine players celebrated the goal near the end of the second half that they thought would take them all the way

    ---------
    The following evening would see the host nation taking on Brazil and although France may have had the home advantage, no one was ever going to doubt that Brazil would roll in and crush the French in their own backyard. A humiliating thought that the French feared would arise in following game. Fears looked to be coming true as right from the get go, Brazil were running circles around the French team with their star man, Ronaldo, showing everyone why he was the talk of the World Cup [1].

    However combined with some stubborn defending and a mostly partisan crowd backing the home team, France would keep the Brazilians out from causing them grief though many knew that at the way the game was going, it would only be a matter of time until Brazil would find the opening goal. However they couldn't and the first half ended 0-0 with France breathing a sigh of relief and many of their supporters' nails being bitten off by this point...

    dunga-brazil.jpg

    France vs Brazil during the Semi-Final
    Although Brazil were still looking the better team, there was a growing feeling starting to be felt throughout the second half that no matter how hard Brazil tried that it wasn't looking to be their day as France started to probe Brazil for weaknesses and it was clear by the end of the second half that with no goals still scored, the South American giants were tired and frustrated of how they hadn't been able to find one goal.

    Extra-time was when France really came into their own and the tables were really turned on a stunned Brazil who's bad luck finally came to ahead when Zidane fired in a winning golden goal that sent the hosts to the final [2] and across the nation, many celebrated well into the early hours of the following day and felt that after defeating Brazil, they could do almost anything.

    frances-zinedine-zidane-celebrates-scoring-the-second-goal-of-the-picture-id612547184

    Zidane's winning golden goal
    To say the loss was a horrendous one for Brazil would be an understatement. Their failure to win the World Cup since 1970 was starting to become something of a national crises and many began to wonder if that day would ever come [3]. For the rest of the world though, the end of the 1998 World Cup was near...

    1998 14.png

    Final results of the 1998 World Cup Semi-Finals

    -------
    • [1] Ronaldo plays better here due to not having his seizure which in turn...
    • [2] France may have beaten Brazil like in OTL, though in a much closer game due to the team not being distracted as what happened on the day of the final.
    • [3] It is starting to look grim for Brazil at this point...will they ever win the World Cup ITTL...?
    There we are, not much to say but Italy play France in the final and who knows how that'll end up? Anyway 2002 will be set in Japan though for 2006, would you like to see South Africa host it here and thus see an early change of FIFA's voting system? Until then, see you guys soon...
     
    1998 FIFA World Cup Third-Place game and Final
  • 1998 FIFA WORLD CUP
    Part 5

    Although many had hoped that Argentina and Brazil would face each other in the final, that wasn't to be the case as both had fallen at the Semi-Finals and now they would be play in the Third-Place match in which was in many ways nothing more that a battle for bragging rights. Although both teams were tired from playing extra-time in their last matches [1] both would give everyone there in attendance a thrilling game as what most would expect when these two rivals played each other.

    Argentina would take the lead early on on the 17th minute and that goal did stun Brazil for a good period of the first half and Argentina looked like they were going to give Brazil a spanking for goals. However Brazil didn't give in so easily and they would score in the 34th minute which did come from against the run of play which from then it looked as though that it might've stunned Argentina.

    maxresdefault.jpg

    Brazil vs Argentina in Paris
    The second half would end up being a more tighter affair as nobody wanted to slip up but in the end it would be Argentina that blinked first as Brazil would take the lead via a free kick that despite Argentina throwing men forward to find an equaliser, it would all come to nothing as that Brazilian goal would ultimately win the match for them and thus claimed the honour of being the third best team in the world [2].

    Despite the victory, many in Brazil felt that they were well overdue for a World Cup victory and with Japan just around the corner and the experience they had gained here, surely their time would come at last...?

    1998 15.png

    Final result of the 1998 Third Place match

    ---------
    Finally came the day of the final and with the hosts in the final taking on the current World Champions, many were licking their lips at the prospect of what many hoped would be a truly epic World Cup final to end on. However what followed would be in many ways quite a poor games in terms of lack of goals in which France started off well for chances yet failed to use them to score. Italy would be no better and it was clear that playing extra time in their last games had done either any favours.

    There were many attempts in the first half to get the opening goal with perhaps the best falling to France right at the death of the first half yet like so many chances before, they couldn't seem to get the breakthrough and from that, the first half ended 0-0 which depending on who you asked was either a tense or boring affair. Truly no one had a clue as to who would come out on top...

    frances-zinedine-zidane-during-the-1998-soccer-world-cup-quarterfinal-picture-id635220811

    France vs Italy in teh Final, note the French playing in their away colours
    The second half would be much like the first...no one had any luck in the second half in trying to find the goal that increasingly was looking like would be the winning goal to whoever would get it. With neither getting the goal in 90 minutes, extra time loomed in which surely then someone would get the goal and it was in Extra time in which Baggio nearly gave Italy a stunning golden goal via a volley but it sadly just went wide of the post [3]. It was the best chance of the game and with no goals scored, it would the first time a World Cup final would be sorted out be penalty kicks [4].

    Neither side had really done that good on spot kicks, especially Italy who despite bosting a number of good players had never won a shoot out in a World Cup though the French could claim to have one victory in 1982 which had sent them to the final then [5]. In the end, it would be the hosts that held their nerve by winning the shootout 4-3 [6] and at last, the nation that had invented the World Cup had finally won it themselves.

    soccer-1998-world-cup-france-vs-italy-italian-soccer-player-luigi-di-picture-id918531672

    French joy at winning their first World Cup in their backyard
    The celebrations went on for a few days after that across the nation and while some would claim that it wasn't the greatest final that had been seen, try telling that to the host nation who had now entered the elite of world football. However as a century ended, a new and more global one was about to emerge as the next World cup would be hosted for the first time in Asia.

    By the time the World cup returned, a brave new world would soon be here...

    1998 16.png

    Final result of the 1998 final

    1998 11.png

    Final results of the 1998 World Cup knockout stage


    ---------
    • [1] Look back on TTL's Semi-Finals.
    • [2] Unlike IOTL in which they became only the second best team in the world, plus Ronaldo doesn't have a seizure here due to that happening a day later on the final.
    • [3] Baggio misses that golden goal like in OTL, what an amazing goal to win on had it gone in...
    • [4] The first IOTL as we all know was 1994.
    • [5] Look back on TTL's 1982 WC
    • [6] So yeah, the OTL Quarter-Final becomes TTL's Final here.
    There we are then, 1998 is done and with that...not sure what else to say here. Anyway it'll be Japan 2002 next and expect some results to be not so...controversial here. Hope you enjoyed the TL so far and I'd be happy to hear from anyone here what else you want to know what else has happened football wise by the time we get to 2002. Anyway here are the teams lined up for 2002 as follows...

    2002 1.png

    Who will go all the way here and who should get better compared to what happened to several teams if you remember? Until then though, catch you guys later!
     
    2002 FIFA World Cup Seeding and Group Stage
  • 2002 FIFA WORLD CUP
    Part 1

    A new century would also see the dawn of a new World Cup, this time and for the first time as well, in Asia. With football's growing popularity, there had been many calls to stage a World Cup outside of Europe and South America with Asia looking to be more likely. Mexico, South Korea, Japan and Australia all put forward their bids to try and host the 2002 World Cup [1] in 1996. Mexico dropped out yet the Asian sides and Australia remained with some hoping that Australia would end up as the victor, however following the nation winning the bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2003 [2], Australia dropped out, much the disappointment of many Socceroo fans who were looking forward to brining the World Cup Down Under, though that would be another time.

    Prior to Australia dropping out, there were talks for Japan and South Korea to co-host which would've been a first, however with both remaining the last two sides left, they would end up being rivals to try and win the bid in which in the end, Japan would win the hosting rights and thus the first Asian hosted World Cup would be played in Asia [3]. Nonetheless despite the strange feeling for European based fans of having to watch games early in the morning due to the time difference, Japan was felt to be a good choice and with the fact it fell on the 20th anniversary of what had been Japan's best run at a World Cup in 1982 [4], there were hopes that more magic could be done.

    2002 2.png

    The Seeded teams for 2002
    With the unique nature of Japan being among the seeded teams due to being hosts, it would be the usual line-up though there was the sight of seeing South Korea also qualify in which following Japan's winning bid, there had been a feeling around Korea that Japan had left them behind in a co-host duty and they now set themselves up with the rather lofty and downright ludicrous boast that they were going to win the World Cup in Japan.

    Nonetheless though, the first game of the tournament would be with champions France facing a plucky and ropey Scotland.

    ---------

    2002 3.png

    Final results of Group A of the 2002 World Cup
    When France saw the group they ended up in, many suspected they would end up sweeping all away with perhaps the only concern being that of the United States. What following however in the opening game was a poor game with Scotland in which saw the Scots find the first goal and spent most of the game in the lead and might've won the game had it not been a late equaliser to save France from embarrassment. Alas it would only get worse for the French from then on for in their next game, the lost in a pitiful game with the United States before their shambolic defence of their title ended at the hands of South Africa which saw the French make an early exit home [5].

    RUxNODYwNDkzODU=.jpg

    France vs Scotland in the opening match
    The United States would stun many by winning the group and found themselves looking like the unlikely team to try and make a crack at the World Cup with Scotland sneaking into second place behind them despite the latter getting beat in their final group game with the Americans. With the champions already out, no one quite knew what else to expect or if this a sign of things to come...

    --------

    2002 4.png

    Final results of Group B of the 2002 World Cup
    Group B on paper looked to be a sure fire bet for Spain and Portugal to go through, however no one expected Senegal in their first appearance at the World Cup to upset the odds with not only getting a victory over Ecuador, but also getting a shock victory over Portugal which proved to be all they needed to progress to the next round and poor Portugal would end up being another seeded team making the early exit home [6].

    _38047682_sen_cel300.jpg

    Senegal players celebrate with victory over Portugal
    One thing that was what many expected was Spain winning the group and many felt that Spain was a nation that deserved a World Cup with the talent they had in their side that could help them to glory. For now though, it was still early days yet...

    --------

    2002 5.png

    Final results of Group C at the 2002 World Cup
    As what everyone comes to associated with Brazil these days, the South American giants would win all their group games with it pretty much being a battle between Russian and Belgium to try and progress as the runners-up; China was never even a thing and would get absolutely destroyed by all the teams there. However it would be one of the tightest groups and Belgium and Russia ended up on level points though thanks to Russia's 3-0 victory over China, Belgium missed out on the second round by goal difference.

    WC_2002.jpg

    Belgium vs Brazil at the 2002 World Cup
    Many though had suspected that Belgium might be the one to go through but Russia being the team to make it into the next round [7] surprised many as many felt that Belgium had a team that could be considered to be dark horses. For now though, better luck next time

    ------

    2002 6.png

    Final results of Group D at the 2002 World Cup
    As hosts, all eyes were on Japan with many thinking that they didn't have a good chance of getting out of the group stage. However this doubt about them would work in their favour as they couldn't have hoped for a better start when they stunned Uruguay beating them 2-0 before getting a draw with the Irish and finally signing off with a 2-1 victory over Yugoslavia in which the latter side ended up being a flop by finishing rock bottom.

    p045tbk4.jpg

    Irish players celebrate on hearing the news that they have done enough to progress to the second round
    The other team joining the Japanese in the next round would be Ireland and despite having off field problems such as Roy Keane's dismissal [8], they had done enough to make it though that said, both sides were looked upon by many as not having a chance to try and make an impact. Then again who really wanted to doubt them...?

    --------

    2002 7.png

    Final results of Group E at the 2002 World Cup
    Group E seemed to be E for England or as in easy as they were expected to sweep all away and come out with full points. However that thought did hit a bump in the road in their second match with Sweden by ending up with a draw though it was bad for the latter as they had suffered a shock loss to Tunisia in their opening match. Speaking of which, it would be the African side that would surprise many by going through ahead of the Swedes [9].

    david-beckham-ljungberg-england-v-sweden-2002-saitana-saitana-japan-H9F6YG.jpg

    England vs Sweden in 2002
    England would end up, to no one's surprise, win the group and once again showed that they were a team that was hoping to win the World Cup and with the talent and big names they had in that side, they did look like a team that meant business and who was to doubt them that they might be able to do it? Tunisia though...? Sadly no one gave them much of a thought...

    ------

    2002 8.png

    Final results of Group F at the 2002 World Cup
    Group F was pretty much the group of death for good reason, it had the likes of Argentina, Cameroon and Germany just to name a few. Germany though weren't actually as this was a team in transition, though despite this they somehow did more than enough to get out of the group stage with Cameroon and South Korea both failing to get out of the group stage [10].

    reua_327460.jpg

    Argentina's 2002 side lined up before their game with the Germans
    However the real shining side in that group was Argentina who had gone into this World Cup as one of the favourites and for good reason, they would win all their group games and would progress into the next round [11] and were hoping that this powerful team were going to go all the way and win the World Cup. Time would tell to see if they could do it...

    --------

    2002 9.png

    Final results of Group G at the 2002 World Cup
    Group G would end up being a rather one-sided group with Italy winning all their games and were according to some being the team the most likely from Europe to go and win the World Cup in Japan. That said there was also the surprise performance of Turkey who manged to join Italy in next round despite not many giving Turkey much of a chance would do more than enough to go through.

    3f50df105dbfb9c247d30249c16bf602.jpg

    Italy's Totti at the 2002 World Cup
    For Paraguay and Nigeria, it would be a World Cup to forget as neither side made much of an impact and pretty much soon after left without a trace. For Italy and Turkey though, things were just getting started...

    -------

    2002 10.png

    Final results of Group H at the 2002 World Cup
    The final group saw quite a tough group that featured Mexico, Australia, Costa Rica and Denmark and it would end up being one of the more competitive groups at the World Cup in which saw all the teams looking like they could make it to the next round. However despite many putting Mexico down as favourites to top the group, Australia would end winning the group and Mexico would end up in second place to join the Aussies in the next round.

    Australia+2001.jpg

    Australian players enjoying among themselves after their shock victory over Denmark
    The real losers of the group were Denmark who despite winning the final group with Costa Rica, it proved to be too little too late as in the other game, Australia defeated Mexico which would end up seeing the Danes finish in third place which was seen as a disappointment as they had hoped to make it into the next round. With that though, all the group games were done and now it was time for the knockout stage to begin in what had been quite a World Cup full of shocks and many more looked set to follow...

    ---------
    • [1] ITTL, Australia being more of a football nation put forward their bid here to host the World Cup.
    • [2] Australia host the 2003 Rugby World Cup as IOTL.
    • [3] Japan ITTL hosts the Word Cup on their own here and thus the 2002 World cup ends up still being played in Asia.
    • [4] Check back on TTL's 1982 WC.
    • [5] France still end up performing badly as in OTL.
    • [6] Portugal still end up being a flop like in OTL.
    • [7] In contrast to OTL in which Russia fail to get out of the group stage.
    • [8] Still happens as OTL.
    • [9] Sweden ends up having a worst WC here.
    • [10] One positive here...no cheating South Koreans here which means that whole drama with them is butterflied away.
    • [11] In which Argentina end up getting more luck here and do get out of the group stage in which they had the worst luck then.
    Anyway, here we are and sorry for the delay, just had much to do here and I've only now gotten my holidays from work to get this update up. Hope you enjoyed the update and as of before, here is the line up for the last 16:
    ---------
    England vs Senegal

    Italy vs Ireland

    Spain vs Tunisia

    Japan vs Turkey

    United States vs Germany

    Brazil vs Mexico

    Argentina vs Scotland

    Australia vs Russia
    ----------
    Who do you think will win and go all the way? Until then, see you soon!
     
    2002 FIFA World Cup Last 16
  • 2002 FIFA WORLD CUP
    Part 2

    In the first match of the round of 16, it would be England and Senegal to start of with. Despite their brave showing in the group, Senegal would prove to be no match for England who went on the rampage to blow away Senegal 3-0 in a game that couldn't be more perfect for England. Ferdinand opened the scoring, followed by Owen and finally Heskey scored all of England's goals in the first half and with such a first half, England didn't have to do much for the second other than hold on [1].

    Once again, England had made it to the last eight and had proven again that their credentials to roll onto the final and hopefully win the cup. For Senegal however, this first adventure at the World Cup had come to an end and for their first crack at glory, they certainly had given it a good go.

    images-from-the-book-in-the-moment-by-tom-jenkins-5b3b7cb7347a02d11a000001.jpg

    England players celebrate after their victory

    ---------
    The same day would see a rather lacklustre Germany taking on the United States in which certainly proved to everyone they were no push over it would be the Americans that stunned the Germans in the 8th minute and pretty much looked the better team, only for Ballack to come up at the other end and score near the end of half time. However the United States never gave up and in the 65th minute, they came up with a strike from Donovan which would ultimately send Germany out of the World Cup and the United States through [2].

    Many German supporters would later admit that this German team was no near near good enough to the levels of past German teams and that the United States deserved their victory. Question was by many was how far could this team go in this World Cup? Time would tell..

    soccer-fifa-world-cup-2002-quarter-final-germany-v-usa-gac1py.jpg

    USA vs Germany in the Round of 16

    ---------
    The following day kicked off with Spain taking on Tunisia and despite boasting many talented players and a rich football history to go along with it, Spain had often been quite a disappointment of a team and this was surely a chance to make a change as standing in their way was Tunisia. In what was seen to be quite a one-sided game for the Spaniards, two goals from Spain would pretty much kill off the African team's hopes and would see them in the last eight at long last.

    It was such a routine game that not many had anything to say about it other than some hoping that this Spanish team might be able to light up this World Cup and maybe join the elite after this...

    carles-puyol-of-spain-in-action-during-the-fifa-world-cup-finals-2002-picture-id865891

    Puyol of Spain during the match with Tunisia

    -------
    Later on that evening would see Argentina take on Scotland in a game in which everyone expected the Argentines to crush the Scots with ease and given past results between the two nations it wasn't quite hard to see why. Despite Argentina laying siege on Scotland constantly throughout the match, the Scots would hold back much Argentine pressure and yet despite not having one single shot on target, Scotland held for extra time.

    However the game was only going to end one way and in the end, Crespo came up in extra time to score the golden goal to send Argentina through and Scotland out [3]. There were many who felt this Argentine team had it in them to go all the way and the next few games would ask those questions...

    o_seleccion_argentina_idolos_albicelestes-720732_display_image.jpg

    Crespo with the winning goal to send Argentina through

    --------
    The day after that would start of with the favourites, Italy, taking on a plucky Irish team in which hardly anyone felt had a chance to go through and right from the start in the second minute of the game, Italy took the lead via a corner kick and it only got worse with another goal in the 20th minute which looked like it was going to be a long game with Ireland. The Irish though did attempt a comeback but sadly a goal from Del Piero finished the Irish off and only a injury time penalty for the Irish was the only consolation they could get in a game they were very much second best in [4].

    Italy had proven to many why many felt that this Italy team well up for the task of reaching the final for the third time in a row, only hope now was that would have a favourable path that would send them there...

    7d344e44eec498b2aa6732555df8c3de.jpg

    Job well done for the Italians

    --------
    Later that evening would see Brazil facing off Mexico in Kobe and to say the task to take down this Brazil team was difficult was a true understatement. That being said Mexico managed to keep a clean sheet in that first half though Brazilian determination would shine through in the second half when two goals from Brazil were more than enough to put an end to Mexico's World Cup hopes and saw them dumped out from the World Cup.

    While it was cliché to say that Brazil were favourites to win yet again but man felt with how long it had been for Brazil since they got their hands on the trophy that the long wait would be over...or would it carry on?

    Brazil-2002-WC-jersey.jpg

    Brazilian players celebrate their victory over Mexico

    --------
    The final games of the last 16 would start off with the hosts taking on Turkey in front of a large crowd of their own supporters. However it would not go all well for Japan as Turkey struck first in the 12th minute and never looked like they were going to be troubled by the host nation despite this being played in Japan's own backyard. It would be an uneventful game that saw Japanese hopes end, much to the dismay of their fans [5].

    No one knew just how well this Turkish team could go in this World Cup but they were now a team that had many keeping an eye out for having the looks of a dark horse at this World Cup.

    ---------
    The final match of the Last 16 would see Australia facing Russia and it was a game that Australia felt that they could finally end a long a frustrating barrier of them finishing in the last 16 and maybe get into the last eight for the first time since 1978 [6]. Thankfully for Australia, Russia were no real shakes despite holding up well in that first half to stop the Socceroos from scoring.

    However Australia would fight back with two goals that saw them dump the Russians out and finally after so many years, Australians everywhere could celebrate on reaching the last eight of the World Cup after so long. With that game the Last 16 had been completed and now it was time for the Quarter-Finals. Who would make the cut now?

    Australia-677x380.jpg

    The Australian team lining up for the game with Russia

    2002 12.png

    Final results of the Last 16 of the 2002 World Cup
    ---------

    • [1] The game is pretty much the same as OTL Denmark game.
    • [2] Unlike in OTL in which Germany went through thanks to a penalty not given for the United States.
    • [3] Argentina get better luck here compared to OTL when they failed to get out of the group.
    • [4] Ireland go out in the last 16 like OTL though things look rosy for Spain...
    • [5] The result is pretty much the same as OTL.
    • [6] Look back on TTL.
    So finally here we are! Sorry for the wait, been doing work lately and I haven't got round to update, but here we are fellow readers! So here is our last eight as it stands:
    --------
    England vs Italy

    Spain vs Turkey

    United States vs Brazil

    Argentina vs Australia
    --------
    So who will win and that? Anyway hope you are all keeping safe and until then, catch you guys later!
     
    2002 FIFA World Cup Quarter-Finals
  • 2002 FIFA World Cup
    Part 3

    In the last eight of the 2002 World Cup, the first game would be between Brazil and the United States and to say that this was to be a impossible task for the Americans to try and take down a high flying Brazilian side would be something of an understatement. Despite the odds being firmly stacked against the United States, it seemed from the start that they had forgotten to read the script when they stunned everyone by getting an early goal and as the half progressed with Brazil struggling to find an equaliser, it seemed that the Americans were going to go in at half time with a stunning lead.

    However right in injury time, Brazil struck back to make the score level once more and just five minutes after the restart, Brazil struck again to turn the game on it's head and have Brazil out in front. From then on, the United States were chasing shadows and couldn't find a way back into the game which would end with Brazil winning what turn out in the end to be a rather one sided affair [1].

    soccer-fifa-confederations-cup-france-2003-brazil-vs-united-states-picture-id640493731

    USA vs Brazil at the 2002 World Cup
    While many expected Brazil to win the game, the United States had done not that bad many hoped that if they kept this up, things might be looking up for them in the 2006 World Cup. For now though, Brazil were now just a game away from the final...

    ---------
    Later that day would see an all European affair with England and Italy going at it for a place in the last four. Italy were hoping to carry on with a third time in a row of reaching the Semis but this England team were looking to be more than a match to try and stop Italy. It would be however in the early part of the first half that Italy looked the more stronger and likely to score first but England would put on a defensive masterclass to keep the Italians out.

    Then near the end of the first half, England struck back with a counter attack from out of nowhere and it would be one Michael Owen [2] who would stun the Italians to give England a shock lead and thus saw England going off at half time feeling very good about their chances. Despite Italy trying all they could to bring down the English, it would not be enough as that one goal was more than enough for the English to march on into the last four and crush Italian hearts.

    maxresdefault.jpg

    England players celebrate after Owen's goal gives them the lead
    There had been many who felt that this Italian team had it in them to win the World Cup this year and the result was something of a disappointment for many...many other than the England team who were back in a last four for the first time since 1990 [3]. Could they go all the way...?

    ---------
    The following day saw the other two matches to be played starting off with Spain taking on Turkey in what was quite a historic game for both teams as it was the first time either of them had played in the last eight of a World Cup [4] so either way both sides had done better than what they had ever done before. On paper however the game looked to be one for Spain to win due to the sort of team they had but one could never be too careful.

    However the game would end up being a rather straight forward affair for Spain as two goals from Hierro and Xavi would easily take apart Turkey in a 2-0 victory in a game that Turkey were clearly second best in. For Turkey though, they could take heart that they had gotten further than any Turkish team before and who knows how they would do if they could qualify for the finals in 2006.

    21078-zoom.jpg

    For Spain after so many frustrating times of falling at the last 16 for many years, it had been a more sweeter for them that not only had they gotten this far, they were now about to reach the last for the first time since the 1950 World Cup [5]. Could Spain go one step better?

    ---------
    The final Quarter-final game was to be played between Argentina and Australia and while Australians could feel happy to have finally made it to this stage after so many close calls, the task laying in wait for them to see if they could reach the last four was to be played against Argentina. A team that many suspected would crush the Socceroo's under their boots.

    It would end up being one of the more correct results of the World Cup as in of of the most one sided games of the World Cup, Argentina utterly battered Australia 4-0 that helped them cruise their way to the last four. Despite the score line which might think that Australia were out of their depth, the Australians hadn't really played all that bad and it was just a brief lack of concentration which ended up costing the game for them.

    hernan-crespo_reqgjldtt1201h4w8qgzi9c3d.jpg

    One happy Crespo after the final goal which gives Argentina the victory
    While Argentina awaited to see who they would face in the last four, Australia felt that if they kept this team in more or less one piece for the next World Cup, then it was likely that Australia might have have a good chance in 2006. For now though, this was for Argentina to celebrate about and that would be the last of the Quarter-Final games had been played, everyone was looking exciting at what looked to be a tasty last four.

    2002 13.png

    Final Results of the Quarter-Finals of the 2002 World Cup
    ---------
    • [1] The game is rather like OTL Brazil vs England game, plus the USA go out in the last eight like OTL too.
    • [2] Owen scores first like in OTL Brazil vs England game.
    • [3] Indeed both for ITTL and OTL at this point.
    • [4] Spain up until this point have been rather poor at this point.
    • [5] Like in OTL at least.
    Finally here is the update. I must say I have been having a lack of motivation to get on with this TL, just hope you guys are enjoying this which is what I hope to do. Anyway, here is our last four as follows.
    ----------
    England vs Spain

    Brazil vs Argentina
    ---------
    So, who will be the ones to go for it? Until then, stay safe and see you soon!
     
    2002 FIFA World Cup Semi-Finals
  • 2002 FIFA WORLD CUP
    Part 4

    With the final four having three of the teams having won a World Cup, with the exception of Spain who had never gotten this far before, it was a last four that many expected would be the final outcome though Spain were now look upon as now the dark horse of this tournament. It would be in the first Semi-Final that Spain would take on England for a place in the final with the English looking to be the favourites to go through to make it to the final for a third time.

    The game itself would start off strongly for England with Spain being stuck on the backfoot for most of the time yet despite all this England struggled to find the breakthrough though the best chance fell in the 37th minute when Owen had too much of a heavy foot that sent the ball ballooning over the bar. Despite all this hard work, the score would remain 0-0 at the break with everything still to play for.

    bd038fba4c935e47f5b2e3d6a519ab72.jpg

    Xavi during the Semi-Final
    It was during the second half that Spain finally seemed to click and began to look more better and England weren't so in command as they were before. However Spain's resurgence would come to a grinding halt in which they stupidly gave away a penalty, in the 66th minute all times, in which Beckham put away for England and it looked like they were going into the final. However Spain didn't back down and it would be less than ten minutes later in which the Spaniards got one back and suddenly it was all to play for and thus, the game went into extra time.

    England felt frustrated of not making the most of it in the first half and this failure would come back to haunt England as in the 96th minute into extra time, Xavi fired in a rocket of a volley that went into the back of the net which would be the vital golden goal needed for Spain to take them to their first ever final and an absolute heartbreaker for England to lose in.

    -----510.jpg
    England players at the end of the game

    To say England were disappointed would be an understatement though for Spain, their incredible run had taken them to the final and were so close to getting their hands on that trophy. Question was, who would face them in the final?

    ---------
    Not for the first time had Argentina and Brazil faced each other in the last four of a World Cup though it was fair to say with both teams looking really strong, it was hard to say who would be the victor here. It would be a tense game to say the least as it would be one of those games in which both sides were more interesting in trying not to lose rather than to win and with no goals coming in the first half, fair to say it was turning out to be something of an anti-climax.

    Those who hoped for better in the second half were to be let down once again as that cagey style of play would carry on though it would see quite a number of crunching tackles the longer the game went on though there was controversy in the second half in which an Argentine player had the ball in the back of the net in the 58th minute yet to the shock of many, it was ruled to be offside and no one knew what was going on. What that be a turning point in the game?

    06d4958e2ce568144ec287bc605b786e.jpg

    Argentina vs Brazil in the Semi-Final
    That moment there was enough to wake Brazil up and this time attempt to try and risk it by putting more players forward and try to win the game and slowly and surely it was looking like it but as the second half neared it's end, it look as it was going to go into extra time. Then with a few minutes to go towards the end, Ronaldo placed in a low cross to finally break the deadlock and now it look as though Brazil were on their way to the final.

    However it was in injury time that the game would be remember for the infamous scenes in which Crespo looked as though he had managed to give Argentina a dramatic equaliser via a corner kick but to the outrage of all Argentines, the goal was ruled off for some bizarre reason and the game ended up in a near brawl with the two players and it was a sorry state of affairs to end on what was quite a tense game throughout.

    edmilson-1499147785-800.jpg

    Brazil players celebrate after scoring the goal that takes Brazil to the final to face Spain
    At last, Brazilains everywhere could celebrate the fact that they were back in a final and surely it was their own to lose now though many in Argentina would loudly argue that they were cheated from reaching the final in which many said that the referee was biased in favour of Brazil and when that final would come around, there would be at least one somewhere in Argentina cheering Spain in the final.

    With that though, the Semi-Finals had been completed and while many were expecting Brazil to end 32 years of hurt, no one could ever be so sure in football...


    2002 14.png

    Final results of the 2002 World Cup Semi-Finals

    ---------
    And finally here it is! I bet the results might've caught you out but that's always the fun side into expecting the unexpected! I haven't really got much to add to this other than now England and Argentina will face each other in the Third Place game while Spain will face Brazil in the final and given the sad state of affairs what happened to Brazil IOTL's 2002 World Cup, you can say it's a happier time for them.

    So until then, catch you guys later!
     
    2002 FIFA World Cup Third-Place Game and Final
  • 2002 FIFA WORLD CUP
    Part 5

    After the drama of the Semi-Finals, many didn't think that they could end up being just as intense though that would end up not being the case whenever rivals England and Argentina meet and even though this was just a third place game in which wouldn't help ease the feeling of failing to reach the final, that didn't mean to say that big pride was on the line. The two hadn't faced each other since that game at the last World Cup in which Argentina had been victorious then [1] and so to say the English wanted revenge would be an understatement.

    The opening of the game would be quite an end-to-end game in which both sides had decent chances to take the lead though there would be a number of fouls taking place and the Kuwaiti referee had quite a game to handle in a desperate attempt to keep the game moving and things would really happen near the end of the first half in which England were awarded a penalty and Beckham, the villain for England last time around, scored the goal to give his country the lead [2].

    HJxSm3rQWZ_860x575.jpg

    Tackles galore in the game with England and Argentina
    The second half would bring some chances for England to add to their lead though Argentina would get slowly start to get back in the game yet despite looking quite much the better team towards the end, Argentina just couldn't find themselves the goal to help get them back in the end and ultimately, England would be the victorious team here and were the third-place winners [3].

    For both sides, it was something of an anti-climax and now both looked forward for the World Cup in 2006 and the hopes that both would be able to better themselves there and maybe face off each other next time in yet another rematch. For now though, both side's Japanese adventure was over.

    Argentina-v-England-2002-World-Cup-group-match-at-the-Sapporo-Dome-in-Japan-7th-June-2002-David-Beckham-celebrates.jpg

    England players celebrate the victory over Argentina

    2002 15.png

    Final result of the Third Place game at the 2002 World Cup

    ---------
    With that game out of the way, it was time for the final against ever the favourite, Brazil, and final debutants Spain in what many expected to be the game in which Spain ended 32 years of hurt though such pressure was never a good thing for any Brazilian side who had come close many times but always falling short [4]. Despite Brazil going into this game looking the stronger team, Spain would be a stubborn side to try and break down and ultimately it would be 0-0 going into the break.

    The second half would see Spain carrying on this backs to the wall performance as Brazil huffed and puffed and yet just could not seem to find the goal they crave for in which they hoped would cause the Spanish to fall apart. For any Brazilian fan, they would have been starting to feel fear up until the 67th minute with Ronaldo finally broke the deadlock to give Brazil the much deserved opening.

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    Brazil vs Spain in the final
    As perhaps expected, Spain pretty much gave up after that goal as Brazil went on to torment the European side with Ronaldo scoring another in the 79th minute and not long after that, Ronaldinho scored the third and that surely was it for Brazil to end their World Cup trophy drought after so long. Spain though would get a goal right at the death but it would be nothing more than a mere consolation for in the end, Brazil had finally got their hands on the cup for the fourth time and 32 years of hurt were over [5].

    As a nation celebrated this long overdue wait, the Spanish were of course quite sad that their brave and plucky run to the final had ended in such a harsh defeat however hopes now looked ahead for the Euros in 2004 and of course the World Cup in 2006 were hopes were now sky high if they could try and go one step better. For now though, the first Asian hosted World Cup was over and in this new expanded world of football, new frontiers were about to emerge...[6]

    soc_winners_17.jpg
    Brazil players celebrated at winning the World Cup for the fourth time

    2002 16.png

    Final result of the 2002 World Cup final

    ---------
    • [1] Both as with OTL and ITTL.
    • [2] As with OTL.
    • [3] England win the game like OTL though this time being in the Third Place game.
    • [4] Long wait for Brazil ITTL.
    • [5] Compared to OTL in which they have won it 5 times, not so lucky here.
    • [6] Not so Germany as with OTL...!
    Finally, 2002 is over and I suppose these are all results you might've expected. Anyway hoped you enjoyed 2002 and we move onto 2006 and things will be different here with who is hosting it as we look at the qualified teams below:

    2006 1.png

    Notice something about it that's different? Oh yes, things are changing at FIFA but all might not be well by giving South Africa the hosting rights, but why? Until then, find out next time as we head to Africa four years ahead of OTL!
     

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    2006 FIFA World Cup Seeding and Group Stage
  • 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP
    Part 1

    When it was heard that for the first time ever, the World Cup would be held on the African continent for the 2006 edition there was great excitement by many, especially across Africa who felt this was deserved after all the years African teams had done for themselves at the World Cup. By a coincidence, 2006 would mark the 40th anniversary in which African teams were allowed an automatic spot at the World Cup in which Ghana and Tunisia had went then and by chance would also make it for this edition [1].

    Behind the joy however, the voting for South Africa to host it had been mired in controversy over how it had only gotten the victory by one mere vote over the German bid which the latter itself had been full of claims of bribery and bias. It was a messy situation to some but that was far from the end of it the moment construction work began on the stadiums...[2]

    While FIFA had been hoping for that to be trouble free once building work began, things would quickly go off the rails as construction would be delayed many times due to Finacle, planning, union strikes and the many cries of corruption that seemed to not only blight FIFA but looking like it might conspire to bring down the tournament [3]. To say that awarding the World Cup to South Africa was a mistake would be an understatement and to add further embarrassment, the FIFA Confederations Cup would instead have to be hosted in Spain due to the stadiums not even being finished. Despite everything and with months to go, the work was finally completed but FIFA would instead change the voting system to avoid further mess ups in future [4].

    2006 2.png

    Seeding and Final Draw for the 2006 World Cup
    Despite all the mishaps happening in South Africa, qualification for the World Cup went on without further incident and with it saw the draw would bring up several interesting groups with the opening match being of the hosts South Africa taking on an unknown Uruguay [5] and with it began the 2006 World Cup...

    ---------
    Despite being the hosts, South Africa would be unable to beat Uruguay who would dispatch them 2-1 and things didn't get any better for the hosts as a draw with Sweden followed which meant all South African needed was a win to see them through...however despite taking the lead on Costa Rica and with Uruguay beating Sweden for them, Costa Rica would stun the African to get a draw and thus condemned the hosts to a humiliating early exit, the first that had ever happened to a host nation at a World Cup [6].

    maxresdefault.jpg

    The Costa Rica team lining up for the anthems, a tournament to forget about for them.

    Uruguay would win the group with full points but it would be Sweden who would, despite not really fancying their chances of going through, ended up taking the runners up spot in a very comfortable place and looked like a team that might be out with a point to prove though it was Uruguay that caught many eyes with many looking at them as some sort of a dark horse...

    2006 3.png

    Final results of Group A at the 2006 World Cup

    ------

    Group B would bring up a surprise draw which saw England and Scotland in the same group and both looked to be favourites to go through and with it a group featuring the likes of Paraguay and Saudi Arabia it was safe to assume that was how things would go. Both sides would win their opening matches 1-0, though Scotland's game was a rather scrappy game in which their goal came near the end. A victory for England over the Saudis would put them through while Scotland fell to a 1-1 draw with Paraguay.

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    England vs Paraguay at the 2006 World Cup

    England and Scotland would face each other in their last game in which the Scots needed a result to assure their hopes into the next round though they would end up getting beat 3-1 and it was all very fearful for them...that was until the news came through that Paraguay and Saudi Arabia could only get a goalless draw and with them pretty much confirmed the Scots going through into the next round. With England looking to go one step better than last year, Scotland were too looking to play into their plucky underdog status...


    2006 4.png

    Final results of Group B at the 2006 World Cup

    ---------
    Much like England, Argentina were hoping to go one step better and they found themselves blessed to be a in group with the USA, Poland and Iran; all of whom Argentina would end up beating as many predicted. However the real story would be the draw would end up having the United States playing Iran in which in terms of the two nations being not on great terms with each other with a lot riding on it especially as in the previous game [7], the Americans had lost to Argentina and needed to avoid defeat or they'd go out.

    esteban_cambiasso_argentina_celebrates_second_goal_against_serbi_212830.jpg
    Argentine players celebrating their winning goal over the United States

    Despite the tensions, the game would be a draw and things would get better for the United States as a victory over a lacklustre Poland [8] would be enough to see the United States go through via as runners-up [9]. With Argentina looking like a team this season with stacks of talent to go all the way, the United States were also wanting to show the world that they could cause an upset or two here in Africa...

    2006 5.png

    Final results of Group C at the 2006 World Cup

    --------
    Group D was looked on by many as one for Spain and Portugal to go through without much fuss though the draw would bring up Portugal taking on it's former African colony of Angola which proved to be something of a interesting encounter in which in the end, Portugal won 1-0 [10]. In the end, both European sides would go through and poor Ecuador would have a poor campaign by ending up in third place.

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    Portugal
    vs Angola at the 2006 World Cup
    While Portugal were looking to prove themselves on the World stage, Spain knew that after their unlikely run to the final in the last tournament that this would come with pressure to see if they could try and not only repeat it by this time win the tournament. However one could never be too careful when thinking lightning would strike twice when at the World Cup...

    2006 6.png

    Final results of Group D at the 2006 World Cup

    ---------
    To say Group E would be rather one-sided would be an understatement for good reason. The world champions, Brazil, would end up dominating the group winning all their group games and with a high goal difference too. Question was who would end up finishing behind them as runners up and despite both Ukraine and Czechoslovakia thinking they would go through, they would end up being left embarrassed by Japan who took the glory there [11].

    dortmund-germany-brazilian-forward-ronaldo-vies-with-japanese-the-picture-id71271936

    Brazil vs Japan in the group stage
    To say no one expected Japan to get it good was thought by many but a draw with the Czechs and adding to a last minute winner over Ukraine would send the Asian side into an unlikely winning spot which suddenly lifted the mood of the country and with it their own chances of getting something out of this World Cup. For the European teams though...red faced by the end of it.

    2006 7.png

    Final Group E results of the 2006 World Cup

    ---------
    Group F would be this World Cup's group of death as it featured Germany, Holland, Australia and Tunisia. Germany would end up winning the group though did suffer a slight blemish with a draw with Tunisia in which the latter by this point was way out of it. It would though have one of the dramatic finishes for the second place spot in which in their final group game in which saw both Australia and the Dutch tied on points and playing in their last group game in what was a winner takes all decider, it would be dramatic.

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    Australian players celebrate after their winning goal over
    Tunisia
    It would be a game of two penalties in which a rather tense and bad tempered game would see both goals being spot kicks and it would be remember for infamous tackles and a sending off or two...[12]. Despite both trying to find the winning goal, neither side could find it and it would be Australia would be go through via the smallest of goal differences and a hugely disappointed Dutch side were out of the World Cup. A shock by all accounts.

    2006 8.png

    Final Group F results of the 2006 World Cup

    ---------
    Group G would witness a rather eventful group in which Italy ended up winning the group with full points and much ease, however it would bring up a surprise in which a fancied Mexican side would end up missing the next round as Ghana, backed by most African locals there would do enough to see them through and the hopes that an African side would do well on African soil.

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    Italy
    after winning their final group game over Mexico
    The last and certainly least team in the group was poor old Yugoslavia. If Mexico felt they had it bad it was nothing compared to the Yugoslavs who ended up rock bottom without a single point to their tally. Was the end of an era of just a very bad World Cup for them? Regardless, Yugoslavia and Mexico would both find themselves out of Africa in more ways than one.

    2006 9.png

    Final results of Group F at the 2006 World Cup

    --------
    The final Group would be one for France to win the group with full points and was a major improvement and contrast to disaster that had befell on then then World Cup winners then. However it would be a surprise to some that despite the Swiss thinking they had a chance to go through, it would end up being one to forget for them as they would end up in third place and out of Africa, not helped thanks to a loss to the French [13].

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    France vs the Swiss at the 2006 World Cup
    Taking the second place spot would be none other than Ivory Coast, much to the delight of the local African population who wanted to see an African side reach the knockout stages. With that though, the group stage games were over and with it were several interesting results which only added to the unknown about this World Cup. Now with the knockout stage here...who knew what might happen now?

    2006 10.png

    Final Group H results of the 2006 World Cup

    ---------
    • [1] Funny coincidence at least in the events of TTL.
    • [2] South Africa gets the vote here unlike what happened IOTL, but as you can see things don't go exactly at plan here.
    • [3] It's FIFA...what'd you expect? A fair FIFA would be ASB in any TL! :p
    • [4] The voting system is changed here so expected different hosts in upcoming World Cups.
    • [5] Due to different qualification process for OFC, Uruguay qualify here.
    • [6] Same fate happens to South Africa here as hosts though four years earlier.
    • [7] Much like OTL 1998 encounter.
    • [8] Poland go out as OTL.
    • [9] Unlike OTL in which they finished bottom, though US soccer is improved here.
    • [10] As IOTL.
    • [11] Japan do better here than OTL.
    • [12] The game ends up being like the infamous Portugal vs Netherlands game in OTL.
    • [13] Unlike in OTL in which the Swiss drew with France.
    At last, the long overdue update and a World Cup in South Africa four years earlier! Sorry it took so long to update but I've had other things to do in that time, plus I'd like to give my sympathies to our Argentine readers for the death of Maradona. RIP to the man who knocked out the English with his hand, hehe...all seriousness though, what a loss to the world of football. Anyway, here is our last 16 fixtures as follows:
    ---------
    Uruguay vs Scotland

    Argentina vs Portugal

    Brazil vs Australia

    Italy vs Ivory Coast

    England vs Sweden

    Spain vs United States

    Germany vs Japan

    France vs Ghana
    ---------
    Who will win and why? And as a side question, what has your favourite World Cup been ITTL so far? Mines is a toss up between 1966 or 1982. Until then, catch you later!






     
    2006 FIFA World Cup Last 16
  • 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP
    Part 2

    The first of the last 16 games would start off with the two smallest populated nations left at the World Cup being Scotland and Uruguay. It would be a rather tense game in which the cool climate in the South African winter helped both teams being more at home and yet despite this neither could find the break through to help them get in front. With score still at 0-0 at full time, the game went into extra time and the deadlock would finally be broken when from a Scotland corner, Kenny Miller managed to get his head on the ball to bang it in and give Scotland the lead.

    _46741814_croatia_miller.jpg

    Miller celebrates after putting Scotland in front
    Uruguay then woke up and tried to do all they could to try and claw back a goal to get back into the game but alas despite putting Scotland for much on the backfoot, Scotland held on to win and progress to the last eight and Uruguay were left dismayed at what had happened for their World Cup hopes [1]. For the Scotland team and their traveling Tartan Army, they were hopeful they could carry this on into the next round. How far could they go...?

    ---------
    Later on that day would see Argentina take on Portugal and the forth place team from the last tournament were in no mood to lose to Portugal with the South Americans pretty much dominating the game with them getting a goal in the 10th minute, however Portugal would stun Argentina when they got a goal in the 23rd minute and it looked like things might be about to go wrong for them. However a strong second half would see Argentina fire in two more goals without reply to win the game 3-1.

    3691969.jpg
    Argentina players celebrate after beating Portugal

    For Portugal, it was all rather disappointing for them in which despite showing a good deal of promise in the group stage, it had all gone down hill in this game and now the only thing that Portugal could do now was focus on their efforts for the next tournament which lay ahead. For the always strong Argentina, they were licking their lips as to waiting for who they might face next...

    ---------
    The next day would kick off with England taking on a tricky Swedish side in which would be one of the most exciting games of the round of sixteen. England would start off well getting the first goal in the 34th minute, however Sweden would strike back in the 51st with a goal of their own but England got another goal in the 85th minute which surely looked liked they were going through...up until the 90th minute with Larrson struck to take the game to extra-time [2].

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    England vs Sweden in the Knockout stage
    Extra-time would be a gruelling one for England as Sweden were looking the more positive thanks to their late goal and pressed England to see if they could find a shock winner. Then right in the 112th minute and with penalties looming, England were awarded a penalty which Beckham slotted away and that was enough to send England through to the Quarter-Finals. Sweden were left dismayed of how close they had come but England went marching on, though many questions remained about them...

    ---------
    Following that epic game, Spain and the United States were next to play and to say everything was stacked against the United States would be an understatement. Spain would dominate the match and deservedly took the lead in the 28th minute thanks to a penalty and many would assumed more were to follow. However Spain couldn't quite add to their lead and to make things more tense, the Americans struck back with a goal from out of nowhere to put them level and to make things more stranger, the game went into extra-time.

    david-villa-of-spain-is-mobbed-by-his-team-mates-after-scoring-his-picture-id71202559

    Spain when things looked all so well...
    Extra-time came and went with the United States 'parking the bus' and with that came spot kicks to decide this tie. Despite the USA missing their first penalty which was saved, they would score all their next four while Spain missed two of their spot kicks and to the shock of many, the United States would the shootout at 4-3. For the runners-up at the last World Cup, it was a humiliating exit and many wondered what now for Spain. For America...anything was now possible [3].

    ---------
    The next day would have a plucky Australia taking on the mighty World Champions Brazil though it's fair to say pretty much no one other than every Australian in the world were backing the Socceroos to make history here. However what followed would be a rather one-sided and somewhat typical easy performance from Brazil who had no trouble in taking apart Australia 2-0 and dumping them out of the World Cup [4].

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    Devastated Australian players after their team's loss to Brazil
    Many were hoping for many more good things to happen for Australian football in the years ahead in which the hopes of hosting a World Cup were now thought as being quite promising to say the least but the question was would the nation be still up for despite what had happened here in South Africa? For the meantime though, Brazil were hoping to defend their crown...

    ---------
    With this World Cup being held in Africa, there would a lot of support for any African left and in this case most support would be with the Ivory Coast against Italy. While the latter were the favourites, it would be a shock when the Africans took the lead within seventeen minutes and the sense of a shock was on the cards. However Italy got a bck with five minutes left of the first half remaining which put the game back into balance for the second half...

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    Italy after getting the goal to get them back into the game

    Despite Italy getting back into the game, Ivory Coast would hold off waves of Italian attacks in the hope that they could take this game into extra-time, alas it was not to be as Italy would break African hearts when they scored in the 83rd minute to send Italy through to the last eight. Will there be an African team reaching to the last four of this World Cup?

    ---------
    The final day of the round of sixteen would start off with France taking on Ghana and much like with Ivory Coast, many were rooting for Ghana who were now the last remaining Africa team left at the World Cup. While the French were the favourites, Ghana would make things difficult for them and things would turn on the head when Ghana would stun the French by getting a goal in the 76th minute and a shock exit for France was certain...then a few minutes later, Vieira would rescue France to take the game to extra-time.

    hqdefault.jpg

    Happy Ghana fans in South Africa
    To make things worse for Ghana, it wouldn't take long until one Zidane would score six minutes into extra-time which in the end would prove to be all that was needed to help France win the game and with that, dump Africa's last represented at Africa's World Cup. A sad end for Ghana but one for hope for the French for their chances coming up...

    ---------
    The final match would see Germany take on Japan in a game that many all seemed to agree that this was going to be a German victory and thus that is what happened in which a largely uneventful game from a German point of view in which they would win 3-0 and dumping the Japanese out of the World Cup and German hopes of doing better from the last World Cup look very promising...

    Group+Ecuador+v+Germany+World+Cup+2006+sk676_KXTxYx.jpg

    German players after they score the first goal against Japan
    With that, the last of the round of 16 matches were over and now all eyes focused on the last eight in which as things had happened before was when many interesting results would take place...

    2006 12.png
    Final results of the Last 16 results

    --------

    • [1] Better at least for Uruguay here as they didn't qualify for 2006 IOTL.
    • [2] The game is pretty much the same as the OTL game with extra time added on here.
    • [3] Things are going well for the United States here...
    • [4] Australia go out of the last 16 like OTL though not in controversial circumstances.
    Here we are with the long overdue update which is finally here. Anyway, here are the fixtures coming up:
    ---------
    Scotland vs Argentina

    Brazil vs Italy

    England vs United States

    Germany vs France
    ---------
    So who will go through and why, plus a question to ask, do you want to see ITTL to see Australia host a World Cup in 2010 or 2014 and speaking of which, which World Cups in the future would you like to see hosted where about? Until then, catch you guys later!

     
    2006 FIFA World Cup Quater-Finals
  • 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP
    Part 3

    The first match of the last eight would be one of the most dramatic games between Brazil and Italy. While the first half would be a tense affair, Brazil would end up breaking the deadlock in injury time at the end of the first half to give them the lead and for many that might've caused Italy to let their heads go down and end up losing, instead however they would not only get back into the game but actually take the lead thanks to two goals by Toni and suddenly Italy looked liked they were about to dump out the champions.

    However within the final nine minutes, Ronaldo would score to put Brazil level yet Italy were hanging on for dear life which looked as though things were about to move into extra-time up until the dying moments of injury time in which Juninho broke Italian hearts with the winning goal that saw Brazil sneak into the Quarter-Finals [1] at Italy's expense which saw them go out [2].

    cup6.jpg

    One happy Ronaldo after the final whistle
    While sad as it was for Italy, it had for the rest of the world had been a true thriller which could've gone either way and it was difficult to see how the other games were going to top that, but in football, anything is always possible...

    ---------
    To say Scotland's task to try and overcome Argentina for a place in the last eight was a true mountain of a task would be an understatement. That all said, Scotland had always done well while being ranked as plucky underdogs and that always gave them hope to having a chance to win and after what they had done to Uruguay, surely Argentina would follow?

    In this game, Scotland couldn't have asked for a better start as they rushed out the traps and from a resulting corner kick, Scotland took the lead thanks to a McFadden header in the 7th minute. However Argentina were not ones to lie down so easily as a few minutes later, Ayala would help put Argentina back into the game and from then on Argentina started to take the game by the neck yet Scotland would not budge and the game went into extra-time.

    roberto-ayala-of-argentina-celebrates-his-teams-victory-at-the-end-of-picture-id71289631

    Ayala after scoring to put Argentina back into the game
    Despite huffing and puffing to knock the Scots down, Argentina failed to break through and despite many good chances to win the game, the match would be settled on penalties. In the end, Argentina would score all four spot kicks while Miller and Boyd would both miss their penalty kicks and thus Scotland's brave run came to an end and Argentina were through [3]. Two South American giants were through...

    ---------
    The following day would start off with an unlikely but nonetheless fascinating contest between England and the United States. The game perhaps having more added spice for the Americans due to the fact that the game was just a few days away from Independence day; independence from the United Kingdom then and here representing them would be England and the latter would be something of pantomime villains here.

    Despite England be odds on favourites, the Americans would give themselves a good outcome of themselves by frustrating the English and hoping they could cause another upset like Spain and by the time half time was reached, the score was still at 0-0 and there was a feeling that things were going to go not all according to plan for England...

    frank-lampard-england-chelsea-fc-world-cup-frankfurt-germany-10-june-HY0069.jpg

    Lampard during the game
    During the second half, some lack of concentration from England did see the United States get a few good chances to try and break the deadlock but sadly hopes of the underdog being the winner were all but dashed when in the 83rd minute, Lampard flicked in a shot that went over the American goalkeeper and with that came the goal that give the winning goal to take them to the last four. Despite being winners, much praise was given to the Americans and many wondered if this English team had it in them to be better [4].

    ---------
    The final game of the Quarter-finals would be a true clash of titans as France took on Germany and this game would be quite the thriller as the game would be played end to end and the first goal would come just before the break from the Germans thanks to Klose. In the second half, that late goal had led to the Germans to cruise and looked set to extend their lead up until Henry scored in the 57th minute to make things level.

    From then on, the game would become quite a tense affair with no one wanting to make a mistake that might cost the game for the losing team...which in this case would be France as thanks to some bad defending in one brief moment, Podolski would break through the French defence and ended up scoring a screamer that would ultimately send the Germans through the Semi-Finals.

    stuttgart-germany-french-midfielder-zinedine-zidane-argues-with-picture-id71200506

    Zidane complains to his teammates as they are about to face elimination
    With that though, France were out [5] and the Germans were back in the Semi finals for the first time in years and the confidence for them was building and who knows what they could be able to do in the next round. However for now, the Quarter-finals were over and the world awaited for the final four in which had a tasty look with it featuring Argentina, Brazil, England and now the Germans; who would be the winner...?

    2006 13.png

    Final results of the 2006 Quarter-Finals

    --------
    • [1] Unlike OTL in which they fell at this stage.
    • [2] In far contrast to OTL in which they won, no WC for Italy here.
    • [3] Unlike which like 1, Argentina went out at this point.
    • [4] England fell at this stage but are doing better here...for now.
    • [5] France would IOTL reach the final.
    The update is here and wow, quite a stacked last four you have to say. Anyway sorry for the long wait, Xmas shopping had to be done which I'm happy to say is more or less finished for me. Now for the final fixture lists:
    ---------
    Argentina vs Brazil

    England vs Germany
    ---------
    So, you know the routine, however as we get towards the end of this World Cup, I would like to ask you help in a voting for the 2010 and 2014 World Cup hosts with the following I'd like you to pick from...
    -------
    2010: Germany, England or Mexico
    2014: Brazil, Australia or Morocco
    -------
    Hope you can help me with that and I hope you enjoyed this update, always nice to hear from all of you lovely people out there, until then, stay safe!
     
    2006 FIFA World Cup Semi-Finals
  • 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP
    Part 4

    The last four for the 2006 World Cup was quite a stacked combination which meant that it was one of the rare times in which the four teams present had all won the World Cup at least once though given the competition, not many had a clear idea of who would be there in the final. While many expected it would be the Germans to make it to the final, the game with Argentina and Brazil was more harder to call and it would be that game that would go up first.

    The all South American clash was one that was keenly being watched and like with any derby match, it would be quite a brutal affair with flying tackles going in and the referee finding it difficult to keep the game flowing and that first half alone would see no less than three yellow cards being shown. The World Champions in the second half would start of really well and looked like they were going to be just a goal away from the final. It all seemed inevitable...

    hqdefault.jpg

    All good South American fun in South Africa
    Despite looking better, Brazil couldn't quite break down Argentina and this failure to do so would come to haunt them in which the Argentines scored in the 68th minute and that proved to be a sucker punch for the champions. Brazil would try everything that they knew to win a game but would have rotten luck in that second half with perhaps the most controversial being in the 78th minute when a penalty was wrongly brushed aside despite being a clear handball was not given due to the bad luck of the referee not getting a good view of the incident.

    That would be the killer blow for the champions as after a dogged and stout defence job from Argentina, they would hang on to pull of a shock victory to dump their great rivals and the now former champions out of the cup. Not only was that celebrated wildly across Argentina but it meant that Argentina would be playing in their first final since 1994 [1] and a chance to grab their long awaited third World title.

    argentinian-football-fans-sing-in-the-stands-at-the-2006-football-BH5PTJ.jpg

    The happy Argentine fans celebrate their great victory after the final whistle

    In Brazil, things couldn't be more different. The defeat was nothing sort of a disaster for them with most of the anger being directed at the referee for several bad choices with most of their complaints being about that penalty incident though several voices did point that Brazil had only themselves to blame due to not using their advantage early on in the second half to score a goal which in the end cost them dearly.

    For Brazil, it was back to the drawing board...

    ---------
    Unlike the previous Semi-Final which proved to be too difficult to call, the majority of the next Semi were in no doubt that it would be the Germans that would defeat the English and for good reason. It was an England team that had not been fully good in the knockout stages which included an extra winner against the Swedes and the following being a tight victory over the Americans. Not exactly the stuff of champions which didn't look like the great team of 2002 though to be fair they weren't help by the injuries before the tournament had even started [2].

    From the off, England were on the backfoot at the hands of a rampant and young German team who were out to give the English a football lesson. It wouldn't be long until the Germans did break the deadlock when Podoiski scored in the 19th minute and one couldn't argue that the Germans didn't deserve that lead and thus, the Germans pretty much after that goal never quite looked back.

    TELEMMGLPICT000003708009_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqXEV_sfBtNwNi-kYoLncUqP_1TOeaLelOabmr6MleozA.jpeg

    All hands to the deck as England try to take on Germany
    The rest of the game in both the first and second half which pretty much one sided in which at little to no point in the game that the Germans gave England any chance in which they could've added to their lead but weirdly England's back line would not budge which was pretty much the only positive that could be said about England throughout that entire game.

    However the most infamous moment of the game would be in the second half when right on the 64th minute mark, England were given a penalty after Lampard was pulled down and Beckham had the chance to put England level from out of nothing...but the infamous stereotype of English penalties happened here in which Beckham fired his shot to the bottom right but the German keeper would save it and and golden chance for England to find a life life in the game was gone and thus, the game ended with Germany winning the game 1-0 and thus, onto the final [3].

    2006-wc-team-celebration.jpg

    German players celebrating after the final whistle which means they'll play
    Despite Germany being the clear winners, the score line did flatter England which might indicate to some that England gave a good game, however the Germans could have quite easily won the game 3-0 but couldn't quite find the finishing touch and indeed some would admit that they were lucky that England missed a vital penalty when they did otherwise things might've turned on their head.

    Funnily enough, it was perhaps one of the rare times at the World Cup in which both knockout matches ended with the same score line in ninety minutes. Nonetheless, two nations who both had two World Cups between them as well as having not been in a final in years, mostly with the Germans [4], were both about to take on each other to have a crack at winning their third title.

    2006 14.png

    Final results of the 2006 World Cup Semi-Finals

    ----------
    • [1] In TTL at least.​
    • [2] Pretty the same problems England had at the OTL 2006 WC.
    • [3] In contrast to OTL in which they didn't.
    • [4] German ITTL have not been in a final since 1978 in which they won it here.
    At long last, we get another update and yes, the German team of 2006 do reach a final here! The other good news is that as we move on into 2021 is that my more famous TL, All To Play For, will be making a return for the Euros coming up and with Scotland playing, it won't need to edit much more than I would normally do though there will be a few changes here and there though...

    Anyway, your votes for the 2010 and 2014 WC hosts have been counted and the winners are..
    England
    Australia
    So until then, catch you up for the final in which Argentina and Germany will do battle...who'll win? :p
     
    2006 FIFA World Cup Third-Place Game and Final
  • 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP
    Part 5

    It is said that nobody wants to play the third place game and both Brazil and England would be no exception here as the two losers of their respected Semi-Finals would have to do battle here. In the first half at least there was clearly a lack of urgency to win the game from both teams with the only way to describe the first half was that of being of a damp squid though it was noted that Brazil were the slightly better team in that half with more possession of the ball.

    The second half itself would be a different story as Brazil really went all out to put down England with Ronaldo in the 56th minute scoring a screamer of a goal with Adriano adding to England's misery by adding a second within a matter of minutes. It was looking all grim for England and the final nail in the coffin for England would happen in the 78th minute when Ronaldo scored his double and Brazil's third which pretty much put the game to bed.

    Ronaldinho%20of%20Brazil%20and%20John%20Terry.jpg

    England vs Brazil in the third place game
    England would get a goal back in the 81st minute but by that point it was nothing more than a mere consolation goal and Brazil held on to record a 3-1 victory over England and thus won the third place game. For England it was a sobering one and with them hosting the World Cup for 2010 [1] they knew that a lot of changes had to be done if they were to make an impact at home. For now though, it was the end of the road for both nations...

    2006 15.png

    Final result of the Third Place game

    ---------​

    A day later would be the final which the game would be decided by Argentina and Germany. To say much was riding on both sides to win was an understatement as Argentina had not been in a final since 1994 [2] and hadn't won it since 1986 while the Germans had never won it or had even gotten close since they got their hands on the cup since 1978 [3] and it was all very easy to see how much winning would mean for both nations.

    From the get go the match was a thrilling one though no one was able to find the opening goal in the opening 45 minutes. Nonetheless the game would come to life in the 49th minute when Argentina's Ayala scoring first and that seemed to make everyone think the longer the game went on that Argentina had one hand on the cup, though the team would see a number of yellow cards shown [4].

    1407759900805_wps_19_Miroslav_Klose_of_Germany.jpg

    Argentina vs Germany in the final
    The South Americans were riding their luck towards the end and then with a couple of questionable choices that happened to substitute certain players, Germany found a gal back thanks to Klose with ten minutes to go and the game would go into extra tine and the Argentines could only kick themselves for letting this game slip from their grasp. Even in extra time neither side could be separated though Argentina would go down to ten men right on the end of extra time and the game would head to penalties and there is always one rule in football...never attempt to play the Germans on penalties.

    In the shoot out, Germany scored all four from the spot though Argentina would miss two and thus, Germany were the winners [5] and now finally had their third World Cup to their name, though the aftermath of the final would become well documented for infamous reasons with the brawl between the two sides, mostly from an angry Argentine side in which frustration got the better of them [6]

    berlinbrawl_bong412.jpg

    The infamous brawl just after the final
    The brawl did bring the World Cup to an anti-climax but no one was in doubt that Germany were worth winners and now would wait in four years time to try and defend their crown across the North Sea in England. Thus, the 2006 World Cup in South Africa was over.

    2006 16.png

    Final result of the 2006 World Cup Final

    2006 11.png

    Final results of the Knockout Stage of the 2006 World Cup
    ---------
    • [1] England win the 2010 bid to host the World Cup here.
    • [2] ITTL at least.
    • [3] ITTL at least.
    • [4] As with OTL's match in 2006.
    • [5] Pretty much the final is the same as OTL's Quarter-Final Encounter.
    • [6] And yes, the infamous brawl happens here too.
    There we are then, 2006 is all done and Germany are the winners! Anyway Happy New Years for you all and let's hope that 2021 will be not so crappy as what we had to put up with before, though really I have doubts...

    Anyway as you know, 2010 will be in England and here are the teams for that World Cup:


    2010 1.png

    So for your early predictions, who will do well here and why? Anyway until then, hope you enjoyed the update and catch you all later!
     
    Last edited:
    2010 FIFA World Cup Seeding and Group Stage
  • 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP
    Part 1

    After decades, the World Cup was coming home to the motherland of football...England. The vote to allow England to host the World Cup in 2010 seemed like a sensible choice in the new voting pattern [1] due to the country already having a large football infrastructure in place that for the most part required very little work done with only one or two new stadiums built at most with the rest needing only minor adjustments or expansion.

    In the end, the costs overall came under far less than what was spent in South Africa and it was clear that FIFA had learnt it's lesson of not hosting the World Cup in so-called non-football countries...that is minus everything else that was wrong at FIFA but all that's another story [2]. Interestingly enough before England put out it's bid out to host the World Cup, there was at one point a serious consideration to have Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland jointly host it to help reduce costs [3] but this plan fell apart with England going on to host it solo though nonetheless the fact that England were hosting would see the rest of the Home Nations as well as the Republic of Ireland be motivated to qualify [4] which would give a very British taste at this World Cup.

    2010 2.png
    The Seeded and drawn teams for the 2010 FIFA World Cup

    While for some of the teams from the British Isles were making a long awaited return to the World Cup, there would be a number of familiar teams that were also making a comeback such as North Korea and Chile, both of whom coincidently had played at the 1966 World Cup when England last hosted the tournament then. However history aside on June 11th, the opening match with England and Japan would take place to begin the 2010 World Cup...

    ---------​

    As hosts and with what looked like an easy group, England were red hot favourites to win the group and though that would be the case, they didn't exactly set the world on fire. An uninspired 1-0 victory over Japan in the open group game happened before a poor 1-1 draw with Australia followed with a certain English goalkeeping error being the most well documented event from that game which was remembered for all the wrong reasons [5].

    England would end the group stage with a 2-0 victory over British rivals Northern Ireland in which the latter finished rock bottom with zero points and putting an end to their journey. Winning the second place spot would be Australia who felt that they had a good chance as anyway to try and make a good show at this World Cup with perhaps the best game so far was a thrilling 3-2 victory over Japan.

    3226.jpg

    England vs Japan in the Opening Match at Wembley Stadium
    All in all, the final rankings for Group A were pretty much what most expected though there was a little bit of regret that Japan didn't do enough to try and fight for a place in the next round but for England and Australia, their World Cup adventures were just starting and though results may have been what most had expected, that didn't mean to say that all over group stage results would be quite the same...

    2010 3.png

    Final results of Group A at the 2010 World Cup

    ---------
    Group B from the start looked like one that France was easily going to walk it, however things would go off the rails when following a 1-1 draw with the Ivory Coast, the French team began a mutiny over the expulsion of one of their players and despite a victory over whipping boys North Korea in their final game, it proved too little too late as a defeat to Chile in their second match saw their terrible World Cup come to an end [6].

    As this was going on, Chile surprised many by winning the group while Ivory Coast also did well to qualify via second place and there was suddenly unlikely hope for both teams to see how far they could go but time would tell to see if either did well. For North Korea however, they finished bottom with no points and were a far contrast to the amazing 1966 North Korean team who came so close to reaching the last four [7].

    France+v+Mexico+Group+2010+FIFA+World+Cup+FOkkzMrZdfvl.jpg

    One embarrassed French team after a 2-0 loss to Chile
    With a major seeded team out, that made things a whole lot interesting for the neutral but little did anyone know then that the French would be far from the only big named team that would suffer an early exit...

    2010 4.png

    Final results of Group B of the 2010 World Cup

    ---------​
    Group C was considered by many to be the Group of Death for good reason. It was a tough group that featured Spain, Italy and Mexico with little New Zealand making up the numbers and despite the Kiwis making an early exit much to no one's surprise, they would however shock everyone when they managed to hold Italy to a draw [8] though that would be the only point they would get.

    Speaking of Italy, despite being one of the favourites as normal they would fail to get out out of the group [9] though being such a tough group that was not quite a surprise though nonetheless it raised a few eyebrows. Perhaps the team that made many think were the one to go all the way was Spain who would win all their group games with Mexico joining them in the next round [10].

    Italy+v+New+Zealand+Group+F+2010+FIFA+World+uO9BX2zA6PLx.jpg

    Italy vs New Zealand in the second match of the group
    With that all said, another seeded team was out and who knows how many more were to follow...?

    2010 5.png

    Final Group C results of the 2010 World Cup

    --------
    Group D was one that favourites Brazil won the group by a country mile winning all their games and not letting in a single goal. While many seeing Brazil winning the group was a foregone conclusion, the question was who would win second place was between Greece and Scotland with Honduras being nothing more than the whipping boys for all three teams.

    In the end and thanks to a home advantage, Scotland would qualify in second place though they nearly didn't make it when in their final group game with Honduras they blew a 1-0 lead to see the Central American side shock them to lead 2-1 and a huge upset was on the cards. However Scotland would strike back to win 3-2 though both goals came from penalty kicks and their performance left a lot to be desired [11].

    neymarreport_1858143c.jpg
    Scotland vs Brazil in their group game

    Despite criticism, the impossible dream for Scotland to try and win the World Cup, or at least get to the final, on their arch rival's soil was on and like many in what was looking to be a strange World Cup, who knew what might follow next for the Scots?


    2010 6.png

    Final results of Group D of the 2010 World Cup

    -----------
    Group E was quite a hard group to call though it would be one of the tightest groups with not many knowing how it would end up. In the end it would see much to everyone's surprise Uruguay winning the group with the Dutch sneaking through in second place by the tightest of goal differences ahead of Denmark who must've felt very unlucky at the circumstances that had befalling them.

    Also in the group was Algeria who despite having a win didn't do enough to help them progress further though in all fairness giving the level of each of the teams, it was all a group that could've gone either way though despite finishing in second place, many eyes were on the Dutch for some felt that with the squad of players they had in the team that many felt they had a good chance to go all the way.

    Mexico+v+Uruguay+Group+2010+FIFA+World+Cup+zRsbrNMXuXnx.jpg

    Uruguay players celebrate a victory over Algeria which saw them go through
    It had been a long time since Uruguay had made it to the last four of a World Cup and for those living in that country, some were starting to wonder if maybe they would be able to have a chance to regain their position at the top of the world...

    2010 7.png

    Final results of Group E of the 2010 World Cup

    ---------
    Without question, Group F would without doubt be the most tightest group in the whole World Cup in which all the teams would end up with four points, a win, draw and defeat between them all and goal difference would decide it all. Things would start of with a huge shock when Paraguay defeated the champions, Germany, in the opening match though they would get their act together and thanks to conceding less goals, ended up winning the group though it was by the skin of their teeth.

    More so was with South Korea who despite starting off so well with a win over Cameroon would suffer a defeat to a red faced Germany and a draw with Paraguay. Nonetheless by scoring more goals than the rest they would sneak through to the second round though one had to spare a thought for Paraguay and Cameroon for feeling that with just a little bit more luck...

    55386_heroa.jpg

    South Korean players after scoring against Cameroon
    Though the Germans were the favourites and had won the group, they had made a right dog's dinner out of their World Cup so far and they would have to do much better if they were wanting to defend their crown in the second round...

    2010 8.png

    Final results of Group F of the 2010 World Cup

    ---------
    Group G was one that many said Portugal was going to go through and the battle for second place would be the real battle. However what shocked many was Portugal falling at the first round who despite a victory over whipping boys Nigeria and a draw with the United States, a bad defeat to the Irish sealed their fate and their unexpected early exit shocked many. Though given the amount of seeded teams that had fallen already, it wasn't quite a surprise.

    The winners of this group would be the United States [12] who after their opening match victory over the Republic of Ireland never looked back and many across the United States were now starting to wonder if maybe they could be the unlikely dark horses of the tournament? For the Irish, they were just happy to be in the second round and to be doing better in bragging rights over their Northern friends [13]...

    Slovenia+v+USA+Group+C+2010+FIFA+World+Cup+QbEKJUMwARSx.jpg

    American players after their winning goal over Nigeria
    With such a bizarre outcome in the group over who had gone through, not many had a clue as to how well both the United States and Ireland would do in the second round but they would be both to keep an eye on...

    2010 9.png

    Final results of Group G of the 2010 World Cup

    ---------
    The final group of the World Cup was one that on paper looked like Argentina would win the group all over and with the legendary Diego Maradona as their manager, what could go wrong? In their opening match, Argentina would end up being 1-0 behind against Ghana for most of the game before turning it around to win it, a comfortable victory over the Swiss followed but their final group game with Wales proved to be controversial in which Wales needed a win to give them some hope, however a wrongly given penalty for Argentina over what seemed like a dive would be taken by newcomer Messi who ended up dumping the Welsh out of the World Cup.

    While Argentina would win the group, it had been all touch and go for them with some doubting if they had what it took to go all the way and that this wasn't like the Argentine teams of old that was for sure. The second place team would Ghana would by some accounts were thought of as the best African side at the World Cup though that was a fact that was debateable.

    Argentina+v+Nigeria+Group+B+2010+FIFA+World+xF3h5jsETNJl.jpg

    All love and joy for Argentina
    By a staggering coincidence that with the exception of Switzerland, the other three teams in the group had all been part of the same group in the 1966 World Cup in England [14] though this time it would be Ghana going in Wales' place. Would Argentina get their act together in the second round to pull off their performance they did at the last World Cup or would Ghana show the world what they were made off...?

    2010 10.png

    Final results of Group H of the 2010 World Cup
    With that and after a number of stunning results, the last 32 teams had made it to the second round and the question was with so many so-called 'big' teams out already, who else might follow in their wake? Time would soon reveal just that as England 2010 was shaping up to be quite a unpredictable tournament...

    ---------
    • [1] The new voting pattern here is pretty much like how OTL voting system for the 2026 World Cup.
    • [2] What else is new with FIFA, huh?
    • [3] Pretty much the plan for OTL proposed 2030 WC bid at the time of writing...
    • [4] As something you'd expect to happen with it being in England, plus Ireland doesn't get screwed over in their play off here.
    • [5] Yes, Greenfingers strike again like with the USA in OTL!
    • [6] Yes, pretty much the French farce we had in OTL 2010 happens all the same here, still one of the funniest moments of the World Cup mainly out of karma for the poor Irish!
    • [7] Both as with OTL and TTL.
    • [8] As in OTL.
    • [9] As with OTL too.
    • [10] Somewhat better for Spain here as there is no loss to the Swiss here.
    • [11] It's Scotland, is pretty much the same as OTL when it comes to them trying to throw away a game!
    • [12] Like with OTL.
    • [13] As you would expect...
    • [14] Look back earlier ITTL to check that one out.
    At last, here we are in England for the 2010 World Cup! So yeah, a few differences here and some similar things here; always nice to change results around as it's always fun to do so! Anyway with that out the way, the last 16 fixtures as follows:
    ----------
    England vs Ivory Coast

    Spain vs Scotland

    Uruguay vs South Korea

    United States vs Ghana

    Chile vs Australia

    Brazil vs Mexico

    Germany vs Netherlands

    Argentina vs Republic of Ireland
    -----------
    So who do you think will win and why do you think that? Until then, take care and see you all soon!

     
    2010 FIFA World Cup Last 16
  • 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP
    Part 2

    With the group stage completed, the knockout stage could begin with the opening game at Wembley with the hosts England taking on the Ivory Coast. Despite being hosts, England hadn't really impressed many even when in the 8th minute when Rooney helped England to take the lead though this lead wouldn't last long when Ivory Coast's Drogba (curiously playing for Chelsea then) would bring his team level in the 35th minute and throughout the first half it was the Africans that looked more likely to win.

    It did not make for good viewing for the English supporters at Wembley who must've felt the worse and things didn't any better in the second half as England looked flustered that despite having more of the ball they just couldn't string a few good chances together. Was there to be a major shock on the cards that would leave England red faced?

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    Drogba after scoring for his country
    The important winning goal would come from a corner kick and somewhat against the run of play in which Rooney came to the rescue in which he headed the ball home and many would feel sorry for Ivory Coast who felt that they deserved better and England were very fortunate to win. Nonetheless, that victory meant that they were now in the last eight and surely things would finally kick start for England?

    ---------
    Later on that day would see Spain taking on a plucky Scotland in Leeds in which many felt that despite the Scots having a big support backing them, most conservative minded neutral felt that with all the talent they had, Spain were the only team going to win and that would be the case. Right from the off in the 6th minute, Spain would take the lead and near the end of the first half, Spain added a second and it looked like a long way back for the Scots who were unable to break down Spain's special kind of football.

    Things didn't get better for the Scots as Villa scored the third goal in the 54th minute to complete a rout and from a Spanish perspective it was truly brilliant yet for Scotland it was a disaster. The only good thing for Scotland would be a penalty in the 66th minute and Goodwillie would give his side a consolation goal which would in truth would be nothing more than a mere blip for Spain who held on to win the game.

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    Spain vs Scotland in the Last 16 in Leeds

    With Scotland out, most interest in the World Cup would go dissipate and there was a great deal of disappointment as with it being on English soil there was big hopes that they could make quite a run out of it though the truth was they had the bad luck of having to face a rampant Spanish side that looked really impressive. A Spanish side that some felt could go all the way...

    ---------
    The following day would see Brazil locking horns with Mexico and the poor Mexicans must've felt that they didn't seem to have any luck in having being lumped in with having to take on Brazil in which not only had they always lost to the South American giants but the fact that they never gotten past this stage in decades. Sadly for Mexico things would not get any better for them as Brazil would end up being 2-0 up by the end of the first half and it looked like it was going to be a long way back for Mexico.

    A third goal for the Brazilians arrived early on in the second half and Mexico could only end up with a consolation goal in the 71st minute and even though they had made the score line look less embarrassing but there was no chance for the Mexicans to mount a dramatic comeback which in the end would see perhaps to no one's shock was yet another Brazilian victory that saw them qualify for the last eight.

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    Brazil vs Mexico in the last 16

    As the Mexicans could only wonder what might've been, Brazil were looking forward to make it to the final as what many of their fans expected to do so as always though there were still two big games to follow after this game...

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    Later that day would see a bit of a mismatch with Chile taking on Australia in which the later side would get a lot of the backing from the locals who wanted to see a fellow Commonwealth country go far. Apart from that, the game itself would be quite a tense and open game in either side looked even and both might've felt like that they had a chance to win this game.

    Despite many chances for both to get the opening goal, the first half would end 0-0 and the match was still no closer to being decided upon who would win. The second half would be no different like the first half and in would a moment of brilliance from Cahill that would fire Australia into the lead on the 78th minute mark and that goal itself would be the goal that would decide teh match and send Australia through.

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    Australian players celebrate after getting their goal
    It was a heartbreak for Chile but Australia were delighted to have made it to the last four and with the fact that they were to host the tournament in their own backyard in four years time, getting a good run out here in England that it would help build momentum for that World Cup...

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    The next day would see the meet up of perhaps a rather unlikely meet up with the United States and Ghana and it was a game that not many had a clue as to who would be the victor here. From the get go however, Ghana took the lead and the United States would end up chasing most of the game throughout the first half and couldn't score by the end of the first half.

    The United States would get a goal back via a penalty and that gave them a lifeline. However neither side could win in regulation time and the game would move into extra time though it wouldn't take long for a goal to happen as it would be Ghana, after three minutes, to score what would ultimately be the winner to qualify for the Quarter-Finals [1].

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    USA vs Ghana during the last 16
    It was a horrendous lost for the Americans but glory for the African side who thanks to their underdog nature became the world's favourite team and for being Africa's last team at this tournament, there was a genuine feeling that they could do something special here...

    ---------
    Later that day would see an strange match up with Uruguay and South Korea in which was one of those game that most would feel that Uruguay had covered though in keeping with an underdog love going, the English crowd in Manchester were rooting for the South Koreans though things would start off well in which Uruguay scored early on in the second half (the first half was a rather underwhelming game) and seemed like nothing would stop them.

    However nearly 20 minutes before the end, South Korea would come out of nowhere to get back on level and that goal would drag the game into extra time [2] and Uruguay didn't look good after that sucker punch of a goal. Extra time would be tense and neither side could find a winner in which the game now went to penalties in which despite looking good for Uruguay early on in the shootout, South Korea held their nerve and two bad misses from Uruguay in their final two spot kicks would see the Koreans take the advantage and shocked everyone by making it to the last eight for the first time [3].

    Uruguay+v+South+Korea+2010+FIFA+World+Cup+EHbCR6VNMY2x.jpg

    Uruguay were left mortified at what had happened but it was utter joy for the Koreans who were now the only Asian side left in the tournament and now had the unlikely shot of trying to make it to the last four for the first time, could they do it?

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    A great spectacle in the last 16 would see rivals Germany and Netherlands unite to fight it out for a place in the Quarter-finals. It would be without question one of the best games of the World Cup in which both sides really went for it being end to end. Germany would opening the scoring first yet that didn't made the Dutch lower their heads and just went for it. Even with the score still at 1-0 at the end of half time, the score could've been 3-3 had the defences been ropey.

    The Dutch would get back on level in the 59th minute yet neither side could find a winning goal as the game went into extra time yet even then neither side could get a winning goal. Finally after 120 minutes, the match would be decided on spot kicks yet despite Dutch hopes of getting the better of their arch rivals, the Germans perfect penalty record worked in their favour as they scored all five of their spot kicks and the Dutch missed two of theirs which saw them dumped out of the World Cup.

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    The two old rivals meet in Liverpool

    With that, the champions hoped that they would be able to carry one and defend their crown and with it being stated that this team was even better than the winners of 2006, confidence was certainly up, only question was could they pull if off?

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    The final match of the last 16 would see a Maradona led Argentina taking on Ireland and while there had been question marks over about this Argentina team could do well, the game would end up being very much one sided. The Irish would be ripped a new one being beaten 3-0 and after the drama of the game before this one, it was all rather something of an anti climax.

    Even though the Irish had a large support in Birmingham which outnumbered the Argentine support by two to one, it still wasn't enough to get the result they needed as the poor Irish were clearly second best throughout the game and in the end not many could argue with the score. With that result, Argentina were the final nation to book their place in the last eight.

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    Argentine players celebrate after reaching the last eight
    With that game, the round of 16 had been completed and now it came time for the Quarter-Finals which would feature familiar names yet some unlikely ones too which did make some think this could see an unlikely World Cup last four if certain results went one way...

    2010 12.png

    Final results of the last 16 of the 2010 World Cup

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    • [1] The Game is pretty much the same as OTL.
    • [2] IOTL, they lost the game at this point however here...
    • [3] South Korea do better here and make the last eight at the expense of Uruguay.
    Finally it's here and from Scotland, Happy Burns Night if you are celebrating it. Anyway, here is our last eight:
    ----------
    England vs Spain

    South Korea vs Ghana

    Australia vs Brazil

    Germany vs Argentina
    -----------
    So who will win and for the 2018 and 2022 WC's, time for a vote on who should get what as we have 2014 already sorted out as you know...

    2018: Germany, Russia, Brazil, Morocco or Mexico?

    2022: United States, Spain, Brazil, Morocco or South Korea?

    Until then, catch you later!
     
    2010 FIFA World Cup Quarter-Finals
  • 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP
    Part 3

    The Quarter-Finals for the 2010 World Cup would bring up the usual suspects but also a few unlikely ones who had never been this far before in a World Cup so history would be made regardless. However the opening Quarter-Final match with hosts England and favourites Spain would find itself with controversy over the venue of choice. At first the FA had made the idea that all England matches would be played at Wembley as like with 1966 and 1996 [1] however many argued that the team should play outside Wembley to move away from a 'London-centrist' mindset and so after much arguing, the game would be played at St James Park in Newcastle. Ironically, those who had argued playing at Wembley would soon wish they hadn't...

    Despite having a large and partisan crowd, England would struggle to find anything against Spain's so-called 'Tiki-taka' style of football and despite being on the backfoot for most of the first half, they managed to keep the score at 0-0 and even at the start of the second half looked and played much better. However this would be a false dawn in which two goals from Villa in the 49th and 61st minutes would kill off England's hopes and even a late goal from Lampard did little to mount a comeback for the hosts in which at full time, St James Park was silent in shock as England were out [2] and Spain were through.

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    England vs Spain in the Quarter-Final

    After being used to last four finishes over the last few years for England [3] it was a shock to have fallen at such a stage on their own soil and the blame game started in the English media over who was at fault for it with some saying that had England remained at Wembley then they might have won at those who wanted the move were to blame. It was all excuses however as the truth was that England were beaten by a much better team who deserved to go through. Regardless though, English hopes of winning the World Cup on home soil like in 1966 were dashed.

    ---------
    Incidentally that very same day, another game would be played in London (Arsenal's Emirates Stadium) though it would be between two very unlikely teams which were South Korea and Ghana, both sides having never gotten this far before in a World Cup [4]. In terms of underdogs, it was hard to say who people were rooting for more though after a rather lacklustre first half, the killer goal in jury time would be scored by Muntari in which Ghana went into half time a goal up [5].

    As the second half started, it was clear that the late goal scored by Ghana did much damage for the Koreans in which despite throwing everything forward they just could not find an equaliser and their hopes were soon crushed when with a few minutes to go before the end of full time, Muntari scored the goal which only confirmed the result many thought would be the case and Ghana would become only the second African team next to Nigeria in 1994 [6] to reach the last four and many in Africa and every neutral in the world celebrated their great victory.

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    Displaying pride after full time for Ghana.
    While a cynic would point out that in terms of quality it wasn't all that good given the teams involved, many didn't care for that as Ghana would become the World's most favourite team who they all wanted to see go on and win the whole thing. Could they really do it though...?

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    The next day of the Quarter-Finals would see Australia taking on the mighty Brazil and despite the Socceroo's thinking that they had a great chance to cause an upset thanks to a generous 'home' support and inspired by Ghana's triumph the previous day. However it would all be pretty routine for the Seleção as within sixteen minutes they scored the opening goal and that might have indicated that this game would be heading in one direction.

    Despite this setback, Australia didn't give up. If anything, they seemed to play better as they tried a few attempts on goal but couldn't get any luck to score so to see the score line at 1-0 was quite a surprise to many and it was still there for Australia to try and get a goal back. Australia would keep this up during the second half and there was a growing fear among Brazilians that Australia were going to cause an almighty upset...until Robinho scored two late goals to crush Australian hopes and send Brazil through [7].

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    Relief for Brazil after the second goal went in
    It was heartbreak for the men Down Under but they had not made a fool of themselves and with the World Cup to be hosted next in their own backyard for 2014 then they hoped that targeting a finishing in the last four would be the goal for them in that tournament. For now, it was time for the long journey back home...

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    The final Quarter-Final later that day would be a mouth-watering tie with Maradona's Argentina and the current World Champions Germany. There were many in Argentina who felt that after such a convincing score against the Irish then surely they had what it took to take on Germany. It would turn out that they would make a colossal miscalculation on the Germans. From the start of the game in which after three minutes the Germans took the lead, Argentina were a ropey side looking unsure what to do.

    They would keep the score down at 1-0 at the end of the first half, but the second half would be nothing sort of a disaster for Argentina in which the Germans put three more goals past their stunned opponents in which they couldn't find even a consolation goal and the champions marched handsomely on to the last four [8]. The result was a horrendous one for their manager Maradona who had by his own hands ended up with Argentina's worst position in a World Cup in many years which might've damaged his the national side's reputation one way or the other.

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    Contrast reactions from both teams
    With that, the Quarter-Finals were over and now it would soon be time for the last four and there had been no doubt a few results that made several raise their eyebrows at but despite three of the teams being considered who many might've have predicted, it was fair to say that all eyes were on one certain team...

    2010 13.png
    Final results of the 2010 Quarter-Finals

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    • [1] As with OTL and TTL.
    • [2] England are out though do slightly better here compared to OTL.
    • [3] Much better than OTL that's for sure!
    • [4] ITTL at least, Ghana much our own though South Korea as we know reached the last four once IOTL.
    • [5] Like OTL.
    • [6] Yes, Ghana do reach the last four here and are the second behind Nigeria since ITTL's 1994 here. No cheating Suarez here...
    • [7] Brazil do better here than IOTL.
    • [8] To put it simply, the game is pretty much the same as OTL in which Argentina got utterly wrecked here.
    Anyway here we are with the Quarter-Finals and from all your predictions it seems that for once everyone got it right! However we do have a mixed bag on the voting of who will host the World Cups in 2018 and 2022. Anymore who hasn't voted yet please do so I can make an announcement of the winners in the next update. now time for the next fixtures:
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    Spain vs Ghana

    Brazil vs Germany
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    You know what do, who will go through and why? Until then, catch you all later!
     
    2010 FIFA World Cup Semi-Finals
  • 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP
    Part 4

    As the final four were revealed, many conservative minded football fans all suspected either Germany, Spain or Brazil would be the winners in the end but there was no doubt that in terms of the neutral and across Africa of who everyone wanted to see go all the way...Ghana. For the first time since Nigeria's run in the World Cup in Argentina in 1994, [1] an African side was to play in the Semis and there was good reason to think that Ghana would be the African team that would finally put Africa's foot in a World Cup final.

    That said Ghana's task was far from easy as standing in their way at Wembley was Spain who were hoping to make their second ever World Cup final [2] and given the talent they had in that team they must of felt that they had this game all but wrapped up. What followed would be one of the most dramatic football games ever at a World Cup. As what most thought, Spain took the lead thanks to Puyol in the 29th minute yet despite all that dominance they failed to add to their lead and this only helped Ghana gain confidence when Muntari equalised for Ghana and the game would go into extra time.

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    The Ghana team celebrate the goal that puts them back on level terms with Spain, note both teams were playing in their away kits during this match
    In extra-time, Spain would make the mistake of underestimating the Africans as Ghana came to life and put Spain under pressure and this would pay off in the 104th minute when Ghana won a penalty and Gyan scored [3] to put Ghana 2-1 up in the game and a whole continent must've gone crazy as if they kept this up that they were so close from the final. But the European side would fight back and Puyol would come to the rescue in the 109th minute, ruining Ghana's moment of happiness, scoring from a corner kick and that put Spain back in the game.

    Ghana's frustration boiled over and Spain took the advantage of using many slack defending from the Africans in which the winning goal would come from Iniesta would score with five minutes to go and break African hearts everywhere and dump Ghana out of the World Cup [4]. As heart breaking as it was, Ghana had gone further than everyone and thought they would and Spain knew that while they were delighted to have reached the final they knew that deep down they had been lucky to avoid embarrassment and had to do better for the final. Would there ever be an African side in the final...?

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    Scenes of utter joy as Spanish players celebrate getting the winning goal near the end of extra time

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    After the drama of that Semi-Final, many thought that things could only get better as the second Semi would be contested between Brazil and defending champions Germany. A true mouth watering clash by all concern though would it have all the drama that the last one would have? The first half would be a rather uneventful affair and something best forgotten about though things would pick quite soon in the second half when Brazil broke the deadlock in the 48th minute and hoped that they would be on course for the final, but their lead wouldn't last long as the Germans scored just over ten minutes later to make the score level.

    The second half became a tense affair with neither side finding the winning goal and so the game would move into extra-time and this would be were things would become dramatic. It would be the 109th minute in which the Germans found their second goal and looked like much the better team and never gave the Brazilians a chance to break through and it was looking all but certain that Brazil were going out...

    hqdefault.jpg

    Brazil vs Germany in Manchester
    It was then right in the dying seconds of injury time that Brazil won a free kick in which it was floated into the box before Robinho hammered it home with it perhaps being the final action of the game and all of Brazil erupted in joy that they were not out of this just yet. With that, the game would be decided on spot kicks but as with one of the golden rules of football...never challenge the Germans on penalties [5]. To the surprise of perhaps no one, Germany would win the shoot out 4-2 and they were back in a final to defend their crown while the Brazilians would feel only sadness of one incredible high to suffer a harsh low.

    With that though and after all those games, it would be once again another all European affair with Germany taking on Spain in what was a rematch of their Euro 2008 encounter [6] and who knows how things would go here? For many after this World Cup, many would say that the last four of the 2010 would be said to be one of the greatest Semi-Finals ever for the goals and drama involved and how would the final match up to all this...?

    2010 14.png

    Final results of 2010 World Cup Semi-Finals
    --------
    • [1] ITTL at least.
    • [2] Ditto.
    • [3] He does score here unlike OTL...
    • [4] They go out but do better than OTL.
    • [5] As you do! ;)
    • [6] As OTL.
    And there we are, it will be a Spain vs Germany final! Not much to say other than next update will be the third place and final game. As some of you who follow me will know that I'll be making a redux/reboot of All To Play For which I'm not sure if it'll be up either by the time TTL is completed of before then, either way look out for that when the times comes.

    Anyway, next update will reveal who will host the 2018 and 2022 WC's here...stay tune for that!


     
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