The third and final round of group matches is now complete, and sixteen teams are on their way home. This week's heroes and villains awards are as follows:
Germany's Klose scored his fifth header of the tournament to stay one ahead of Denmark's Tomasson, who also scored for the third match in a row. Brazil moved up a gear and now have eleven for the tournament, level with Germany. Ronaldo and Rivaldo both got their third, and Ronaldo may have got a fourth if FIFA decide that the first against Costa Rica was his and not an own goal by Marín. Spain though are third top scorers with nine, and Raúl got a couple against South Africa to move into joint third place. Could this be his World cup? Elsewhere Saudi Arabia, China, and reigning champions France (?!?!!?) go home without scoring a goal.
|Klose (Germany)||5||Vieri (Italy)||3|
|Tomasson (Denmark)||4||Pauleta (Portugal)||3|
|Ronaldo (Brazil)||3||Bouba Diop (Senegal)||3|
|Raúl (Spain)||3||Wilmots (Belgium)||3|
Nobody has managed to go through the first three games without letting in a goal, but three keepers have only let in one, Kahn of Germany, Seaman from England and surprisingly maybe, Bing Bang Bong from South Korea. Nine clean sheets in the third round of group matches, including the three above-mentioned keepers. The others were Sorensen (Denmark), Given (Eire), Binga Bonga (Nigeria), Ali Bing Bong (Turkey), Binga (Ecuador) and Bingimoto (Japan) (sorry don't know all the names - Goran).
Portugal ended the game against South Korea with nine men. A very nervous Joao Pinto was the first to go with a horrendous foul on Ji Sung-Park in the first half, and Beto picked up a second yellow card after the break. Two sendings off too in the matches between Germany and Cameroon, Ramelow and Suffo, both for two bookings, and Slovenia and Paraguay, Ceh and Paredes. Slovenia manager Katanec also got sent out of the dugout in that game. China's Shao Jiayi was also shown a red card, as was Argentina's Cannigia who didn't even get on the pitch. He was overhead by the Spanish speaking fourth official insulting the referee's mother and was sent to an early bath to wash his mouth out with soap and water.
We knew it! Not only do we have the best football teams in the world, we also have the best referees! Our man in Asia López Nieto was in charge for the first time in the "mundial" for the game between Germany and Cameroon, and he was set a difficult target, with Dutch referee Jan Wegereef producing a new world cup finals record twelve cards in the Saudi Arabia v Eire game earlier in the day. Did that faze him? Quite the contrary, and our hombre-en-negro produced no less than sixteen yellow cards and two reds. Surely he must be given the World cup final to referee after that!