Monday, June 12, 2006

Italy faces Ghana, a super giant against a mouse. Like nearly all the matches before, this one take can be stunning.
The Serbian coach Ratomir Dujkovic brought the miracle to the people of Accra, the capital of Ghana. Their team warm up for their début of the world cup finals. Certainly facing a tough group, today they face the toughest. With fifteen world cup finals participations, the three times world champions are as dangerous as ever. Stumbling in previous tournaments, the through and through Italian coach Marcello Lippi is aiming for first price. Leaving points in any of the round one meeting will not be an option, as Italy is best served winning the group. The winners of the group can only meet the mighty Brazilians in the finals, a contingency playing in millions of minds in Rome, Italy‘s capital.
The Italians start sharp straight after the whistle, it looks like they have big plans.
Ghana bites back with a few attacks, but the Italian soccer show gets sharper. Totti is involved in several plays in front of the goal of Ghana and shots are fired, though nobody gets hurt.
An Italian striker cannot connect with the ball that flies in front of the goal. A longer Italian toe would have made it one-nil.
In the 28th minute Ghana gets a shot on target, from fifteen meter a striker of Ghana cannonballs a foot next to the left pole. The same minute, from same distance, a similar shot, with similar result. For third time charm, Ghana gets their best shot as a striker of Ghana finds the ball at his feet, only four meters of target. The Italian keeper bends his knees, eying the striker, waiting for the shot. The nerves of the striker crumble, and the ball rockets over the cross bar.

Italy fuels up, implementing breathtaking counters. Totti and Toni both show fantastic technique. This is what I want to see.
The Italians take a corner short in the 39 minute, an Italian striker receives the ball and in the same move lines it up for his other foot. The keeper never had a chance.


Ghana is dangerous at times, but nothing like the Italians. Luck is on Ghana's side as the teams go for the halftime-break.
When they come back for the second half, I wonder if the Italians are going to 'Close up shop'. That means, all man back to defend the goal. The tactics is very effective, but also very boring.
However, within minutes, the Italians do the opposite. In addition, another attack, they keep the shop open late today.
"Fantastic shot, fantastic save," says the commentator.
I agree.
"The game has opened up on both sides."
True again, as Ghana fires on target.
In the 78th minute, the referee denies Ghana a deserved penalty, as he calls it diving.

He was wrong, and the world cup has yet another drama.
Italy closes the in the 82 minute out a one on one with the keeper of Ghana.


The Shop is closed.