It was shameful – the game was being played at a neck-break pace with Germany scoring 2 early goals before Teddy Lucic was yellow carded for a second time – a horrible decision considering that it effectively killed the game off.
Kallstrom was immediately subbed, reducing Sweden’s creative strength and limited them to running hard at the Germans and being knocked time and time again. Germany were winners, ending the match with 59% possession and 25 shots, including 16 off target. The second half was all about the German team feeding the ball to Ballack in the final third and teeing him up for shots outside the box.
Carlos Simon, the Brazilian ref, had given 13 yellow cards in two previous games, and he followed up this one with 5 more yellows a red to take his tally to 18 yellows and 1 red – on evidence that says a lot more about the standard refereeing than it does about the players themselves.
Carlos Simon ruins the second round tie by sending off Lucic for a second bookable offense – and the bastard was all smiles, too
Simon’s performance (the Brazilian ref) highlights what we said earlier today about the deep quagmire Fifa find themselves with bad refereeing overshadowing the great level of football on display. The refereeing though, was not to blame for the penalty Larsson missed – it was a gilt-edged chance for the Swedes to get a foothold, especially with Lehmann looking a bit suspect till then.
Larsson wastes a perfect opportunity to bring Sweden back into the game
Germany go through without much trouble, although Ballack will be worried after getting at least 10 of Germany’s 25 shots and not scoring from any of them. He looks a bit like Lampard right now, except that Ballack is better at creating goals and tends to find himself in much more space than Lamps. Ballack will have his eyes set at Berlin – he missed the 2002 final due to suspension. Germany though will not have a similar luxury in future matches with tougher teams.
Ballack had a dozen shots but failed to score from any of them
They will meet the winner of Argentina – Mexico match in Liepzeg that starts in 90 minutes – should be higher-scoring match than this one.
[tags]Germany, Sweden, World Cup 2006[/tags]