To a great extent, Day 5 went as predicted. South Korea beat Togo, Brazil disposed of Croatia without stepping out of second gear and France vs Switzerland was a repeat of their qualifier clashes, ending a drab draw.
What you wouldn’t have counted on, though, was Togo taking the lead, Brazil scoring only once and France not scoring at all.
It’s a funny little game this. Not much that can be said about these matches, except that the following pictures sum up France’s frustrations much better than I could in words.
French captain and legend Zidane gets chewed out by teammates Gallas and Thuram – getting cranky in his old age, is he? (Note – I have a lot of respect for Zidane but he should either step up his game or stop playing – his reputation and his status do not afford him any other option)
That pretty much sums up the French effort really. Ribery and Henry both fluffed chances. Maybe if they were luckier (or just better)?
Barthez will blame the light in his eyes, but the French keeper kept a clean sheet the only way he knows how to – by luck as much as design
A full Brazil vs Croatia review is up next, but a word first on United stars – Park played today and despite linking up well with the strikers didnt score. Didnt expect him to either. At least United have Nistelrooy, Rooney, Saha and Ronaldo to score for them.
Tomorrow, the first round of matches ends with Group H matches (Spain vs Ukraine and Saudi Arabia vs Tunisia) and the second round begins with Germany taking on Poland. England are up in two days – I’ll have more to say about them tomorrow.