England and Portugal to face off in quarters

26th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

26 June 2006, BERLIN - Portugal - with three of their stars sidelined by injury or suspensions - face England in the World Cup quarter-finals next Saturday after they beat the Netherlands 1-0 in an ill-tempered affair that saw 16 yellow cards shown.

26 June 2006

BERLIN - Portugal - with three of their stars sidelined by injury or suspensions - face England in the World Cup quarter-finals next Saturday after they beat the Netherlands 1-0 in an ill-tempered affair that saw 16 yellow cards shown.

Four men were sent off - two for both sides - and 8 others were booked as tempers boiled over in Nuremburg, while in Stuttgart earlier England beat Ecuador in a damp squib of a match settled by a free kick by captain David Beckham.

It was a 23rd-minute goal from Maniche that put Portugal into the clash with England, a repeat of their quarter-final match at the 2004 European Championships, which Portugal won on penalties.

On an incredible night, Russian referee Valentin Ivanov completely lost control of the match, flashing 16 yellow cards in all, and four reds as a result - equalling the record for a World Cup match.

Portugal defender Costinha was the first to go, sent off for a second booking just before half-time. Khalid Boulahrouz evened the numbers when he saw red after a second booking for a foul on Portugal captain Luis Figo just after the hour mark.

"I tried to get the ball, he hit me in the face and I think he deserved the red card," Figo said.

Portugal midfielder Deco then made it 10-9 to the Dutch when he lost his head to be booked twice in five minutes (73 and 78) while Ivanov gave Giovanni van Bronckhorst his marching orders in injury time, also for a second booking.

For Portugal, it got even worse when Cristiano Ronaldo hobbled off the pitch in tears nursing a serious thigh injury that could put him out of the competition after the clash with Boulahrouz for which the Dutch defender saw his first yellow.

Phillip Cocu came closest to equalising for the Dutch early in the second half but his right-foot effort cannoned off the crossbar.

England's win over Ecuador saw David Beckham became the first Englishman to score in three World Cups - his 59th-minute free kick a rare bright spot in a turgid display by his side.

Frank Lampard had been obstructed by Ulises De La Cruz and the England skipper curled his 28 metre effort over the wall and past Cristian Mora in the Ecuador goal.

He was then sick on the turf. "I didn't feel well before the game but I thought I would be fine and in the first half I felt fine," he said later. "But it continued in the second half and it just came out."

Coach Sven Goran Eriksson admitted the performance was not the best but defended his decision to play Wayne Rooney as a lone striker "because we think it could be useful later in the tournament. We have so many half strikers - (Frank) Lampard, (Steven) Gerrard, Beckham. We will see if we use it again."

Ecuador named the side that gave them their first two wins in Group A with first-choice front pairing Agustin Delgado and Carlos Tenorio back after being rested in the defeat to Germany.

Back home, the euphoria may have gone, but the fans still hailed their footballers, their previous cries of "we can do it" replaced by "we could do it" and "mission accomplished" for reaching the last 16.

DPA

Subject: German news

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