England vs Portugal Open Thread

by Kieran Healy on July 1, 2006

Hard one to call. Teams closely matched. Game of two halves.



tom s. 07.01.06 at 7:43 am

My better half says that if Beckham broke a leg and his career came to a crashing full stop today, all those who now say he is an over-rated pretty boy would instantly turn 180 degrees and start singing his praises: “there was never anyone like him” etc.

I’d agree with her, but she’s probably just saying it because he has a pretty face.


tom s. 07.01.06 at 7:51 am

oh yes, the game.

Portugal on penalties.


Steven Poole 07.01.06 at 7:54 am

Allez les bleus! (Et les blancs aussi.)

I predict an England-France semifinal.


Rob G 07.01.06 at 8:17 am

If England win, the pundits will be saying “yeah, but no Deco [,no Ronaldo]”.

England 2 Portugal 1 in regular time. Rooney, Lampard (yes, Lampard), and Pauleta.

If England lose, I will make Lee Siegel happy and eat my baseball cap.


dearieminho 07.01.06 at 8:45 am

I’ll sip a glass of port, munch a pork pie, and watch the attempts to get The Human Potato sent off.


Ben Alpers 07.01.06 at 8:50 am

By all means eat your baseball cap if the spirit moves, Rob G, but for goodness sake don’t do anything in order to make Lee Siegel happy.


Amanda 07.01.06 at 8:59 am

I’ve been tipping against England the whole comp and yet they keep scraping wins. I actually feel now they might be able to get over Portugal.

Which of course means they’ll lose.

As an Aussie I love to see the Poms lose but I’ve alot of friends who are England fans, I know the players best and they’ve had such a wretched tourament so far they almost qualify as underdogs. So I can’t believe I’m saying this but: I’m cheering for England.


dearieminho 07.01.06 at 10:00 am

The pork pie has ben declared off-limits. It’s too hot for port – elderflower cordial with spakling water and plenty of ice. What happens if The Pink Fir Apple breaks his foot again? And now they’re pissing about with a banner which will appeal to everyone except the morons they’re worrying about. Oh do get on with it!


harry b 07.01.06 at 10:20 am

Sorry to interrupt (I am half-watching it) but Fred Trueman is dead and I can’t post because I’m too incompetent (away from home).


Amanda 07.01.06 at 10:25 am

Oh. That’s sad. I met him once at an in store book signing in Sydney. I got his book signed for my dad. One of the greats. RIP.


dearieminho 07.01.06 at 10:48 am

The England centre backs pass poorly.


P O'Neill 07.01.06 at 11:01 am

At some point one of those Lampard shots will go in. 1-0 England.


Amanda 07.01.06 at 11:16 am

oh for fug’s sake. JoCo misses an open goal. for fug’s sake.


dearieminho 07.01.06 at 11:19 am

Yep, they got him sent off.


Backword Dave 07.01.06 at 11:20 am

Rooney’s a thug, isn’t he.


bergo 07.01.06 at 11:20 am

Red card for Rooney for a nut stomp. Classy.


Amanda 07.01.06 at 11:22 am

Really? Looks a pretty harsh call against Rooney to me.


P O'Neill 07.01.06 at 11:23 am

The spud faced nipper clinched the red with the shove on his club team-mate.


Backword Dave 07.01.06 at 11:24 am

Definite heel in the bollocks in the slo-mo.


Amanda 07.01.06 at 11:31 am

Take your word for it. Maybe its something you need to be a bloke to really appeciate fully. ;-)


daniel 07.01.06 at 11:33 am

If he hadn’t turned football player, Rooney would have become a hooligan. No self-control.


joel turnipseed 07.01.06 at 11:38 am

Well, England looked great the first 50 minutes… except when they were within 20 feet of the goal. Now, w/o Beckham & with Rooney sent off… doesn’t look good. Of course, they could pull an Italy here–or even, given how bad Portugal look, win it on overtime PK.

But really… isn’t the winner of this match a sacrificial victim of winner of this afternoon/evening’s match between Brazil/France?


mykej 07.01.06 at 11:39 am

Everytime the announcers talk about the possibility of the game being settled with pk’s, I envision the players wearing necklaces made of ears.

I need to get outside more.


Rob G 07.01.06 at 11:56 am

I think England play better without their talismans, Beckham and Rooney.


P O'Neill 07.01.06 at 12:12 pm

Should it go to penalties, will the officials be watching for this?


Cryptic Ned 07.01.06 at 12:15 pm



Alex 07.01.06 at 12:22 pm

Not so much cryptic ned as facile ned


Cryptic Ned 07.01.06 at 12:28 pm

As soon as I posted that, a goal was scored…but it was called off. I will have to try harder.


P O'Neill 07.01.06 at 12:30 pm

Unless Sven see some advantage to having the Liverpool karma for the penalty kicks, that last substitution didn’t make much sense.


dearieminho 07.01.06 at 12:30 pm

Faites vos jeuxs, Messieurs.


Cryptic Ned 07.01.06 at 12:39 pm

Penalty kicks: LAMPARD does not kick it over the goal! But he doesn’t score either.


Cryptic Ned 07.01.06 at 12:40 pm

The German-Canadian ties it up for England!


Cryptic Ned 07.01.06 at 12:42 pm

Petit and Gerrard both miss! 1-1 after 3 kicks each.


Cryptic Ned 07.01.06 at 12:44 pm

Postiga puts it perfectly!

And Carragher does too! But it is decided that he has to shoot again, and then there is a save!

2-1 Portugal after 4 kicks each! Could there be any worse way of deciding a match?


Brendan 07.01.06 at 12:44 pm

England are out.


Cryptic Ned 07.01.06 at 12:45 pm

Ronaldo puts in Portugal’s 3rd PK, and they have advanced!


Seth Edenbaum 07.01.06 at 12:51 pm

I’m happy.

Next up… Brazil France


Ben Alpers 07.01.06 at 12:52 pm

I’ve only ever heard it in the background at the end of World Cup broadcasts, but does the 2006 World Cup Anthem (or whatever it is that they play at the end of matches) remind anyone else of the old National Anthem of the USSR? I guess nobody else was using the tune…


dearieminho 07.01.06 at 12:58 pm

You really can’t ask Hargreaves to play Portugal on his own. Not and expect to win.


Cryptic Ned 07.01.06 at 1:00 pm

What was Carragher thinking, shooting before the whistle?

It’s not like it’s hard to tell whether the whistle has blown or not.


Cheryl Morgan 07.01.06 at 1:00 pm

I thought the referee had a pretty good game. He completely ignored the filly FIFA directives and let the sides play like they would in a Premiership game. And he had the bottle to send Rooney off for what was sadly a very obvious boot to the nuts.


dearieminho 07.01.06 at 1:01 pm

I don’t know the name of that anthem, but it goes very well to
“Thank God I’m an atheist,
Thank God I’m an atheist,


abb1 07.01.06 at 1:05 pm

Oh my god. Oh no. It’s going to be a bedlam around here tonight and tomorrow; all this insane honking and yelling. Why oh why didn’t they lose.


Cryptic Ned 07.01.06 at 1:09 pm

Anyway, Portugal deserved to win…

Somehow I thought they were one of the historical powers, because 2002’s first-year exit was such a disappointment. But they didn’t even qualify for the three Cups before 2002. So this is their best performance since 1966, good for them.


James 07.01.06 at 1:20 pm

Portugal didn’t deserve to win, England played much better than them in the second half even with a man down. One thing Portugal were much better at throughout the game, though, was diving.


David Ricardo 07.01.06 at 1:32 pm

Perhaps Portugal has a comparative advantage over England when it comes to soccer?


Rob G 07.01.06 at 1:39 pm

Cryptic Ned, you’re not trying hard enough.

David, so it would appear. Give yourself an MFO.


Sam 07.01.06 at 2:23 pm

“And he had the bottle to send Rooney off for what was sadly a very obvious boot to the nuts.”

Except he was sent of for the shove after, not the boot to balls, which replays show pretty conclusively was a boot to the turf.


Wax Banks 07.01.06 at 2:32 pm

That card against Rooney was probably deserved but the ball-boot was just happenstance I’d say.

I think the appeal of Rooney for so many England fans is that he looks the most like one of them – and plays that way for that matter. I’d much rather have him on my side than against me, though – he’s what my dad reverently calls ‘a footballer,’ the highest praise he can bestow on an English player. He certainly made it interesting in the first 20+ minutes. Stupid of him to get himself sent off.

England deserved to win this game, though not by too large a margin. After Rooney went off they played with both of them strapped on tight.


Zaoem 07.01.06 at 2:54 pm

France-Brazil: 0-0 at half-time with France looking stronger and Brazil lucky not to be a man down. The Brazilians seem to play with five central midfielders who all want to play deep balls to players that aren’t there.


Cheryl Morgan 07.01.06 at 2:54 pm

Some people will clearly believe anything if it suits them.


Randy Paul 07.01.06 at 2:54 pm

Should it go to penalties, will the officials be watching for this?

P. O’Neill,

Is it against the rules? I don’t think so.


Zaoem 07.01.06 at 3:02 pm

From a neutral on England-Portugal: a very disappointing match to watch. For Portugal, only Ronaldo did anything that looked like it might lead to a goal. England should never play with one forward, it just creates too slow a pace for them. The ref could have just given Rooney a yellow. In all, a forgettable 2+ hours.


Tim Worstall 07.01.06 at 3:05 pm

abb1: Are you here in Portugal like I am? Or just in an area with lots of Portuguese. I’ve had to come home to comfort the animals against that barrage of noise.

We had that Phil Scolari in the pub recently…..


yabonn 07.01.06 at 3:15 pm

Zidane… Henry…. Buuuuuuuuut!!


Rob G 07.01.06 at 3:30 pm

Wax Banks, come on mate. Beorhtnoth deserved to win the Battle of Maldon too. Water under the bridge, to descend to Cryptic Ned’s level. Game over, not good enough, etc.


abb1 07.01.06 at 3:48 pm

Tim, I’m in Geneva, but in sorta “Little Portugal” here. I think maybe the expats are more enthusiastic about these things. Two years ago they got to the finals in the European Cup and we couldn’t sleep for two nights – was incredibly noisy and too hot to close the windows. This year it hasn’t been too bad so far, but I expect it will be.


yabonn 07.01.06 at 3:54 pm

France 1 0 Brazil.

The canonisation of Saint Zinedine should be underway as I write.


Rob G 07.01.06 at 4:08 pm


a 07.01.06 at 4:27 pm

All in all a deserved French win. Zidane was magnificent; it’s like he needed a quality opponent to begin to play.

France seems to have Brazil’s number (winning 3 out of the last 4) – about the only country in the world which does.

As my wife said, it’s the bourgeoisie vs. the concierges in the next match.


dearieminho 07.01.06 at 4:33 pm

“a”: nice one – give your wife a kiss from me.


Steven Poole 07.01.06 at 4:51 pm

Portugal = cynical cheats.

Though we really should have taken one of our several excellent chances and made it not matter before the predictable narrative of “heroic loss on penalties”.

France = outstanding. Allez les bleus!


Frenchdoc 07.01.06 at 4:51 pm

How about a France/Italy final?


Z 07.01.06 at 4:55 pm

“a” Good one! A kiss from me and one from my concierge.


Doug 07.01.06 at 5:46 pm

63: Nein, danke.


Chris Bertram 07.01.06 at 5:47 pm

Well I watched it some hours ago in a bar on the UCD campus in Dublin. The locals certainly enjoyed it.

I’m sure Rooney wasn’t sent off for the kick to the nuts — which was accidental — but rather for the shove, and Ronaldo played for that disgracefully. England with 10 were the better team over the 90 and Hargreaves was motm. But that’s football. I’m just disappointed that an England team that were great on paper weren’t on grass.


Dan Kervick 07.01.06 at 6:49 pm

I agree Portugal does a lot of acting, Chris, but I still thought they were the stronger team, played a stronger game and deserved to win. The Portuguese attack looked much more dangerous throughout the game, and Ronaldo was the best player on the field, with Figo a close second until he went off. Robinson was tested in the game much more than Ricardo.

Perhaps England made up for the lack of quality in its attack with a certain amount of quantity – particularly late in the game after Portugal looked desperately fatigued. But they appear to lack explosive playmakers and finishers, and despite some fairly consistent pressure around the goal, the Portuguese defenders seemed to have the English locked up pretty well throughout the game.

I suppose its still an after-effect of his injury, but before Rooney went off, he still looked a bit slow and clumsy to me. England’s best option was to keep putting the ball in the vicinity of Crouch’s head, and hope something good would happen. They also relied a bit too much, I thought, on long throw-ins.

I do give England a lot of credit for its play in the back. Pauleta was no factor before he went off. They were helped in that by several ill-advised long attempts from Maniche that prematurely aborted some promising Portuguese posessions.

Beckham was fairly invisible until he went off. Losing him actually seemed to help the English a bit – although in a 0-0 game who knows what might have happened if Beckham had been there for some set pieces in the second half.

I thought Miguel was immense for Portugal, controlling his side of the field at both ends and displaying amazing stamina – although his service left something to be desired.


Ben 07.01.06 at 7:19 pm

I’m a big Carragher fan, but I don’t really see why he was brought on for penalties.

And Lampard obviously hasn’t had his shooting boots all tournament. I’d have dropped him for Crouch from the start.


Randy Paul 07.01.06 at 7:41 pm

Jermaine Defoe must be getting the last laugh.


Sam 07.01.06 at 10:27 pm

Ha! Yeah, I bet Defoe will sleep a little more soundly tonight, although it’s vindication earned at a bitter cost.


Gene O'Grady 07.01.06 at 10:50 pm

On a lighter note, may I suggest that it’s not coincidence that teams from countries that dispatched pirates to annex California (England and Argentina) both lost this weekend?


Chris Bertram 07.02.06 at 2:02 am

Note that Benitez did not let Carragher take a penalty in Istanbul, and for good reason. The trouble is that I think C would volunteer for anything — a decent manager would have made a better choice.


Backword Dave 07.02.06 at 7:45 am

Chris on 66: see Eriksson goes with Rooney warning. The departing England coach said: “I spoke to Wayne and he said he had no intention to do it. I then spoke to the referee after the game and he told me he was 100% sure it was a red card. The referee told me he had hit the other player and where he was hit, so I couldn’t complain.” I don’t think a shove in the chest fits. ;-)


Chris Bertram 07.02.06 at 11:40 am

Dave, I’m sure that many other Scots would agree with your interpretation of events.


sanbikinoraion 07.02.06 at 4:41 pm

Poor management, that’s all I can say. Bad formation, bad choice of players (except for Hargreaves, whom I imagine a lot of people have new-found respect for after that), and bad choice of subs. Walcott needed to come on for Terry or Lampard early in extra time for some attacking pizazz but it never happened. Carragher was a mystifying choice, as was taking off Joe Cole.

Hopefully McClaren will be a bit different.


tom s. 07.02.06 at 10:55 pm

Is it in bad taste to point out that but not only did I get the game right (see post number 2), but we’re just beginning to hear a change of tone in how Beckham is talked about (see post number 1)?

It is? OK then I won’t.


dale 07.04.06 at 2:52 am

rooney was wrongly sent off – carvalho (?) on the ground through three consecutive moves is making no effort to play the ball and impedes him twice, and in going after the ball, rooney stands on his leg. carvalho curls up in a ball, clutching his groin. free-kick to rooney, actually, for the ongoing fouling. then ronaldo arrives and rooney departs. bad call.

but that didn’t lose england the game. even with 10 men they repeatedly broke up the portugese attack and sent the ball forward. but there was never anyone up front. crouch was eventually reduced to laying the ball off to himself. what lost england the game was trying to defend the goal, rather than trying to score the goal. with 4 in back and a keeper, everyone else could have been sent forward, on the reasonable grounds that risking losing by one goal is the price paid for risking winning by a goal. instead they played for penalties, when they could have played for a win.

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