It's time, once again for the biggest tournament in world sport. That's right: The FIFA World Cup. And where better to get your up-to the minute news on the fixtures and scores as the event progresses that at this very node? Well, you could try the official FIFA site or the BBC for a start; but if you're too scared to leave the confines of the thrilling yet comfortable mix of poetry, prose, fact, fiction, inane jabber and utter crap that is our E2 then here you are.

Right. Enough of the the seemingly-pointless intro cleverly crafted to make this node look more than just a cut and paste writeup. Oh, and before I start: the times are in local time!

The group stages

The 32 teams participating in the cup are organised into eight groups of four. Each team in each group will play each other once in a mini-league. At the end, the top two teams from each group will progress to the second stage.

Group A

09-Jun-06       Munich          GER 4 CRC 2     18:00   
09-Jun-06       Gelsenkirchen   POL 0 ECU 2     21:00   
14-Jun-06       Dortmund        GER 1 POL 0     21:00   
15-Jun-06       Hamburg         ECU 3 CRC 0     15:00   
20-Jun-06       Berlin          ECU 0 GER 3     16:00   
20-Jun-06       Hanover         CRC 1 POL 2     16:00   

Group B

10-Jun-06       Frankfurt       ENG 1 PAR 0     15:00   
10-Jun-06       Dortmund        TRI 0 SWE 0     18:00   
15-Jun-06       Nuremberg       ENG 2 TRI 0     18:00   
15-Jun-06       Berlin          SWE 1 PAR 0     21:00   
20-Jun-06       Cologne         SWE 2 ENG 2     21:00   
20-Jun-06       Kaiserslautern  PAR 2 TRI 0     21:00   

Group C

10-Jun-06       Hamburg         ARG 2 CIV 2     21:00   
11-Jun-06       Leipzig         SCG 0 NED 1     15:00   
16-Jun-06       Gelsenkirchen   ARG 6 SCG 0     15:00   
16-Jun-06       Stuttgart       NED 2 CIV 1     18:00   
21-Jun-06       Frankfurt       NED 0 ARG 0     21:00   
21-Jun-06       Munich          CIV 3 SCG 2     21:00   

Group D

11-Jun-06       Nuremberg       MEX 3 IRN 1     18:00   
11-Jun-06       Cologne         ANG 0 POR 1     21:00   
16-Jun-06       Hanover         MEX 0 ANG 0     21:00   
17-Jun-06       Frankfurt       POR 2 IRN 0     15:00   
21-Jun-06       Gelsenkirchen   POR 2 MEX 1     16:00   
21-Jun-06       Leipzig         IRN 1 ANG 1     16:00

Group E

12-Jun-06       Hanover         ITA 2 GHA 0     21:00   
12-Jun-06       Gelsenkirchen   USA 0 CZE 3     18:00   
17-Jun-06       Kaiserslautern  ITA 1 USA 1     21:00   
17-Jun-06       Cologne         CZE 0 GHA 2     18:00   
22-Jun-06       Hamburg         CZE 0 ITA 2     16:00   
22-Jun-06       Nuremberg       GHA 2 USA 1     16:00

Group F

13-Jun-06       Berlin          BRA 1 CRO 0     21:00   
12-Jun-06       Kaiserslautern  AUS 3 JPN 1     15:00   
18-Jun-06       Munich          BRA 2 AUS 0     18:00   
18-Jun-06       Nuremberg       JPN 0 CRO 0     15:00   
22-Jun-06       Dortmund        JPN 1 BRA 4     21:00   
22-Jun-06       Stuttgart       CRO 2 AUS 2     21:00

Group G

13-Jun-06       Stuttgart       FRA 0 SUI 0     18:00   
13-Jun-06       Frankfurt       KOR 2 TOG 1     15:00   
18-Jun-06       Leipzig         FRA 1 KOR 1     21:00   
19-Jun-06       Dortmund        TOG 0 SUI 2     15:00   
23-Jun-06       Cologne         TOG 0 FRA 2     21:00   
23-Jun-06       Hanover         SUI 2 KOR 0     21:00

Group H

14-Jun-06       Leipzig         ESP 4 UKR 0     15:00   
14-Jun-06       Munich          TUN 2 KSA 2     18:00   
19-Jun-06       Stuttgart       ESP 3 TUN 1     21:00   
19-Jun-06       Hamburg         KSA 0 UKR 4     18:00   
23-Jun-06       Kaiserslautern  KSA 0 ESP 1     16:00   
23-Jun-06       Berlin          UKR 1 TUN 0     16:00   

Knockout Stage

It's a straight knockout from here on in. Win, you're through; lose, you're out.

First Round

24-Jun-06       Munich                Germany 2 : 0 Sweden                          17:00   
24-Jun-06       Leipzig             Argentina 1 : 1 Mexico                          21:00   
                                      Argentina win 2-1 a.e.t
25-Jun-06       Stuttgart             England 1 : 0 Ecuador                         17:00   
25-Jun-06       Nuremberg            Portugal 1 : 0 Netherlands                     21:00   
26-Jun-06       Kaiserslautern          Italy 1 : 0 Australia                       17:00   
26-Jun-06       Cologne           Switzerland 0 : 0 Ukraine                         21:00
                                    0-0 aet. Ukr win 0-3 on pens.   
27-Jun-06       Dortmund               Brazil 3 : 0 Ghana                           17:00   
27-Jun-06       Hanover                 Spain 1 : 3 France                          21:00


30-Jun-06       Berlin                Germany 1 : 1 Argentina         17:00   
                                     0-0 aet. Ger win 4-2 on pens.
30-Jun-06       Hamburg                 Italy 3 : 0 Ukraine           21:00   
01-Jul-06       Gelsenkirchen         England 0 : 0 Portugal          17:00   
                                     0-0 aet. Por win 3-1 on pen.
01-Jul-06       Frankfurt              Brazil 0 : 1 France  21:00


04-Jul-06       Dortmund              Germany 0 : 0 Italy          21:00   
                                         Italy win 2-0 aet
05-Jul-06       Munich               Portugal 0 : 1 France         21:00

Third Place playoff

08-Jul-06       Stuttgart             Germany 3 : 1 Portugal          21:00


09-Jul-06       Berlin                  Italy 1 : 1 France         20:00
                                      1-1 aet. Fra win 5-3 on pen.


Group A

Costa Rica struggled to qualify for the Cup, and struggled all the way through the group stages. It lost every single match, but did score three goals to their opponents' nine. The closest loss was to Poland, 1-2.

Ecuador showed promise during its second qualification, and showed even more during the group stages, where it only lost to Germany, 0-3, and did not concede a single goal otherwise. Ecuador dropped out after a loss to England in the Last 16.

Germany did not have to qualify for this Cup, as it was the host. They had little trouble during their group matches, winning the first match 4-2 and the others 1-0 and 3-0. Its last 16 opponent was Sweden, which it disposed of 2-0. Germany's biggest challenge was Argentina, who had been showing quite some promise in their group stages, but it survived to win on penalties. Germany nearly survived another draw with Italy, but two quick goals right at the end of extra time relegated Germany to the third-place playoff. They won 3-1 against a strong Portuguese team.

Poland led Europe Group Six for most of the way, but lost to England and qualified as a runner-up. It came into a tough group, and lost its first two matches to Germany and Ecuador, meaning it was the 'first group to leave the World Cup'.

Group B

England had an easy run to qualification, won its first two games easily and drew its third. It scored very few goals – five (with two against) – and continued its low scoring with a 1-0 win against Ecuador in the Last 16. It drew with Portugal in the semi-finals and lost on penalties.

Paraguay won only its game against Trinidad and Tobago after a disappointing qualification (fourth in South America). It fought back somewhat at England and Sweden, however, losing both those matches 0-1.

Sweden was another runner-up in Europe Group Eight, finishing second to Croatia. Sweden won against Paraguay and drew with England, but a surprise draw with Trinidad and Tobago saw it gain just five points and settle for second place. It lost to Germany in the Last 16, 2-0.

Trinidad and Tobago had a tough run to qualification, playing off home-and-away against Bahrain. Few people expected them to rise up in their first Cup, but changed their minds when they drew with Sweden. It still fell to England and Paraguay to settle for fourth spot.

Group C

Argentina qualified with no trouble at all, finishing second behind Brazil. They showed their power by beating Serbia & Montenegro 6-0 in the group stages. Their power started waning after the group stages, however - a 2-1 win against Mexico in extra time and a 1-1 draw with Germany saw it out on penalties.

Cote d'Ivoire pipped Egypt and Cameroon for qualification in its first Cup, but unfortunately lost two matches early, to Argentina and the Netherlands, so bowed out of the tournament quickly. Praise must be given to them, though, for their hardy 3-2 win against Serbia & Montenegro from a 1-2 half-time.

The Netherlands took top placing in Europe Group One. They ended up with similar results to Argentina in the Group stage, the only difference being goals (8 to Argentina, 3 to the Netherlands). The Netherlands lost to Portugal in the round of 16.

Serbia & Montenegro, with top placing in Europe Group Seven, only scored two goals for the entire group stage, both of which were against Cote d'Ivoire. This was its most spirited match, as they got up 2-0 in 20 minutes before Cote d'Ivoire held on for a victory.

Group D

Angola scraped in over Nigeria in Africa Group Four to make its first ever World Cup, but had a bad first match, as Portugal scored within 4 minutes and Angola could come up with no answer. However, its other two matches were neat draws that aggregated only two goals.

Iran made it in through an impressive placing in Africa Group Four. However, it scored just one draw in the group stages with two losses, predictably to Mexico and Portugal. Iran was not disgraced, however - it held on for a last-minute draw with Angola.

Mexico had a very easy run into qualification, but had somewhat of a hard-fought opening match, as 2 of its 3 goals were scored in the last 15 minutes. A draw against Angola saw it scrape its way into the Last 16, where it lost to the Argentinian powerhouse 2-1.

Portugal didn't lose one game in Europe Group 3 nor in the group stages. The World No.7 took on the Netherlands in the Final 16 and managed to win 1-0. A close penalty win against England saw them into the top four in the world, but two losses to France and Germany saw the gutsy Portugal settle for fourth spot.

Group E

The Czech Republic pipped both Finland and Norway to enter the tournament, then had its only victory against a weak US side, 3-0, before losing to Ghana and Italy 0-2 each, seeing it bow out by 3 points.

Ghana won against South Africa and the Congo to qualify from Africa Group Two for its first tournament. Ghana lost against powerhouses Italy, but came back for defeats of the Czech Republic and the US (the latter pipping the Czechs). Its Last 16 match was against Brazil, which it predictably lost 3-0.

Italy stayed on top of an easy Europe Group Five to qualify, and it seemed that it could do no wrong throughout the entire tournament. After topping the group stages undefeated (a draw with the US being the only blot on its record), it defeated Australia 1-0 in the eleventh hour to advance into the quarter finals. There it won 3-0 against Ukraine and came up against host nation Germany in the semi-finals. A victory there saw it up against France in Berlin on July 9, 2006, where a 1-1 draw saw a penalty shootout. A perfect 5 against France's 3 gave Italy its fourth FIFA World Cup.

USA was ranked 5th in the world when it qualified, easily taking a spot in North America. However, it failed to win a single match against lower-ranked teams. Its only point came from a gutsy 1-1 draw against Italy.

Group F

Australia got through to only its second tournament by pipping Uruguay on penalties. Inexperience showed against Brazil and Croatia, however a last-minute 3-1 win against Japan gave Australia entry into the Final 16, where it was beaten by a controversial decision against Italy.

Brazil, as top in the world and defending champs, won through easily and continued its run with three wins in its group stage. It easily took out Ghana in the Last 16, but lost to a rising French team 0-1 in the quarter-finals. However, excellent play was shown in all its matches.

Croatia won Europe Group Eight, but failed to show their strength by losing to Brazil and drawing to Japan. It needed to win against Australia to progress; however, a last-minute goal drew the match and saw Croatia out of the Cup.

Japan won its Asia group, but lost a supposedly easy match against Australia. It drew with Croatia and lost to Brazil 1-4. The disgraced Japan only scored 2 goals throughout the group stage.

Group G

France scraped through Europe Group Four, then scraped into the Last 16 in second place, one point ahead of nearest rivals South Korea. However, a critic-silencing 3-1 victory over Spain and 1-0 victory over superstars Brazil saw France into the semi-finals. An early goal from captain Zinedine Zidane gave France a 1-0 victory over Portugal and access to the Final against Italy. Another early goal, then last-minute red card to Zidane gave Italy a big chance in penalties, where it exploited France's weaknesses and sent them to second place.

South Korea qualified badly, but still managed to win against Togo and draw with France. A victory would see them through, and France second... but it was against group dominators Switzerland. South Korea ended up one point behind France.

Switzerland survived Europe Group 4 and a match against Turkey, but were much more promising against the rest of its group, with a 0-0 draw against France and two 2-0 victories, which saw it into first place without condecing a single goal. However, it lost to the team from Ukraine in the Last 16.

Togo took out its Africa group with just one loss. However, it scored only one goal against South Korea in a 2-1 loss, and (somewhat predictably) failed to shine otherwise.

Group H

Saudi Arabia conceded two goals on the way to qualification but came into a tough group which was made tougher by a 2-2 draw to fellow underdogs Tunisia. These were the only goals Saudi Arabia scored.

Spain made somewhat of a mess of Europe Group Seven by being unbeaten, but finishing second. Spain started well with a 4-0 victory against Ukraine and 3-1 victory over Tunisia. Another victory saw it up against France for the last 16, where it lost 3-1.

Tunisia just managed to get in, using a 70th minute goal against Morocco. When Tunisia made it, it had as bad a run as Saudi Arabia, drawing one match and losing the other two. It wasn't for lack of trying, howver: it lost to Ukraine 1-0.

Ukraine took out such names as Turkey, Greece and Denmark to win Europe Group Two and become the first European team, except for Germany, to qualify. Wins against Saudi Arabia and Tunisia gave it second place, and a playoff against Switzerland, which it managed to win on penalties. However, a match against Italy was too much for it, and it dropped out in the quarter-finals.


Group A

Germany		4	 df	2	Costa Rica
Poland		0	lost	2	Ecuador
Germany		1	 df	0	Poland
Ecuador		3	 df	0	Costa Rica
Germany		3	 df	0	Ecuador
Costa Rica	1	lost	2	Poland
Germany (9 pts) and Ecuador (6 pts) advance

Group B

England		1	 df	0	Paraguay
T&T		0	drew	0	Sweden
England		2	 df	0	T&T
Sweden		1	 df	0	Paraguay
Sweden		2	drew	2	England
Paraguay	2	 df	0	T&T
England (7 pts) and Sweden (5 pts) advance

Group C

Argentina	2	 df	1	Cote D'Ivoire
Serb/Mont	0	lost	1	Netherlands
Argentina	6	 df	0	Serb/Mont
Netherlands	2	 df	1	Cote D'Ivoire
Netherlands	0	drew	0	Argentina
Cote D'Ivoire	3	 df	2	Serb/Mont
Argentina (7 pts) and Netherlands (7 pts) advance

Group D

Mexico		3	 df	1	Iran
Angola		0	lost	1	Portugal
Mexico		0	drew	0	Angola
Portugal	2	 df	0	Iran
Portugal	2	 df	1	Mexico
Iran		1	drew	1	Angola
Portugal (9 pts) and Mexico (4 pts) advance

Group E

Italy		2	 df	0	Ghana
USA		0	lost	3	Czech Rep.
Italy		1	drew	1	USA
Czech Rep.	0	lost	2	Ghana
Czech Rep.	0	lost	2	Italy
Ghana		2	 df	1	USA
Italy (7 pts) and Ghana (6 pts) advance

Group F

Australia	3	 df	1	Japan
Brazil		1	 df	0	Croatia
Brazil		2	 df	0	Australia
Japan		0	drew	0	Croatia
Japan		1	lost	4	Brazil
Croatia		2	drew	2	Australia
Brazil (9 pts) and Australia (4 pts) advance

Group G

France		0	drew	0	Switzerland
South Korea	2	 df	1	Togo
France		1	drew	1	South Korea
Togo		0	lost	2	Switzerland
Togo		0	lost	2	France
Switzerland	2	 df	0	South Korea
Switzerland (7 pts) and France (5 pts) advance

Group H

Spain		4	 df	0	Ukraine
Tunisia		2	drew	2	Saudi Arabia
Spain		3	 df	1	Tunisia
Saudi Arabia	0	lost	4	Ukraine
Saudi Arabia	0	lost	1	Spain
Ukraine		1	 df	0	Tunisia
Spain (9 pts) and Ukraine (6 pts) advance

Final 16

Germany		2	 df	0	Sweden
Argentina	2	 df	1	Mexico
England		1	 df	0	Ecuador
Portugal	1	 df	0	Netherlands
Italy		1	 df	0	Australia
Switzerland	0	lost	0	Ukraine (penalties)
Brazil		3	 df	0	Ghana
Spain		1	lost	3	France


Germany		1	 df	1	Argentina (pen.)
England		0	lost	0	Portugal (pen.)
Italy		3	 df	0	Ukraine
Brazil		0	lost	1	France


Germany		0	lost	2	Italy
Portugal	0	lost	1	France

Third-Place Playoff

Germany		3	 df	1	Portugal

Grand Final

Italy		1	 df	1	France (pen.)

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