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Friday 9 June 2006
Throughout the 2006 World Cup we'll be predicting each day's results - using Pro Evolution Soccer! We'll select the teams and let the game play out the action on its own, before posting a quick match report and the final, PES-predicted score.
Disclaimer: GamesRadar accepts no responsibility for large sums of money lost in ridiculously optimistic betting flings. OK?
2006 World Cup: Day two
Match one: England vs Paraguay
Rooney is out, obviously, but reports say everyone else is fit. And good job too; Gary Neville put in a man-of-the-match performance, linking well with Beckham down the right, who also had a storming game. England's coiffured captain narrowly missed out on a brace of goals, with his first shot cleared off the line after ricocheting off the Paraguay goalkeeper.
Paraguay had a great chance to take the lead, with Acuna skinning the English defence but sending his fierce shot just wide of Robinson's goalpost. But the winning goal came half-way through the first half, with Neville sending in a swooping cross for Owen to volley straight into the bottom right corner.
Final score: England 1, Paraguay 0
Above: Michael Owen slams home a fantastic cross by Gary Neville in the first half
Match two: Trinidad & Tobago vs Sweden
Sweden's goalkeeper Isaksson is out, so second choice Alvbage is in. Trinidad's pace-men applied some early pressure, their first shot just slipping wide of the goal, but the action swung quickly into Sweden's favour, and at the 17th minute Larsson pushed his way through the Trinidad defence to thwack a lovely shot deep into the left corner.
Trinidad kept up some nice moves, though, and half-way through the second half captain Dwight Yorke stripped his marker with a nifty step-over, before sending a pass to Jones who stabbed it into the back of the net. Despite dominating the final minutes, though, Swede striker Ibrahimovic's headed goal was disallowed for shoving, leaving Trinidad with a well-earned draw.
Final score: Trinidad & Tobago 1, Sweden 1
Match three: Argentina vs Ivory Coast
The first unexpected result of our PES experiment, Ivory Coast did well against Argentina. An early chance for Crespo, who tore apart the defence with a lovely run, was palmed away, and Argentina's only other chance came in the last few minutes of the first half - a ferocious free-kick from Riquelme, just pushed over the crossbar by Ivory Coast's impressive goalkeeper. And they should have won it.
Drogba had four or five clear chances to win the match for Ivory Coast, a header in the last seconds skinning the right post and going wide, but was just too wasteful in attack, giving the ball away easily and denying his country a deserved victory.
Final score: Argentina 0, Ivory Coast 0