Tuesday 13 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.
2006 World Cup: Day five
Match one: South Korea vs Togo
With their fleet-footed wingers, South Korea are immediately out stripping Togo's wide players and during the first few minutes the Asian team slashes in a number of dangerous balls. But their attacking players aren't up to the test and can't get on the end of the whipped crosses to capitalise on Togo's early defensive holes. At the other end Togo striker Adebayor is left unmarked but unsupported and is quickly smothered.
Both teams manage to shave the bar with a succession of free kicks, thanks to some ruthless tackling from the back line, but it's Adebayor who finally comes closest. Bursting forwards, the striker flashes an early, low-driven shot that just whispers wide of the left post. With neither side showing any skill in front of goal, the draw comes as no surprise.
PES predicts: South Korea 0, Togo 0
Match two: France vs Switzerland
France have little to offer in the way of attacking play in the early stages, with lone striker Wiltord desperately stranded. Within nine minutes, Swiss striker Frei has a shot turned away by the opposing goalkeeper. He gathers the resulting corner kick, exchanges a sweet pass with his fellow striker and explodes through the experienced French defence to lash home a storming goal and put France on the back foot.
The French players look nervy, especially in defence. Gallas has the best chance for France, collecting a delicate lob that clears the defence but, with the keeper rushing out, he fluffs it into the side netting. Then, in the 87th minute, Cabanas seals the game for Switzerland with a simple slotting shot after the increasingly desperate Vieira messes up in front of his own box, and France suffer a shock loss.
PES predicts: France 0, Switzerland 2
Above: Switzerland's on-form striker, Frei, cuts easily through the leaden French defence
Match three: Brazil vs Croatia
A quiet game this, with only a handful of chances for either side. Brazil makes theirs count most, though, despite bumbling passes and moves once in sight of the opposition's goalmouth during the first half. But, as the game nears half-time, Kaka curls in a fantastic corner-kick, meeting the head of Ronaldo who powers it into the net, over the helpless Croatian goalie.
Croatia pull back possession in the second half but take far too long to lay the ball into their strikers, who also wait too long to take their shots. Adriano nearly makes it two for Brazil, stealing away from his marker at another corner-kick chance, but in the end a fairly lifeless match ends with a never-in-doubt victory for the South American defending world champions.
PES predicts: Brazil 1, Croatia 0