Friday 16 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 nine
Match one: Portugal vs Iran
What should be an easy match for Portugal kicks off slowly and, although Iran are playing too negatively to threaten, neither side can find any rhythm in the first half.
Seconds after the break, Cristiano Ronaldo finds space on the left but pulls his shot wide. Soon after Deco dispossesses a clumsy Iranian defender and positions himself clear on goal but fires straight into the keeper. With no attacking ideas whatsoever, Iran are lucky that Portugal's finishing has deserted them, and should be pleased by the draw.
PES predicts: Portugal 0, Iran 0
Above: Stajner finally scores for the Czech Republic, burying a sterling cross from Nedved
Match two: Czech Republic vs Ghana
The Czech players begin as they mean to go on; driving the ball from the kick-off towards Ghana's goal mouth, with Stajner getting off a snap-shot in the first minute that forces a huge save from the goalkeeper. Essien fires off a hopeful volley from 35 yards a few minutes later, but Ghana can't push through the Czech defence during the first half.
Stajner and Nedved both have chances in the seconds half, but flash their shots over the bar. Pimpong heads a rare attack for Ghana, losing his marker and collecting a long ball, deftly flicking it over the head of an onrushing defender, but cannoning his shot straight at the goalie. Finally, Nedved has the final word, sending a brilliant cross on to the head of Stajner who powers it home to win the game.
PES predicts: Czech Republic 1, Ghana 0
Match three: Italy vs USA
Minutes into the game and Totti has hit the bar, a shot from Gilardino is blocked and Italy look lost. USA probe well and a few minutes in McBride breaks through on the left and powers up-field. His shot ricochets off Pirlo, flies high into the air and falls into the Italian box. With a huge leap, Donovan climbs higher than his marker and tips a header past a stranded Buffon.
Italy are shellshocked. Toni, Totti and Gilardino all have chances turned away by the keeper in the second half. USA nearly make it two in extra time with a great cross arching across goal, but there's no one to finish it off. A shock victory for Team USA.
PES predicts: Italy 0, USA 1