Thursday 15 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 eight
Match one: Argentina vs Serbia and Montenegro
Serbia's Vidic is out following an injury and Argentina are harrying the depleted Serbian defence from the off. It's only a few minutes until Argentina's first shot on goal, with Cambiasso unleashing a great strike that's luckily blocked by a Serbian defender. Seconds later the Serbian keeper is tested by a storming free-kick from the boot of Riquelme.
The Serbs have no answer to the pressure, with Kezman managing only a single shot - gathering a loose ball just outside the Argentine box, he smashes a low drive that forces a superb save from the keeper. Argentina always looks like winning and the inevitable breakthrough comes on 61 minutes, a perfect corner kick finding Maxi Rodriguez unmarked to power in a headed goal.
PES predicts: Argentina 1, Serbia and Montenegro 0
Above: Ivory Coast defender Toure smashes an over-zealous clearance smack into the back of his own net
Match two: Netherlands vs Ivory Coast
Dindane comes in to replace Kalou in attack for Ivory Coast and they look dangerous early on, threatening Netherlands with some nice, accurate passing. And, eight minutes in, Drogba sprints on to the end of a long ball, muscles the Dutch players aside and charges on goal, tucking the ball under the keeper's body and taking Ivory Coast into the lead.
The second half, though, sees the Netherlands regain control. Cocu finds himself in yards of space, launching two low and powerful shots from outside the area that are only just cleared by the keeper. Finally, with another strike driven in from the exact same spot as before, the Ivory Coast goalie spills the shot, panicking the nearest defender whose desperate clearance is powered into his own goal, sealing a draw for the teams.
PES predicts: Netherlands 1, Ivory Coast 1
Match three: Mexico vs Angola
With Borgetti injured and unable to play for Mexico, Fonseca steps up, but can't offer the same attacking threat. It's a scrappy, ugly game - neither side manages to retain possession for long and there are only two real chances. First, Angola burst through on the wings, leaving striker Akwa totally free in the box, but unable to pounce on the terrible pass that's played to him.
And, seconds from the end, Mexican midfielder Martinez nearly scores to put his country ahead - peeling away from three defenders stacked on the edge of the area, teeing up a shot but booting it high and wide. An uninspiring bore draw.
PES predicts: Mexico 0, Angola 0