Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The last match of round two promises to be one for the history books. France struggled through round one, while Spain stormed through. However, the French record dwarfs the Spanish one. Today Spain is looking to break the prejudice forecast and send France home.
"Both teams are packed with international stars," says the commentator at the kickoff. "We should see a lot of creativity."
He forgets both nations also house a high paid professional defense, the match starts slow.
Thousand of flashes reflect onto the pitch while Zidane takes a corner in the seventh minute. -This could be his last match, if France looses. Zidane will retire after the tournament - He crosses the ball textbook in the face of the goal. The Spanish keeper sticks his arm through the bouncing heads, and punches the ball away.
Two minutes later Spain tries a 'Beckham' from twenty-five meters.
"Watch it bend," says the commentator, while the ball, also in the repeat, goes one foot over the crossbar.
In the fifteenth minute, Zidane steals the ball, and he passes it to the deep right. He sprints towards goal to meet the return cross. He arrives on time, but so does a defender. He blocks Zidane's shot, conceding a corner, and more photo opportunity.
Spain takes more control of the match, however cannot break the French defense. In front of the referee's nose, a French defender steps onto the back heels of a Spanish striker, inside the French penalty box. The referee blows his whistle and points to the penalty spot. France holds his breath.
David Villa, for Spain, shoots the ball into the low left corner of the French goal, out of reach of the keeper.
"Of the inside of the post," shouts the commentator.


Spain finds some momentum while the linesman continuously raises his offside flag on the French counters. A minute before the end of the first half, the French finally crack the offside. A French striker faces only the keeper. He draws him off his line and slides the ball in the far left corner, out of reach of the two Spanish defenders sliding into the net.


"All of a sudden the French are alive," says the commentator while the French supporters burst out.
French sharpens their creativity. Zidane drives a ball into the penalty box in the fifty-first minute, finding a free teammate. He blasts the ball to the edge of the target. The Spanish keeper punches the ball out of danger in a tremendous dive.
The Spanish compose and the match turns into a thriller.
"The tension is building," says the commentator.
France busts the tension in the eighty-third minute, Zidane plunges the ball to the left post. A fellow Frenchman heads the ball in, launching the French supporters in frenzy.


Spain battles for an equalizer. However, nobody else then, Zidane seals all faith. He breaks the offside barrier and runs the ball to the goal, challenging the Spanish keeper and two oncoming defenders. Zidane stands his ground.


"He beat everybody," says the commentator. "What a fantastic finish, what a great night for Zidane."
A great night for the whole of French, they play Brazil in the quarterfinal.
Spain goes home, soaked in tears.