Wednesday, July 05, 2006

"They never met in the world cup finals," says the commentator while the teams enter the pitch.
Portugal defeated the Dutch and the English, while France sent home Spain and Brazil. It is time for Portugal to measure up against France. Portugal stumbled in the past over France in the European cup. Can they start a different trend for the world cup?
Portugal kicks off. France claims the ball seconds later, they come to play. A French player kicks a long high ball from the halfway line, to a couple of meters off the left edge of the Portuguese penalty box. Another French striker runs the ball deeper into the defense and crosses the ball in face of the goal. The ball mows the grass over the pitch, all the way. No French striker is present to flick it into the net.
Portugal counters with a run on the left.
"Ronaldo getting boo’s," says the commentator. "Must be an English crowd.”
Ronaldo, for Portugal, crosses the ball to the edge of the French penalty box, to a teammate facing the target. His teammate fires. The French keeper dives to the far right corner, stretching his arms. He deflects the ball with his left hand, before hitting the grass.
"Both teams starting in attacking mode," concludes the commentator.
Ronaldo runs the ball over the left, opening the game. The stadium whistles and moans with his every touch of the ball, regardless how ball technical or clever his effort.
In the eight minute, Portugal shoots from twenty meters the ball two inches over the crossbar. The match develops into another world cup thriller. Figo adds drama when he stays down on the grass after his strike misses the target.

"Sure he be up and running,” says the commentator while medical staff carry Figo on a stretcher off the pitch.
Moreover, Miraculously, Figo runs over the grass seconds later after he is dropped on the sideline.
The referee drowns in Portuguese theatrics. He Overcompensates and denies Zidane a free kick, on the edge of the Portuguese penalty box. In the thirty-second minute, he makes up for his mistake. Henry hits the grass after his toe brushes against a Portuguese foot and the referee points to the penalty spot.
Zidane takes three steps back. The Portuguese keeper dives, but cannot reach the bullet.


"Great finish by Zidane," shouts the commentator. "France senses something," he adds, while the French supporters break out in frenzy at the halftime break.

France continues to advance in the second half. Henry, for France, shoots at an angle from close range. The keeper deflects but cannot secure the ball. The rebound ends in the foot of a French striker on the edge of the Portuguese penalty box. He fires.
"What a save by Ricardo," shouts the commentator while the Portuguese keeper jumps and tips the ball with one hand over the crossbar. "Portugal cannot afford to go two goals down."
Portugal retaliates, they counter over the left, and a Portuguese striker shoots at an angle from close range.
"Pauletta hit the side netting," shouts the commentator.
Fatigue sets in the French defense and they suffer a relapse of weakness. However, Portugal is also weakened and cannot finish. In the seventy-seventh minute, Bartez, the French keeper volleys a close range shot over the crossbar.
"I am not sure if he thinks he is playing volleyball," says the commentator.
Portugal throws in all their weapons in the battle. They dive, fake, and make theatrics. On the sideline, the French coach laughs. He twirls two fingers on the side of his head, air filming the Portuguese acting performance.
Portugal cannot save their dream, France holds on. The final is determined. The whole world will watch Italy play France for the cup, next Sunday in Berlin.