Archive for September, 2006

Weekend Fixtures 30.09.06 01.10.06

September 29, 2006

epl-laliga-afa-seriea.jpgFeatured Weekend Matches in the English Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, and Argentina Apertura.

Sunday has a few interesting match-ups with the two Madrids and Sevilla v Getafe.

Man United v Newcastle might hold something in the Prem.

But the weekend’s most promising fixture is in South America with Velez Sarsfield traveling to La Bombonera. Boca looks to stay unbeaten in the Apertura after losing in the mid-week Copa Sudamericana to Nacional of Uruguay. A win for Velez Sarsfield would see them only two points back of the current leaders.

Saturday 30 September 2006

Chelsea v Aston Villa
Bolton v Liverpool
Charlton v Arsenal

Athletic de Bilbao v Barcelona

Sunday 01 October 2006

Manchester United v Newcastle
Tottenham v Portsmouth
West Ham v Reading

Real Madrid v Atletico de Madrid
Sevilla v Getafe
Valencia v Gimnastica

Cagliari v Inter Milan
Roma v Empoli
Chievo Verona v Palermo
AC Milan v Siena

Boca Juniors v Velez Sarsfield
Belgrano v River Plate
San Lorenzo v Estudiantes de La Plata
Independiente v Gimnasia La Plata

Weekend Wrap 23.09.06 24.09.06 Videos, Scores, and Comments
EPL Ball
Boca Juniors Drop First Leg Match to Nacional 2 – 1
Drogba’s Hat-Trick in Video
Lionel Messi Champions League Goal Video
Peter Crouch Goal – Champions League Stunner
Copa Sudamericana Results 26.09.06 27.09.06 28.09.06
Champions League Results 26.09.06 27.09.06 – Scores, Comments, Videos


Claude Makelele France Call-ups Continue

September 29, 2006

france-soccer-ball.gifClaude Makelele has been called up again to play for France even though he has expressed his desire to retire from international football.

France manager Raymond Domenech is pragmatic in his approach to Makelele’s wish to retire, saying, “From my point of view, it’s never been an issue.” – Full AP Report

David Beckham, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Raul, All Left Out of Euro Qualifiers
Sepp Blatter Wants to End Penalty Shoot-outs in World Cup Final
Merchandise – France Jerseys and More

David Beckham, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Raul, All Left Out of Euro Qualifiers

September 29, 2006

Despite injuries to Owen Hargreaves and Aaron Lennon, England manager Steve McClaren still did not call-up former captain David Beckham.

Beckham previously stated he believed an England recall was not forthcoming. With two midfielders injured and no recall, he appears to be correct.

Newcastle’s Scott Parker has been recalled for England’s matches against Macedonia and Croatia.

BBC Sports – England Squad

Earlier this week, Ruud Van Nistelrooy expressed his opinion that Dutch manager Marco van Basten picked on personality over performance. Not surprisingly, the Real Madrid striker was not named for the Netherlands matches with Bulgaria and Albania.

Van Basten recalled Bayern Munich midfielder Mark van Bommel and Chelsea’s Arjen Robben. – Netherlands Squad
Van Nistelrooy Takes Shot at Marco van Basten

Spain captain Raul has been dropped by manager Luis Aragones. The national team’s all-time leading scorer, and the Champions League’s new leading scorer, just ended an 11-month goal-scoring drought this week.

It is the first time in 10 years Spain will not feature Raul. – Spain Squad

Owen Hargreaves Update – Out Six Weeks
Francesco Totti Italy Return On Hold

Boca Juniors Drop First Leg Match to Nacional 2 – 1

September 29, 2006

boca-juniors-soccer-ball.gifCopa Sudamericana

Nacional held off Boca Juniors for a well-deserved 2 – 1 at Estadio Centenario in Montevideo.

Marcelo Tejera put the Uruguay side up on 18 and Diego Alonso made it two just three minutes later.

But Boca battled back with a first half, injury-time header by Rodrigo Palacio from a Neri Cardozo free kick.

Boca had numerous chances to draw even but were thwarted by brilliant goalkeeping from Jorge Bava.

Both teams played with ten men after just 31 minutes. Boca’s Martin Palermo was sent off with a second yellow after two rash challenges within minutes.

However, the advantage lasted only three minutes as Agustin Viana saw red for a sloppy two-footed challenge at the feet of Bartolo.

The second leg tie is at La Bombonera, Thursday 12, October.

Boca Juniors’ Officials Consider Replacing “La Bombonera”
Boca Juniors Win Recopa 4 – 3 Over Sao Paulo
Merchandise – Boca Jerseys and Balls
Boca DVDs Jerseys and More

Drogba’s Hat-Trick in Video

September 29, 2006

chelsea-soccer-ball.jpgDidier Drogba’s Champions League hat-trick puts Chelsea atop Group A with six points.

Drogba Goals – 27.09.06

Champions League Results 26.09.06 27.09.06 – Scores, Comments, Videos
Merchandise – Chelsea Jerseys and More

Lionel Messi Champions League Goal Video

September 29, 2006

barcelona-soccer-ball.gifA wonderful 89th minute strike from Lionel Messi off a give and go with Deco. Salvages a Champions League point for Barcelona.

A joy to watch unless you support Werder Bremen.

Messi Goal Video – Champions League 27.09.06

Champions League Results 26.09.06 27.09.06 – Scores, Comments, Videos
Samuel Eto’o Barcelona Striker Out for Five Months – 28.09.06
Merchandise – Barcelona Jerseys and More

Peter Crouch Goal – Champions League Stunner

September 29, 2006

liverpool-soccer-ball.gifPeter Crouch’s second goal against Galatasaray was nothing short of spectacular. Steve Finnan’s wonderful cross was rewarded with the most brilliant of goals.

Golazo! Golazo! Golazo! for Peter Crouch!

Peter Crouch Goal Video – Second Goal (Scissor)

Peter Crouch Goal Video – First Goal

Liverpool Merchandise of All Kinds
Golazo! Golazo! Golazo! Awards
Riise Goal – John Arne Riise Goal, Liverpool v Tottenham 23.09.06 Golazo!
Alonso Goal – Liverpool v Newcastle 20.09.06 Golazo!

Samuel Eto’o Barcelona Striker Out for Five Months

September 28, 2006

barcelona-soccer-ball.gifBarcelona striker Samuel Eto’o will be out for up to five months following a knee injury in Barca’s 1 – 1 Champions League draw with Werder Bremen.

The Cameroon international underwent surgery on Thursday to repair the meniscus of the knee. – Full AP Report

Barcelona Kits and More
Champions League Results 26.09.06 27.09.06 – Scores, Comments, Videos
Barcelona UNICEF Jerseys
Barcelona Champions League Brilliance – 12.09.06
Ronaldinho Shoes

Euro 2008 Mascots Unveiled

September 28, 2006

euro-2008-mascots.jpgUEFA unveiled the mascots for Euro 2008 yesterday.

The two footballing pixies represent the co-hosting nations of Austria and Switzerland.

A contest is being held to name the red and white clad, pointy-headed imps, but you must live in one of the host nations.

The clever names will be chosen from:
Zagi and Zigi
Flitz and Bitz
Trix and Flix

UEFA – an Animated Unveiling

Full AP Report from

Sepp Blatter Wants to End Penalty Shoot-outs in World Cup Final

September 28, 2006

fifa-world-cup-2010-south-africa-logo.jpgFIFA President Sepp Blatter has proposed ending World Cup Final shoot-outs with replays, or golden goals, with players removed for more space.

The impracticality of replays has seen them relegated to a novelty, and the idea of each side playing with less players to create scoring chances seems difficult to imagine.

Nonetheless, Blatter said these ideas will be on the table when discussing the rules for the 2010 World Cup.

BBC- Full Report

FIFA World Cup 2010 Official Site

Boca Juniors’ Officials Consider Replacing “La Bombonera” – 27.09.06
Mexico 2014 World Cup Bid Is Possible – 23.09.06
Italy France Rematch of Final Wednesday – 04.09.06
adidas World Cup Soccer Balls

Van Nistelrooy Takes Shot at Marco van Basten

September 28, 2006

Ruud Van Nistelrooy says Dutch manager Marco van Basten picks his squad based on personality rather than performance.

Van Nistelrooy has not been called up for the Netherlands since the World Cup. – Full AP Report

Holland Football Merchandise – Jerseys, Balls, More
Ruud Van Nistelrooy Three Goals for Real Madrid – 11.09.06
Ruud Van Nistelrooy Accuses Sir Alex Ferguson – 07.09.06

Boca Juniors’ Officials Consider Replacing “La Bombonera”

September 27, 2006

boca-juniors-soccer-ball.gifIn 2008, when FIFA regulations require all-seater stadiums, Boca Juniors “La Bombonera” stadium will likely be too small for one of South America’s most famous teams.

It’s estimated that Boca’s legendary Buenos Aires home would be reduced from its current capacity of 55,000, down to an impractical 30,000.

La Bombonera opened in 1940 and is officially named “Estadio Alberto J. Armando.” It’s original name was “Estadio Camilo Cichero.”

AP Story –
Wiki – La Bombonera at Wikipedia

WorldSoccerShop – Boca Balls and Jerseys
Boca DVDs Jerseys and More
Boca Juniors Win Thriller at Nueva Chicago – 25.09.06
Boca Juniors Cemetery

Copa Sudamericana Results 26.09.06 27.09.06 28.09.06

September 27, 2006

Results this week in the Copa Sudamericana.

River v Atletico-PR and San Lorenzo v Santos on Wednesday. Boca v Nacional (Uruguay) on Thursday.

Tuesday 26, September 2006

Deportes Tolima (Colombia) 2 – 1 Pachuca (Mexico)
Toluca (Mexico) 1 – 0 El Nacional (Ecuador)

Wednesday 27, September 2006

San Lorenzo (Argentina) 3 – 0 Santos (Brazil)
River Plate (Argentina) 0 – 1 Atletico-PR (Brazil)
Corinthians (Brazil) 0 – 0 Lanus (Argentina)

Thursday 28, September 2006

Fluminense (Brazil) 1 – 1 Gimnasia La Plata (Argentina)

Nacional (Uruguay) 2 – 1 Boca Juniors (Argentina)
SoccerGolazo Match Report

Thursday 05 October 2006

Alajuelense (Costa Rica) 0 – 4 Colo Colo (Chile)

CONMEBOL – Official Copa Sudamericana Site

Copa Sudamericana Fixtures 26.09.06 27.09.06 28.09.06
Champions League Results 26.09.06 27.09.06 – Scores, Comments, Videos
Boca Juniors Win Thriller at Nueva Chicago

Champions League Results 26.09.06 27.09.06 – Scores, Comments, Videos

September 26, 2006

uefa-champions-league.jpgScores, comments, and videos from this week’s Champions League matches.

Tuesday, 26th September 2006:

Group E

Real Madrid 5 – 1 Dynamo Kiev
Not as lopsided as the score would indicate, Kiev misses numerous chances to jump on top of the Spanish giants. Raul and Ruud Van Nistelrooy both get two, and Jose Antonio Reyes has a wonderful strike. David Beckham comes on for Reyes after the break and plays well. Ronaldo comes on late for his first bit of action, but is unable to finish his few chances. Real sit three back of Group E leaders Lyon.

Video Match Highlights – 10:05

Steaua Bucuresti 0 – 3 Lyon
The French side take all three again and top Group E with a convincing win over Steaua. Fred, Tiago, and Malouda all score as Lyon stay three up on Madrid.

Group F

Benfica 0 – 1 Manchester United
The Red Devils take full points again as a 60th minute Louis Saha strike holds up and Man U remain atop Group F.

Saha Goal Video of the winner.

Celtic 1 – 0 FC Copenhagen
Kenny Miller’s first half penalty holds up as the Scottish side move up to second in Group F, three points back of Man United.

Group G

Arsenal 2 – 0 FC Porto
Thierry Henry and Alexander Hleb both score to see the Gunners on top of Group G after two. Arsenal sit on six points, two points ahead of CSKA Moscow.

Henry Goal Video of games’ first goal.
Hleb Goal Video of the goal that seals it.

CSKA Moscow 1 – 0 Hamburg
CSKA keep pace in Group G and remain just two back of Arsenal. Hamburg have no points from two.

Group H

Lille 0 – 0 AC Milan
AC Milan still sit two points clear atop Group H with four. Lille are second with Anderlecht on two.

AEK Athens 1 – 1 Anderlecht
Anderlecht now has two points and sits second in Group H with Lille. AC Milan top the group with four points.

Wednesday, 27 September 2006:

Group A

Levski Sofia 1 – 3 Chelsea
Didier Drogba and Michael Ballack hit the post before Drogba starts hitting the net. A rebound in the 39th. A left-footed drive that trickles over the line in the 52nd, and a redirect from a Frank Lampard strike in the 68th. Chelsea are two up on Barca, alone atop the group.

Drogba Goals – Videos of the hat-trick.

Werder Bremen 1 – 1 Barcelona
Carles Puyol knocks in an own goal from an Aaron Hunt cross on 56, but Barcelona don’t give in and Deco and Lionel Messi work a give and go to perfection as “El Pulga” equalizes on 89.

Messi Goal – Video of fantastic goal in the dying minutes.

Group B

Inter Milan 0 – 2 Bayern Munich
Inter go down to 10 men on a 57th minute, second yellow to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and can’t hang on. Claudio Pizarro fights off a challenge and puts Bayern up in 80th. Fabio Grosso is sent off in the 84th. Lukas Podolski adds one in extra time. Inter have no points from two as their knockout stage hopes are dimming. Bayern top the group with six.

Spartak Moscow 1 – 1 Sporting Lisbon
Sporting equalize in the 59th through Luis Nani and are in second, two points behind Bayern. Spartak hang in with a point in third.

Group C

Liverpool 3 – 2 Galatasaray
Peter Crouch has two wonderful strikes, the second an absolute stunner as Liverpool hang on for all three points. A header from Luis Garcia, in between the brace, made it three. Umit Karan headed home nicely twice for the visitors, but to no avail. The Reds are atop with PSV on four. Galatasaray have one.

Crouch Goal – Video of the spectacular scissor kick by Peter Crouch. Golazo!
Crouch Goal Video of the first Peter Crouch which was very nice as well.

Bordeaux 0 – 1 PSV
Mika Vayrynen with the only goal as PSV keep pace with Liverpool.

Group D
Valencia 2 – 1 Roma
David Sanchez Villa sets up Miguel Angel Angulo nicely as Valencia jump out front. Marco Cassetti is almost pants-ed in the penalty area by Emiliano Moretti allowing Roma back even when Totti converts the spot kick. But Moretti sets up Villa for the winner in the 29th as Valencia go top the table, three up on second place Roma.

Video Highlights

Shakhtar Donetsk 2 – 2 Olympiakos
Olympiakos twice has the lead, but Shakhtar hang in for a point as both sides are two back of second place Roma. Five back of leaders Valencia.

UEFA – Official Champions League Page

Champions League Fixtures 26.09.06 27.09.06
Copa Sudamericana Fixtures 26.09.06 27.09.06 28.09.06
Champions League Scores 13.09.06

Copa Sudamericana Fixtures 26.09.06 27.09.06 28.09.06

September 26, 2006

Some great match-ups this week in the Copa Sudamericana.

Wednesday has San Lorenzo v Santos. Both teams currently sit third in their respective leagues, just a few points off the leaders.

River are in action as well on Wednesday, while Boca stir things up with Nacional of Uruguay on Thursday.

Tuesday 26, September 2006

Deportes Tolima (Colombia) v Pachuca (Mexico)
Toluca (Mexico) v El Nacional (Ecuador)

Wednesday 27, September 2006

San Lorenzo (Argentina) v Santos (Brazil)
River Plate (Argentina) v Atlético-PR (Brazil)
Corinthians (Brazil) v Lanus (Argentina)

Thursday 28, September 2006

Fluminense (Brazil) v Gimnasia La Plata (Argentina)
Nacional (Uruguay) v Boca Juniors (Argentina)

CONMEBOL – Official Copa Sudamericana Site

Champions League Fixtures 26.09.06 27.09.06
Boca Juniors Win Thriller at Nueva Chicago

Champions League Fixtures 26.09.06 27.09.06

September 25, 2006

uefa-champions-league.jpgIt’s Champions League time again.

Tuesday has a couple good ones with Arsenal v Porto and Man United at Benfica. Real Madrid will need a win versus Dynamo Kiev to keep their knockout stage hopes alive.

Wednesday has some great match-ups with Valencia v Roma, Bayern at Inter, and Barca at Werder. Liverpool v Galatasaray looks good too.

It’s certainly going to be difficult to watch all the good ones this week.

Tuesday, 26th September 2006:

Arsenal v FC Porto
Benfica v Manchester United
Real Madrid v Dynamo Kiev
Lille v AC Milan
Celtic v FC Copenhagen
Steaua Bucuresti v Lyon
CSKA Moscow v Hamburg
AEK Athens v Anderlecht

Wednesday, 27 September 2006:

Valencia v Roma
Inter Milan v Bayern Munich
Werder Bremen v Barcelona
Liverpool v Galatasaray
Levski Sofia v Chelsea
Spartak Moscow v Sporting
Bordeaux v PSV
Shakhtar Donetsk v Olympiacos

UEFA – Official Champions League Page

Copa Sudamericana Fixtures 26.09.06 27.09.06 28.09.06
Champions League Scores 13.09.06

Boca Juniors Win Thriller at Nueva Chicago

September 25, 2006

boca-juniors-soccer-ball.gifNeri Cardozo’s 11th minute header held up, as Boca Juniors remain on top of the Argentina Apertura with a 1 – 0 win at Nueva Chicago.

Cardozo was set-up beautifully by Rodrigo Palacio who had raced to the touchline and crossed. Cardozo slipped between two defenders and headed home past Chicago keeper Daniel Vega for the early lead.

An exciting first half that saw both sides with opportunities was nearly overshadowed by a sloppy, slow start after the break.

But with less than twenty minutes to play, the match spectacularly burst to life as Chicago pushed for the equalizer and Boca desperately tried to kill off the game.

And it did look as though Boca had finished it, in the 81st minute, when Martin Palermo brilliantly played in Andres Franzoia whose shot hit the bar and bounced down inside the goal. But the ball spun back out and neither the line judge nor the match referee saw the ball over the line. The goal was incorrectly not given and Boca were denied their second of the afternoon.

Four minutes of added time were furious as Boca held on to hand Chicago their first home defeat of the Apertura.

Boca now sit two points up at 19, with a game in hand on River Plate and San Lorenzo.

River were held to a 1 – 1 draw by Colon de Santa Fe and San Lorenzo were 2 – 0 losers at Lanus on two penalties.

Boca Merchandise – Balls and Jerseys
Boca DVDs Jerseys and More

Weekend Wrap 23.09.06 24.09.06 Videos, Scores, and Comments
Boca Juniors Hailed On Triumphant Return Home
Boca Juniors Win Recopa 4 – 3 Over Sao Paulo
Neri Cardozo Golazo!

Weekend Wrap 23.09.06 24.09.06 Videos, Scores, and Comments

September 24, 2006

epl-laliga-afa-seriea.jpgScores, comments, and videos from the featured matches.


Fulham 0 – 2 Chelsea
Frank Lampard’s brace sees off Fulham at Craven Cottage. A wonderful match that is end-to-end throughout as Fulham pushes the EPL Champions. A 72nd minute penalty on Rosenior for a handball in the box has Lampard burying a spot-kick in the top, center of the net with purpose. He scores his second eight minutes later with a rocket from the top of the box.

Liverpool 3 – 0 Tottenham
Gerrard beats the Spurs defense down the right side with an absolutely stunning move, crosses for Bellamy who misses spectacularly, hitting the post. The carom falls to Mark Gonzalez who fires back across the keeper for his first Liverpool goal. Dirk Kuyt beautifully pulls in a lovely ball from Luis Garcia and fires home to make it two. A stunning John Arne Riise goal from 35 yards caps off the Liverpool rout.

Gonzalez Goal From Gerrard
Kuyt Goal From Garcia
John Arne Riise Golazo! Golazo! Golazo! Award

Arsenal 3 – 0 Sheffield United
William Gallas scores his first as a Gunner as Arsenal start their way back up the table.

Gallas Goal
Own Goal From Henry’s Cross
Henry Goal – Splendid Cross From Julio Baptista

Manchester City 2 – 0 West Ham
Greece international Georgios Samaras scores twice as Carlos Tevez comes on late to no avail. West Ham have lost three on the trot and the clock-watching for a Tevez goal has officially begun.

Reading 1 – 1 Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo grabs a point for United as they are unable to stay even with Chelsea.

Real Betis 0 – 1 Real Madrid
Madrid finally look good as Antonio Cassano and Jose Antonio Reyes play brilliantly. A 6th minute header from Mahamadou Diarra holds up.

Diarra Goal – From Cicinho

SoccerGolazo Match Report – Real Madrid Hold Off Real Betis

Liverno 0 – 0 AC Milan
Milan miss out on full points for the first time this season.

Estudiantes de La Plata 2 – 1 Independiente
Independiente have two sent off as they are unable to keep pace with Boca, River, and San Lorenzo. Both sides now sit three back on 13 points after eight played. River have a game in hand, while Boca have two in hand, going into Sunday.


Newcastle 1 – 1 Everton

Barcelona 1 – 1 Valencia
Lovely passing from Valencia leads to David Villa’s sliding goal. Barcelona won’t be outdone and string together some brilliant passing of their own. Ronaldinho lofts to Samuel Eto’o, who heads to Andres Iniesta, who fires home. The draw allows Real Madrid to join both sides at the top of La Liga.

Iniesta Goal

Atletico de Madrid 2 – 1 Sevilla
Sevilla lose the chance to be on top of La Liga by themselves.

Levante 2 – 0 Deportivo La Coruna
Deportivo drop further off the pace.

Villarreal 3 – 2 Zaragoza
Diego Forlan scores one and sets up a penalty as Villarreal finally score a goal in La Liga.

Empoli 2 – 0 Palermo
Palermo drop to second, one point behind Inter, after failing to take full points for the first time this season.

Inter Milan 4 – 3 Chievo Verona
A patented Hernan Crespo in-behind-the-defense strike from the left is repeated 14 minutes later on the right, both resulting in lovely goals. A header from Walter Samuel and a 25-yard cracker from Dejan Stankovic were sandwiched between Crespo goals to give Inter four after only 24 minutes. However, the erratic
Inter season continues as they give up 3 goals in nine minutes to make it close at the end.

Stankovic Goal
Crespo Goal Number 1
Crespo Goal Number 2

Parma 0 – 4 Roma
Roma keep pace with Inter with some brilliant passing and one spectacular goal that sees two volleys, one a bicycle kick, before Daniele De Rossi fires it home.

Vincenzo Montella Goal
Simone Perrotta Goal
De Rossi Goal
Aquilani Goal

Siena 0 – 0 Cagliari

Nueva Chicago 0 – 1 Boca Juniors – SoccerGolazo Match Report
Neri Cardozo’s 11th minute header is enough in a match that has 10 minutes, late-on, that are as exciting as it gets.

Lanus 0 – 2 San Lorenzo
San Lorenzo drop to third behind Boca and River after being done in by two penalties.

River Plate 1 – 1 Colon de Santa Fe
River give up an 88th minute equalizer and fall two points behind Boca, who also have a game in hand.

Weekend Fixtures 23.09.06 24.09.06
Nueva Chicago 0 – 1 Boca Juniors – SoccerGolazo Match Report
Real Madrid Hold Off Real Betis – SoccerGolazo Match Report

John Arne Riise Goal, Liverpool v Tottenham 23.09.06 Golazo!

September 23, 2006

liverpool-soccer-ball.gifIt seems like every time Liverpool’s John Arne Riise scores a goal, it’s a cracker.

The goal today in Liverpool’s 3 – 0 win against Spurs was no exception.

A perfect ball from Mohamed Sissoko to Luis Garcia, who touches nicely to Riise. The Norwegian international takes possession just inside the halfway line, moves within forty yards, and fancies his chances when he receives slack defense.

Golazo! Golazo! Golazo! Award for the spectacular John Arne Riise goal versus Tottenham.

Riise Goal Video

Golazo! Golazo! Golazo! Awards – SoccerGolazo
Alonso Goal – Liverpool v Newcastle 20.09.06 Golazo!
David Beckham Goal, Jose Reyes Goal, Real Madrid v Real Sociedad, 17.09.06 Video
Ronaldinho Champions League Goal v Levski Sofia – GOLAZO!

Real Madrid Moves to Top of La Liga

September 23, 2006

real-madrid-soccer-ball.gifReal Madrid finally looked as capable as one would expect from a team so riddled with talent as they held off Real Betis for a 1 – 0 road victory.

Antonio Cassano and Jose Antonio Reyes were brilliant as Madrid dominated the first half possession.

It didn’t take long for the new-look Madrid to jump out front. On 6 minutes, Cicinho put a lovely cross into the area, Mahamadou Diarra rose to get a head on it, and it was 1 – 0 before the game had even settled.

It looked that Fabio Capello’s side would be up two just a few minutes later when Reyes fired from close-in on the right. But Betis keeper Toni Doblas was quick to react and made a fingertip save to keep the difference at one.

But Reyes was all over the pitch and in the 17th minute he was on the left side as he fired a rocket that skimmed the outside netting.

Madrid looked better than they have in years, as the passing was fluid and the chances were many. The halftime scoreline of 1 – 0 was hardly justified as Madrid could have been up three or more.

The new La Liga leaders started the second half strong as the dangerous Cassano almost picked out Ruud Van Nistelrooy, but Doblas saved Betis again, charging off his line to steal the ball from the Dutch striker’s feet.

Betis began working their way back into the match, but were still unable to create any clear-cut chances.

Even as they pushed forward with possession, the best chances went to Madrid with Van Nistelrooy just missing again in the 53rd.

Cassano was subbed-off for Raul in the 60th and Reyes went off for David Beckham in the 67th as Madrid looked to control play and slow Betis down. But the strategy didn’t pay off as Betis still had the better of play.

In the 73rd, Tati Maldonado gave way for David Odonkor, whose speed troubled the left side of the Madrid defense. The German World Cup stand-out sent a dangerous cross into the area in the dying minutes, but no Betis player could get a head on it to find the equalizer.

In the sixth and final minute of extra time, Madrid should have killed the game off when Guti’s quick free-kick found Raul. But the Spanish legend’s chip to Van Nistelrooy was put high over the bar as Van Nistelrooy was again unable to produce a quality finish.

The only negative for Madrid came when Roberto Carlos came off in extra time after receiving a cut under his left eye. The Brazilian great seemed woozy after taking an elbow to the head on a challenge just a few minutes before.

Real Madrid are top of the table with 10 points. Barcelona, Valencia and Sevilla all play Sunday and have 9.

Diarra Goal – From Cicinho

Weekend Fixtures 23.09.06 24.09.06
David Beckham Contract Update – Renewal Imminent – 18.09.06
David Beckham Goal, Jose Reyes Goal, Real Madrid v Real Sociedad, 17.09.06 Video
Real Madrid Champions League Performance Inept – 13.09.06

Mexico 2014 World Cup Bid Is Possible

September 23, 2006

fifa-world-cup-2010-south-africa-logo.jpgMexico is considering a bid for the 2014 World Cup.

The head of the Mexican football federation, Justino Compean, also offered to host in 2010 if South Africa is not able to, although Australia has been mentioned as a possible replacement as well.

It would be Mexico’s third tournament, having hosted in 1970 and 1986. – AP Story

World Cup Jerseys 2006
adidas World Cup Soccer Balls

Weekend Fixtures 23.09.06 24.09.06

September 22, 2006

epl-laliga-afa-seriea.jpgFeatured Matches for Weekend Fixtures 23.09.06 24.09.06

It’s Barcelona v Valencia at the Camp Nou on Sunday! That’s really all anyone needs to know.

In the English Premier League, last weekend’s dream fixtures are replaced with equally un-compelling matches. Fulham v Chelsea on Saturday is the best of the worst, or maybe Liverpool v Tottenham.

In Spain, Real Madrid is in action on Saturday, but the big match-up between Barca and Valencia is on Sunday. Both teams have taken full points from 3 and sit atop La Liga with Sevilla who face Atletico.

Newly point-positive AC Milan visit Liverno on Saturday, while Serie A leaders Palermo are away to Empoli on Sunday.

And in Argentina, Independiente are in action Saturday versus Estudiantes de La Plata. Boca visits Nueva Chicago while Lanus v San Lorenzo might be the best match-up.

It’s Barcelona v Valencia at the Camp Nou on Sunday!


Fulham v Chelsea
Liverpool v Tottenham
Arsenal v Sheffield United
Manchester City v West Ham
Reading v Manchester United

Real Betis v Real Madrid

Liverno v AC Milan

Estudiantes de La Plata v Independiente

Newcastle v Everton

Barcelona v Valencia
Atletico de Madrid v Sevilla
Levante v Deportivo La Coruna
Villarreal v Zaragoza

Empoli v Palermo
Inter Milan v Chievo Verona
Parma v Roma
Siena v Cagliari

Nueva Chicago v Boca Juniors
Lanus v San Lorenzo
River Plate v Colon de Santa Fe

Midweek Results 20.09.06
Weekend Wrap 16.09.06 17.09.06

Alonso Goal – Liverpool v Newcastle 20.09.06 Golazo!

September 21, 2006

liverpool-soccer-ball.gifWhen you score from inside your own half one time, you might call it luck.

But when you score from inside your own half a second time, it is a bonified skill.

The Xabi Alonso goal yesterday vs Newcastle was beautiful.

The Spanish international looked up and saw Steve Harper off his line and took aim. When the Newcastle keeper stumbled while scrambling back, the Liverpool superstar had done it again.

Golazo! Golazo! Golazo! Award for the great Xabi Alonso. (He assisted wonderfully on Liverpool’s first goal as well.)

Large Format
Google Video – Alonso Goal v Newcastle

YouTube – Alonso Goal v Luton 07.01.06

Midweek Results 20.09.06
Liverpool Looks to Leave Anfield by 2009 – 08.09.06
Ronaldinho Champions League Goal v Levski Sofia – GOLAZO! – 12.09.06
Kaka Video Goal Brazil v Argentine Golazo! – 04.09.06
Golazo! Golazo! Golazo! Awards

Midweek Results 20.09.06

September 21, 2006

epl-laliga-afa-seriea.jpgScores, comments, and videos (when available) for highlighted matches.


Liverpool 2 – 0 Newcastle United
Xabi Alonso fires one in from beyond the halfway line and Dirk Kuyt scores his first for Liverpool. Keepers would be wise to stay on their line when Alonso has possession in his own half. The Spanish international scored a similar goal from his own half last season in the FA Cup against Luton.
Google Video – Alonso Goal v Newcastle
YouTube – Alonso Goal v Luton – 07.01.06

Roma 0 – 1 Inter Milan
The “other” Inter Milan show up at Roma. Hernan Crespo brilliantly puts the ball through defender Philippe Mexes’ legs, drives for the touchline, and fires under keeper Alexander Doni for the game’s only goal. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is later denied from the spot by Doni after Crespo earns a penalty.
YouTube – Crespo Goal

Palermo 5 – 3 Catania
Palermo is alone at the top taking full points from three. Five different goal scorers for the league leaders.

Atalanta 0 – 0 Empoli
Nothing between 6th place and 7th place respectively.

AC Milan 1 – 0 Ascoli
AC Milan takes full points from their first three matches to climb into positive numbers. The -8 is now +1 as the Rossoneri have already made their way up to 12th and sit only 8 points behind Serie A leaders Palermo. Andrea Pirlo puts a beautiful ball over the defense and Marek Jankulovski runs under and heads home. Sweet.

Copa Sudamericana
Velez Sarsfield 0 – 1 Lanus

Midweek Fixtures 20.09.06 – Roma v Inter Milan!
Francesco Totti Italy Return On Hold – 19.09.06
Inter Milan Struggles Continue Into Serie A – 16.09.06
Weekend Wrap 16.09.06 17.09.06

David Beckham Contract Update – Renewal Imminent

September 20, 2006

real-madrid-soccer-ball.gifDavid Beckham’s contract should be renewed in the next two or three weeks.

Real Madrid club President Ramon Calderon stated, “In the next 15 or 20 days Beckham’s renewal will be solved because both coach Fabio Capello and the club are very happy with the player.” – Full Story at

David Beckham Interview – 18.09.06
David Beckham Goal, Jose Reyes Goal, Real Madrid v Real Sociedad, 17.09.06 Video
David Beckham’s England Disappointment – 16.09.06
David Beckham Contract Update – 29.08.06

Rio Ferdinand, Manchester United Star Reveals Racism

September 20, 2006

manchester-united-soccer-ball.gifRio Ferdinand has revealed that during his time at West Ham, a teammate suffered serious racist abuse from a “very well-known opponent.”

In the latest football book to be serialized in The Times, “Rio, My Story” tells how the England international witnessed first-hand racism, but does not go as far as revealing the player involved.

The Manchester United defender cited legal considerations as his reason for not naming the offender.

Intriguingly, Ferdinand wrote, “If I name the player who came out with the most racist abuse I’ve ever heard on a football field, no one would believe it. I guarantee you’d be astonished.” – Full Report at

Weekend Wrap 16.09.06 17.09.06
Manchester United, Celtic Champions League Thriller – 14.09.06
Manchester United Top English Premier League – 10.09.06
Manchester United FC Missing From Transfer Hoopla – 01.09.06

Owen Hargreaves Update – Out Six Weeks

September 20, 2006

bayern-munich-jersey.gifBayern Munich’s Owen Hargreaves will be out for six weeks after breaking his leg during a 2 – 1 defeat to Armenia Bielefeld.

The lengthy lay-off will mean Hargreaves will miss England’s October Euro 08 Qualifiers against Macedonia and Croatia. – Full Report – Editorial by Matt Barlow at

Owen Hargreaves – Bayern Munich, England Midfielder Suffers Suspected Broken Leg – 16.09.06
Owen Hargreaves’ Agent Says Time Has Run Out For Transfer – 29.08.06
Owen Hargreaves Next Roy Keane – 29.08.06
Bayern Digs In On Hargreaves – 27.08.06

Sam Allardyce, Bolton Manager Under Fire

September 19, 2006

A BBC documentary has put Bolton manager Sam Allardyce in the line of fire in an undercover investigation that claims the former England candidate took “bungs.”

Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp and at least one Chelsea official, are also accused in the film of “tapping-up.”

BBC Full Report