EDitorial ± 30-Jun-2006

World Cup 2006, Day 22

Boily hot pedalling back: collapsed clammily into the WC chair with Argentina a header ahead of Klinsmann's Clan. As Germany swept forward, Pekerman, the Patagonian potentate, voted Cameron with a big 'C' and made a flotilla of ill-advised subs worthy of the Russian Navy. Off sulked Riquelme -- as Graham Taylor observed, "He's not at all happy at all" -- and, like the Tweenies, surely it was Messi time. Apparently not.

Mein hosts got a deserved equaliser, Miroslav going one step Klose to Big Ron's WC tally, while Ballack -- they shoot horses, don't they? -- played from a heady mix of adrenaline and testosterone. Fulfilling the cliche, the Germans proved ruthlessly efficient at penalty-taking leaving Cambiasso to dry his tears. Then, about 130 minutes after kick-off, it kicked off again with Heinze having to be restrained by a variety of his own side. Chau, Argentina.

As Portman Road played host to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Hamburg's AOL Arena -- /discuss -- saw the slick Italian Alfas cruise past the uninspired Ukrainian Volgas. Showing great vigour, Toni drew a smile from those who'd had twenty euros on him for the Golden Boot. And making his goal tally still bigger, Toni poached a second after Zambrotta weaved between two defenders on his Lambretta. If he'd shown more rigour, Toni might have had a hat-trick.

Silkily skillful solo run by Shevchenko ("I'll go past all of you!") still couldn't earn him a spot kick, so the Kiev chaps will be checkin' out. Do pobachennya, Ukraine.