Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The world champions of 1998, France, are back. The World Cup dream reached top level in the last face of the millennium, only to come crushing down in the new. After failing to reach the second round in 2002, France dreams of reliving old times. Coach Raymond Domenech is the man who has to tackle this task. Coach Koebi Kuhn of Switzerland has a different task. The Swiss were absent in 1998 and 2002, they want new times. Although in the past Swiss had successes, but you have to go far back. They were Quarter finalist in 1934, 1938 and 2002.
The whistle blows.
France reinforced with Sedan who came out of retirement to play in theses World Cup finals, open strong.
"Switzerland under some heavy pressure", says the commentator.
Switzerland counters in the fourth minute, but a French defender steals the ball of the Swiss striker only meters from the goal. It was Swiss first attack.
In the 12th, minute France gets a free kick, 20 meters from the target. Zidane stares the ball down before his right foot connects with it. A beautiful cross follows, but it does not find a French teammate. The fire of France burns full blast now.
Switzerland has a moment in the 18 minute.
"A little cut back, to the left foot," says the commentator.
Switzerland fires.
"Not enough on that one," says the commentator and it stays nil-nil.
France is getting more assertive, and Switzerland is holding onto a thin thread as Henry plays the ball low across the goal, but there are no French strikers near to finish the job.
Switzerland, only minutes later, fails to finish their chance on the first goal.

"A clear cut opportunity," says the commentator when the ball, out of a free kick, lands in front of the French goal.
"Two man, wide open," shouts the commentator. One heads on the post, the other blast the ball left over the target.

"I don't understand why that didn't went in,” says the commentator.
Ten minutes before the end of the first half, France fail to put an easy ball into the net.
"A golden opportunity fumbled," says the commentator.
Both coaches will have a lot to say during halftime.
France comes out swinging the second half, but they keep fumbling.
"Can they keep up the tempo here," wonders the commentator. And the game slows down as Switzerland, bit-by-bit, figures out the French tactics.
"This is going according to plan, if you are Swiss," says the commentator.
Switzerland is holding of France while creating better and better chances from counters.
"The game needs an injection," says the commentator in the 54th minute. I guess the head butt between a Player of France and one of Switzerland, three minutes later, is not what he meant.
The French action in the 66th minute is what he, and we all, are looking for.
"An unbelievable chance," calls the commentator.
The keeper of Switzerland gets the Swiss fans going.
"A great reflex, for a save on the line."
Swiss is holding on, and the fans love it.
The French supporting army is moaning and whistling their team. The French coach realizes he needs to act. He writes world cup history as he sends Vikash Dhorasoo into the field.

India sets foot onto the stage of the world cup, only with one player, and playing for a foreign country, but you have to start somewhere.
France speeds up their game and fires, at will, on the target.
The Swiss counter, and minutes before the end newcomer Dhorasoo brushes the ball only a feet wide of the Swiss goal. He was close in bringing back the dream to France, and India. however, it was not meant to be.


Switzerland celebrates, while France scratches its head.