Saturday, July 01, 2006

The champions of 2002 meet the champions of 1998. Neither champion arrives flawless into this match, but either nation plays like a champion. Nonetheless, winner of today will become the last semi-finalist, looser goes home.
Brazil kicks off, and is send back by France. The nations quickly discover each other respect, circulating the ball into tornados with no shots. Brazil cannot find their rhythm. Zidane cannot find Henry onside.
Early in the game Ronaldo heads the ball over the crossbar.
"Not enough to get that ball on target," says the commentator.
Lucio, a Brazilian defender, sticks his head under a French blast of close range. He deflects the ball and is treated for a headache.
France joins Brazil in the soccer ballet and ball-trick fans are treated. Zidane feet juggles the ball and Brazil blindly finds the right passes.

Nevertheless, Nor Zidane's, nor Ronaldo’s magic can break the score before halftime.
France starts strong in the second half, Zidane takes a free kick from twenty-five meters from the Brazilian goal.
"It was there, but it was wide, and offside," says the commentator.
France grows in confidence. In the fifty-second, minute a French striker lines up the ball for his teammate with an ‘Argentinean heel back’.
"Great defended by Brazil," shouts the commentator while the nations resume their stalemate.
The fans of Brazil miss a heartbeat in the fifty-seventh minute. The French lob a ball from the far left to the right post. Henry, for France, knows the play and storms from thirty meters out, to the goalpost. The Brazilian defense misjudges the ball and is nowhere near. Henry, still storming ahead, volleys the ball with the inside of his right foot, from close range into the back of the net.


"A wonderful set play," calls the commentator the French combination.
France is on a high, a striker tricks a Brazilian defender minutes later. He suddenly changes direction one hundred and eighty degrees, leaving the defender clueless. He crosses the ball one foot in front of the goal line. No other French striker arrives on time and Brazil stays in the game.
Brazil pushes onto the French defense, leaving their backdoor open. France bites back again.
"Brazil is under siege," says the commentator in the seventy minute.
Zidane sweeps up the crowd, spinning free from Brazilian defenders.
"Zidane does not want his career to end," says the commentator.
Brazil fires up in the end phase, realizing it is do or die. They realize it too late, the ref blows his whistle and suddenly Brazil is confronted with the dark side of the dream. France eliminates Brazil, and is the last Semi finalist. They will fight with Portugal next.