July the first’ 06, the world witnessed the most dramatic world cup football match ever to be seen in a long period of time.
The match was between England VS Portugal , with England being the clear favourites to win it right from the start.But until half time the score line remained nil-nil.
Moments after the break England’s most cherished and inspired skipper, David Beckham was substituted after suffering a slight knee injury.
The match was half over for England. Adding insult to the injury , England’s key striker and wonder boy Wayne Rooney was sent off by referee Horacio Elizondo, from Argentina(The same referee who sent off David Beckham in the 1998 World cup) for a slight push on Christiano Ronaldo.
There were I’m-innocent-me protests. With Rooney there always are.He is the ultimate grunt – the sort of man that future generations will clone to go to war – a player you would always want on your team, even though you know he’s always primed to explode. Today he did.
The sad thing is that Rooney’s dismissal came just when England were imposing their will after a cagy first half. Aaron Lennon, on for the limp and limping David Beckham, had just scared the life out of Portugal only for Joe Cole to thrash over, while Frank Lampard should have done better from Steven Gerrard’s pinpoint corner.
Yet the sending-off didn’t unduly bother England. Sven, the defensive Serie A schemer, looked to be in his element, while Portugal sorely missed the art of Deco. On the break, Lennon’s crude speed tormented poor Nuno Valente.
Even at the death England were running, harrying, chasing. Owen Hargreaves, in particular, was magnificent. By the final whistle, the mob that had bombarded radio phone-ins to protest at his inclusion in this World Cup squad were serenading him.
There were many a one decisions that went against england, with handballs not being given penalty kicks,several aggressive tackles by the portugese players ignored and so on..
But then penalties arrived, and the songs turned to howls