The quarter finals are looming!

England have managed to navigate their way past Ecuador this afternoon, although it was a less than convincing performance, we certainly didn’t see much of the ‘beautiful game’ today. So it was a single goal scored from a free-kick by the English captain David Beckham that separated the teams. But England had a early warning when Carlos Tenorio was denied by Ashley Cole who did enough to deflect the almost certain goal onto the crossbar. You have to say that England looked the better team overall, but weren’t comfortable by any stretch of the imagination, looking frail at the back at times. Lampard had two excellent chances to extend the lead, but shot wide and put the second chance into the second tier. England will have to step up their game considerably to match either Portugal or Holland in the quarter finals. Rooney looked like he wasn’t that effective today, mainly because of the lack of service he was getting; England could well do with another striker on the field, or maybe have Gerrard or Lampard playing as a second striker. Often Rooney got to the ball, but has no-one in support to cross the ball to. So overall it was a better performance than against the Swedes. But nowhere near how we know England can play, but losing Michael Owen has put a huge dent in the England armoury. Let’s face it, we have Peter “I can’t be bothered to chase the ball” Crouch and the untested Theo Walcott. Although I reckon that Aaron Lennon would be good as a supporting striker, as he has amazing pace and could almost replace Owen as their styles are very similar, both tend to run at the defenders which scares the hell out of them! Anyway, the big match is next Saturday at 4pm (BST), let’s hope that England can get their act together, or else it could be an early bath for the English as England lack the quality of many of the other teams in the quarters already, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed that England can win their first World Cup in 40 years!

Update: We now know who will be England’s opponents next weekend, and it will be Portugal; so a chance to avenge the controversial defeat back in the Euro 2004. But I don’t believe that Portugal deserved the win to be honest, they are dirty cheating bastards, especially Figo and his play acting to get a man sent off, and that headbutt! The match only had one goal, but sixteen yellow cards and four red cards, which is a record for a world cup match. So England will have to be wary of picking up injuries if Portugal are going to play dirty, we could do without Rooney getting injured if we do progress past Portugal!

F1 world champion elect, Fernando Alonso has claimed his fourth grand prix victory on the trot in Canada this afternoon, Michael Schumacher took the runners up spot after Kimi Raikkonen made a mistake at the hairpin before the long back straight and the German took the spot away from the Finn. Giancarlo Fisichella, Felipe Massa, Jarno Trulli, and Nick Heidfeld finished in the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th respectively and the final points paying position was taken by David Coulthard, who got a run on fellow Briton Jenson Button a couple of laps before the end out of the hairpin, and outbraked him into the final chicane. So not a great day for Honda, who had Rubens Barrichello retire on lap 10, and Jenson losing out in the closing stages, so back to drawing board for Honda I think. But you have to give credit to Red Bull and David Coulthard for driving from the back of the grid in a car that isn’t anywhere near the best on the grid after an engine change, just shows that the old man of Formula One still has the passion for racing, pulling out some excellent overtaking moves!

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