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  CM 00/01

Group 1 consists of Germany, USA, Italy and Japan. Germany was the host and they immediately made their impact by thrashing USA 5-1. Italy could only score a solitary goal against Japan. The match of the group finished at 1-1 as both Italy and Germany failed to make their chances count. Italy had Japan to thank as they narrowly avoided a Semi Final match against us when they beat USA (3-2), while Germany could only draw with Japan (1-1).

Our group on the other hand, consists of reigning World Cup champions Argentina, Australia and Egypt. Our first match was against Egypt at the Olympic Stadium in Munich. 95,000 people turned up for the match. Egypt started strongly and had the ball in the net just after 6 minutes through Ahmed Jam'an. England had to wait until the 19th minute before pulling level via a superb goal from Alan Smith. The second half was under our control but we failed to find a way past the Egyptian defence. But our constant raids finally gave us the lead on the hour when goalkeeper Al Zeid punched Owen's first shot right back at him. Owen slotted the ball into the unguarded net. GOAL! 15 minutes later, the match was put beyond Egypt when Beckham's free kick deflected into the path of Woodgate. Woodgate shoots. GOAL! Final score, England 3 Egypt 1. [ScreenShot] Argentina had it easy when they beat Australia 4-2 in their first match.

The next match against Argentina would decide who finished first and second in the group. The reigning world champions have been unstoppable and they had an advantage, Saviola was playing for them. Both teams started strongly and the crowd were entertained by the smooth flowing football being played out on the pitch. But Argentina soon got a foothold in the match but Richard Wright thwarted their attempts. England finally drew first blood on the half-hour mark when Owen scored from 25 yards out. GOAL! Cavallero could only watch as the ball sailed into the upper right hand corner. The start of the second half showed a much robust Argentina side, tackles came flying and I'm glad the players managed to keep their cool, especially Beckham who had a horrifying experience in the 1998 World Cup Finals. In the 50th minute, Crespo latched onto a weak goal kick by Wright before dribbling his way into the area. GOAL! But England were back at it within a minute when Owen reproduced an exact copy of his first goal. That proved to be the match-winning goal! England has beaten current World Champions Argentina 2-1. [ScreenShot]

Argentina romped past Egypt 3-0 while we take on Australia in the final group matches. England were relentless as we swept to a 2-0 lead in the first half before Australia could find a reply in the 60th minute. But further goals from Riza, Alan Smith and Matt Jansen put the match out of reach. England 5 Australia 1. Probably our best match so far. [ScreenShot]

The Semi Finals saw Argentina taking on Italy and Germany against us. We had a tough match against Germany, winning via a solitary goal from Owen scored in the 4th minute. Saviola scored an early goal for Argentina and Italy had Cannavaro sent off in the 12th minute but Argentina failed to take advantage of that. That resulted in Italy replying with two goals from Inzaghi and Montella, giving them a 2-1 win.

Argentina took third place as they fought out a 5-3 thriller against Germany. We, on the other hand, had to beat Italy to claim the title. We started off strongly and had the upper hand most of the time. But the Italians are renowned for their tight defence, which left us trying from long distances. But that was to change in the 40th minute when Beckham sent in a cross for Owen who was inside the area. GOAL! Owen sneaked in to head the ball past the outstretched hands of Buffon. 5 minutes later, it was all square when a short lapse in our concentration allowed Totti to head in from Binotto's cross. The second half started and ended in exactly the same fashion. But 3 minutes before the match was about to end, Buffon was shown the red card for pulling down Owen inside the area. Penalty! Owen stood up to break the deadlock and give us the title. Owen shoots to the left. Saved by Toldo! The anguish! We came so close to winning the title but now we had to contend with the extra time golden goal rule. But Joe Cole didn't let us wait long. In the 96th minute, Cole beat Iuliano to the ball and raced ahead towards goal. He tries from 30 yards out. GOAL! Hooray! Toldo was left flapping at the air as Cole's piledriver rammed into the net, taking out the camera fixed at the back. What a goal! We have won the Confederations Cup![ScreenShot]

  Euro 2004 :
  Part 1
  Part 2

  Confed Cup 2005 :
  Part 1

  World Cup 2006 :
  Part 1
  Part 2
  Part 3

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