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More Trouble for Togo

Posted by By Ben Memuletiwon from Germany on 2006/06/19 | Views: 681 |

More Trouble for Togo


Switzerland defender, Johan Djourou is determined to break his scoring jinx today against Togo as he is doing everything possible to qualify his country into the next round of the Germany 2006 FIFA World Cup.

Switzerland defender, Johan Djourou is determined to break his scoring jinx today against Togo as he is doing everything possible to qualify his country into the next round of the Germany 2006 FIFA World Cup.

"I'm very disappointed, and I think we all are," the 19-year-old Arsenal defender said, Wednesday. "It's just bad luck that we couldn’t score against France. The hand (of teammate Alexander Frei) touched the ball just before my head."

On Tuesday, Djourou had a chance to give his team the lead in injury time, but Frei touched the ball before it could hit the defender's head. Frei got a yellow card.

"We should try to get more opportunities in front of the goal," said Djourou, who played for the last 15 minutes of Tuesday's game.

Switzerland coach Koebi Kuhn was reluctant to criticize his players after the opening draw.
Asked about Frei's last-minute mishap, Kuhn said he was unable to see what exactly happened, and hasn't yet seen a video replay.

Kuhn said he expected his team to find its groove, and noted that Switzerland was relatively weak in a World Cup warmup match against Ivory Coast, but improved in a subsequent game against Italy.
"I hope, I'm sure that we will do better in the next match against Togo," Kuhn said.
The sun and heat were also factors for many players, Tuesday, and some said facing the sun in the first half limited their vision.

"We lost the ball too often," said midfielder Raphael Wicky, who plays for Hamburger SV. "We'll have to stop that, because otherwise we'll just keep running after the ball. And in this heat, we can't afford it."
The Togo game will kick off at 3 p.m. local time, three hours earlier than the match against France, meaning heat could become even more of an issue if temperatures remain high.
Team doctor Rudolf Roder said the Swiss players lost about 6–1/2 pounds during Tuesday's match, but that it was normal to do so.

Roder said the team was closely following the weather forecast and was preparing contingency plans for different temperatures.
Also, defenders Ludovic Magnin and Philipp Degen had minor bruises and sprains, Tuesday, but should be back in the game before the weekend, Roder said.

Togo, which lost its opener to South Korea 2–1, has been in turmoil in recent days because of a pay dispute, which had prompted coach Otto Pfister to step down for several days.
Kuhn said he hasn't yet watched all the footage of Tuesday's game against the South Koreans.
"But from what I did see ... the performance (of Togo) was up and down. Still, it's a team that qualified ... for the World Cup in a difficult group, and we have to take them seriously," Kuhn said.
Switzerland midfielder Ricardo Cabanas and others said they hoped the Togolese will make more mistakes than the French.

"They are capable of mistakes," Cabanas said. "In this case, we have to keep our nerves."
Spain didn’t need captain Raul Gonzalez after all. Spanish coach Luis Aragones chose to start without the veteran striker, instead putting his trust in David Villa, Fernando Torres and Luis Garcia. Spain beat the Ukraine 4–0 in the most one-sided game so far at the World Cup.

Villa scored twice and Torres sealed the victory, off a pass from Carlos Puyol before hitting a powerful right-footer. “I was very happy with this goal, but the most important thing is that we scored, and it’s not important who did it,” Torres said. Aragones was full of praise for the 22-year-old, known in Spain as “El Nino” (The Kid).

“We know that Torres is a tremendous footballer, but we still need to work on some technical details,” Aragones said. “This could be a great World Cup for him,” he added.
Villa, who scored 25 goals for Valencia this season, rewarded Aragones’ selection as the first choice on set pieces. His first-half free kick deflected off the wall for a goal, and when Torres fell in the area in the second, he converted the penalty with poise.

“I think we showed that we are a great team from the goalkeeper to the last player,” said Villa, who was replaced in the second half by Raul, who earned his 96th cap for Spain. “I hope we can keep showing that in the next games,” he added.
Spain play Tunisia today and face Saudi Arabia in its last Group H match on Friday.
“Tunisia have a lot of potential and they have a tremendous midfield. It’s going to be more complicated than the Ukraine,” Aragones said.

The coach, conscious of Spain’s record of underachievement in the World Cup, was careful not to overpromise. “Today everything worked out. There will be other days when things don’t turn out the way we want them,” he said. Nevertheless, the man known as “the Mister” among the players hinted he believes Spain is on to something big this time.

“Historically, we never really achieved anything in this tournament and we hope that this time we can see progress,” Aragones said. “But let’s take it game by game.”

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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.