14 June 2006

WC: Top Ten Goals (thru first 16 matches)

Sixteen games in and goals aplenty, including eight in the first two games and eight in the last two. I haven't seen today's goals yet but here are the best ten from the others; I'll update later if we have any more worthy inlcusions.

10. Tim Cahill 89', Australia 2-1 Japan. Cahill fires through a forest of defenders to find both posts and put Australia in the lead.

9. Kader Mohamed 31', Togo 1-0 South Korea. Takes the ball off his knee and, in full stride, rifles a strike low onto the far post. But mostly worthwhile for a goal celebration that keeps us from talking about the Crouch robot.

8. Arjen Robben 18', Holland 1-0 Serbia & Montenegro. The great pass from Robin van Persie springs the offside trap, and Robben finishes clinically under the keeper. Why Serbia & Montenegro were defending so far up the pitch is beyond me.

7. Didier Drogba 82', Ivory Coast 1-2 Argentina. This is what Drogba does so well. It's a killer pass, cut back from the touch line, but still the ball is behind Drogba. Watch how quickly he moves to reach behind and fire at goal.

6. Andrea Pirlo 40', Italy 1-0 Ghana. The ball moves outside, then BACK inside, and finds the far post. Beautiful.

5. Torsten Frings 87', Germany 4-2 Costa Rica. Frings strikes from 35 yards with power, movement, and placement. I think the ball swerves four or five yards. Loses a few points only because he's all by himself.

4. Tomas Rosicky 76', Czech Republic 3-0 United States. Completely different from his first goal. Rosicky is sprung near midfield with a precise pass from Pavel Nedved. And then he's gone, leaving Eddie Pope in the dust. Kasey Keller does all he can, staying wide and high, but Rosicky hits a precise strike over the keeper.

3. Zinha Naelson 79', Mexico 3-1 Iran. Zinha starts the move from the midfield, making a dangerous run at goal before cutting the ball wide. Mario Mendez fires back a perfect cross, which Zinha heads cleanly into goal. Great run, great teamwork and understanding, and an unstoppable goal.

2. Tomas Rosicky 36', Czech Republic 2-0 United States. Simply a fabulous strike. Results from a bit of a poor clearance, but still Rosicky doesn't appear to be in a dangerous position, 30 yards from goal and with two defenders in the way. But he cracks a frightening shot, curling it into the side netting just out of Keller's reach.

1. Phillip Lahm 6', Germany 1-0 Costa Rica. Simply a wonderful strike, taken from the corner of the area, and placed right into the corner of the goal, at the far post. Don't forget, Lahm is a defender. Made even better because it really kicked off the World Cup in style.

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