Three Lions – Knockout | @FMCM_FC

Hi Everyone. Welcome back to France and welcome back to summer 1998. So far, it’s been a summer to remember with the Three Lions cruising through their World Cup group consisting of Australia, Italy and Morocco.

Next up we take on Saudi Arabia in the round of 16. We beat them in the warm ups and I’m hoping for a similar result.

Strong showing here from the holders Brazil and the hosts France. Dunga Juninho and Anderson doing the damage for Brazil. Roche and a Maurice double see France through to the quarter finals.

Absolute heartbreak for Eire. They came through a group that consisted of Argentina, Spain and Chile. Jason McAteer with a 90th min equaliser only to be denied in a heart stopping penalty shootout. Eire should be hugely proud of their achievement in this world cup. In the other game of the day Portugal and Colombia play out a boring 0-0 draw and Portugal convert their 3 pens and Colombia can only convert one.

Uwe Spies sends Germany through in a nervy encounter with Croatia. Spain and Russia play out an end to end game all the way to penalties where Mostovoi is the unlucky player to miss his pen. Every one else hits the target and Spain progress.

Our game is next and we go back to our starting XI. The only change is Eadie coming in for the injured McManaman.

Let’s see how we get on…

It’s a mauling from the Three Lions. Saudi Arabia start strong and have 3 good chances in the first 10 mins. We calm down and grow into the game and 25 minutes in Shearer opens his World Cup account with a great strike from the edge of the area. Saudi push again but we score two in 3 minutes just before half time to end the game. Shearer gets his second and Ian Wright adds to his impressive tally. In the second half we completely dominate. Wright gets his second and from nowhere Le Saux smashes in a fifth from 30 yards. A great day for the fans who are falling back in love with the game!

In the final game of the round of 16 Holland need extra time to beat a stubborn USA team. Patrick Kluivert the hero for the Oranje.

Here is the Quarter Final Draw.

Brazil vs France is a monster clash at this stage!! Can’t pick a winner there. Sweden vs Portugal again is another tough one to call. Both needed penalties last time and I think it will be the same again here. Germany vs Spain is a clash of styles and should be a classic. We draw the Dutch after their extra time win against USA. We beat them in the warm ups also but I always feel if you win the first you lose the second. I hope I’m wrong.

It’s a crushing blow for the hosts as a single goal from that man Ronaldo knocks France out. Both teams gave everything in this one with both finishing with 10 men. I said Sweden vs Portugal was to close to call and penalties would be needed and I’m pleased to say I was right. It’s a great run to the semi-finals for Sweden!

We keep the team that beat Saudi Arabia with two changes. McManaman comes back in for Eadie and Le Saux is suspended so Phil Neville comes in to play opposite his brother Gary.

It’s a crushing defeat here from Holland. We just couldn’t cope with Patrick Kluivert at all. He gave Holland the lead inside 10 mins after a really strong start from them. We grow into the game but our shooting boots have been misplaced. Campbell then gives us hope with a towering header from a Beckham corner. In the second half Kluivert kills us with 2 goals in 2 minutes just before the hour mark and it completely takes the wind out of us. I bring Owen on for Wright who has been poor and we have a host of chances but can’t find a way through.

The country is devastated and that same old feeling of “it’ll never happen” sinks in. The summer is officially over.

In the other Quarter Final, it’s a shock result as Germany LOSE on Penalties!!! I took a screenshot to prove it!

So our final four will be Brazil, Sweden, Holland and Spain. Here is the Semi Final line up.

Sweden get drawn against the holders Brazil. Brazil will be massive favourites but Sweden have had a dream run so far. Spain vs Holland will be a brilliant game. Holland looked ruthless against us so I’ll go for them.

All credit to Sweden here as they take Brazil to extra time before the wee man Juninho scores the winner to send Brazil back to the World Cup final.

Holland progress and it’s Patrick Kluivert again who is the hero. He’s on for player of the tournament for me. Guardiola gets sent off for taking out Marc Overmars whilst Spain where chasing the game.

The third-place playoff next. Sweden vs Spain

It’s another shootout and another shootout win for Spain. A good tournament for them but my team of the tournament is Sweden. They’ve done an incredible job to get this far and took reigning champions to extra time.

So here we are then. The World Cup final!! Brazil the reigning champions and dominant team of the tournament against our conquerors and nearly men Holland who with Kluivert upfront in the form of his life anything is possible.

It’s back to back World Cups for Brazil!! What a team they are!! Sonny Anderson scores 2 in 5 mins after the hour mark. Holland try to rally and in true style Kluivert gets a goal back but its not enough to stop this incredible Brazil team.

This has been a brilliant journey with England with a familiar ending unfortunately but I’ve really really enjoyed it. The World Cup was one full of drama and shocks but in the end the cream rises to the top as always and Brazil take the trophy back home with them.

Thank you so much for following this journey. I hope you enjoyed it as much I did. To see more of my blogs, visit @FMCM_FC. I hope to be back with another challenge soon.

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