Friendly fire

Portugal’s World Cup preparations experienced a small hiccup when the selecção could only draw 1-1 in Northern Ireland. Despite the disappointing result, Portugal dominated the game and are now unbeaten in 11 encounters. Next up will be a test against either Quatar or the United Arab Emirates in March 2006.

Mexico cannot have been very pleased with their 3-0 home defeat by Bulgaria, while Angola went down 1-0 in Japan to an 89th-minute Matsui strike. Italy and the Ivory Coast shared a 1-1 draw in Geneva, Chelsea’s Didier Drogba finding the net for the Africans before Diana equalised. The other Germany qualifiers all enjoyed wins: the US beat Syria 3-0, Tunisia v Egypt 2-1, Poland v Estonia 3-1, Agentina v Quatar 3-0, and Ghana v Saudi Arabia 3-1. Interestingly the contest between South Korea and Serbia and Montenegro finished 2-0 in the Asian country’s favour.

Lastly John Toshak described his team’s performance the worst ever as Wales lost 1-0 to Cyprus.