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World Cup Euro Qual Gp 6

Croatia 1
  • Mandzukic 78
England 4
  • Walcott 26,
  • Walcott 59,
  • Rooney 63,
  • Walcott 82
Walcott, Ferdinand and Rooney

Theo Walcott is mobbed by England team-mates Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA

The sheer joy was mightier than even the achievement of wrecking Croatia’s proud unbeaten record of 35 unbeaten qualifying matches at home. With Theo Walcott’s first goals for his country packaged as a hat-trick, this was the most uncanny result for England since the 5-1 trouncing of Germany in 2001. In his first fixture of genuine significance, Fabio Capello has awakened immense expectations. Perhaps he is also the man to meet them.

Croatia were left short-staffed by a red card for Robert Kovac in the 51st minute, when England were only one ahead, but his offence was born of an inability to cope with these piratical visitors. His elbow to the head of Joe Cole left the Chelsea midfielder so bloodied and dazed that he had to be replaced by Jermaine Jenas. The damage done to Croatia in their World Cup campaign will take far longer to heal.

They enjoyed nothing more than an irrelevant goal from Mario Mandzukic and even that was not permitted to go unpunished. Within four minutes Wayne Rooney was sending Walcott through to roll home his third goal and complete the scoring. The 19-year-old had become the contemporary version of Michael Owen on that occasion in Munich, ending the seven-year vigil for a hat-trick by an England player in a competitive match.

How foolish it now seems that there was questioning of Capello’s decision that Owen, in semi-fit condition for Newcastle United, would not be required in Zagreb. Who supposed that Rooney would find the net again for his country after 11 months of frustration?

Capello will hear only praise, but he is unlikely to dwell on it. England, after all, did not proceed from Munich to lift the World Cup. With this outcome he has simply done the maximum possible so far.

His legend was not in particular need of burnishing but Walcott’s goals make the Italian look a magus of a manager for England, although it is the skills of players that are truly decisive. There were confident showings in all areas of the team last night, with the centre-backs Rio Ferdinand and John Terry, for instance, authoritative under pressure.

It is goals that hold the richest promise of fulfilment. Walcott put England in front although the opportunity had its random element, with Danijel Pranjic clearing a Rooney pass and smacking the ball into the back of his team-mate Robert Kovac. Possession dropped to Walcott and from a tight angle on the right the Arsenal player found the far corner. Soon he was learning that prominence has its unpleasant consequences as, seven minutes from half-time, Josip Simunic inflicted a professional foul for which he was booked.

The atmosphere at the Maksimir usually galvanises Croatia but that, of course, was an incentive to Capello. With this triumph his methods are beyond criticism, and his new team have already taken a long stride towards the 2010 World Cup.

In addition, victory was England’s settling of accounts with the sorrowful past. A 3-2 win for Croatia at Wembley 10 months ago barred them from Euro 2008. Failure breeds instability and of Capello’s starting line-up here only Gareth Barry, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole had kicked off that night in November 2007.

Last night’s plan entailed the overriding of Capello’s natural conservatism, with Walcott continuing in place of David Beckham. Any reservations about the youngster’s ability to cover had been superseded by the conviction that his speed would unsettle Croatia, although the former captain did come on for a cameo and his 105th cap when the game had been won.

England, inevitably in a trying environment, were not uniformly efficient. Ashley Cole, for instance, was unsteady at the start and set-pieces spread panic. After 13 minutes David James palmed a corner towards Vedran Corluka but his drive missed the target. With half an hour gone the goalkeeper flapped a free-kick to Mladen Petric only for the forward’s effort to rebound from Wes Brown.

Croatia’s difficulties were far more severe. Simunic was inexcusably spared a second yellow card after body-checking Rooney, but the leniency of the referee Michel Lubos turned out to have its limits. There was no option but to send off Kovac for the elbow to the head of Cole

Slaven Bilic’s side were outplayed and out of control. The second goal for Walcott, drilled with vast confidence from an angle on the right, was set up by Rooney after neat interplay with Emile Heskey, who guided the United man back to a more exuberant and influential level.

England, avoiding leniency against short-staffed opposition, struck again four minutes later. A Jenas cut-back was converted by Rooney. Croatia, so often imperious here, were left with nothing more to do than strive for damage limitation. It was an extraordinary achievement by England. Afterwards, Capello was in a mood to consign it to the archives, but this rout ought to be a memory which will invigorate the squad.


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Must Attend Program

Please go to this link: https://justice4allkuantan.wordpress.com/2008/10/25/invitation-public-forum-the-isa-and-the-police-reform-process-whats-next-after-pak-lah/
To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards of people - Emily Cox

Siphoning EPF money

On 'Why should Valuecap borrow from EPF?' Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud: MTUC condemns the government's move to bail out Valuecap to support the local stock market using RM5 billion from EPF, as the provident fund is the custodian of the workers' money and not some sort of ‘automated teller machine' for the government.
If at all the EPF were to lend its money to the government, it has to be under the condition that there be transparency and accountability in the activities for which the money has been purposed. We want to know who is doing what with the money that belongs to the workers. This is the hard-earned money of the workers, their retirement plan. How is this bailout plan going to benefit the workers? We also question the reason for this bailout. If the economic fundamentals in Malaysia are strong and reserves sufficient as has been stated several times by the government, then why is there a need to offer so much money to the GLCs? Second Finance Minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop should prove how the EPF would profit from this loan. Bernama had reported that Nor had given the assurance that the loan given out by EPF would reap profits for the fund judging from Valuecap's past performance. But where is the paperwork and calculations to show that this move will benefit the EPF? MTUC is concerned that the loan might be mismanaged or misused and this, in turn, would affect the returns for the contributors. Mere assurances are not enough. We want to proof that this RM5 billion will not go down the drain. (The writer is president, MTUC). Sharyn: The government wants to use our pension money to prop up the Malaysian stock market which is the playing field of the rich people. If so, the government must ensure that the EPF account holders - who are predominantly the poor to average citizens of Malaysia - be guaranteed all of our pension money with a compound 8% growth (interest). It's so selfish and sick of the government to use the poor's pension money to help the rich to make more money with all the risks taken by the poor/average citizen. We can better use the RM% billion loans to Valuecap for our children's education, shelter, medical bills etc. Why not get those rich people to prop up the share market instead? Why should they park their money overseas and gamble with our EPF money instead? Kumar14: Who is behind this Valuecap organisation? Why suddenly, this separate entity is allowed to access funds from the EPF? Are they capable enough to handle it or is it just another desperate and blind move? It has been a very infamous trend where the people's funds are channeled to a company for investment purposes and suddenly POP! the funds disappear and there is nobody to be held responsible but a RM2 shell company. Charge who? Sue whom? The RM2 company (just a registered name)? We have seen this many times. People in power and with connections allow such things to go through and reap/rob the people's wealth and then blame it on organisations which actually don't exist. What if a lot of EPF funds are looted via such scams and nobody is to be pointed at? Where will the government get the funds to replenish the EPF? The people are very bored, disappointed, angry and frustrated at seeing all these dumb and unaccounted for measures being allowed by the government with lame excuses. Please, somebody verify the true purpose, integrity and capability of anybody attempting to use the people's fund.

Raja Petra

Photobucket Ihsan dari blog Go!Malaysian http://gomalaysian.blogspot.com/


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