By Jay Mwamba
The United States’ fairy tale World Cup continued on Monday when they knocked off CONCACAF rivals Mexico 2-0 in Jeonju to book a quarterfinal date with Germany in Ulsan this Friday.
Brian McBride (8th) and 20-year-old Landon Donovan (65th) had a goal apiece to take the U.S. past the second round for the first time since their semifinal appearance at the inaugural championship in 1930.
The frustrated Mexicans resorted to physical play and had skipper Raf’l Marquez red-carded for head-butting Cobi Jones as the match wound down.
“We don’t think we’re lucky. We’ve got a good team,” coach Bruce Arena said after the game.
Still the Americans have to thank co-hosts Korea for taking them to the second round from Group D.
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Korea’s 1-0 victory over nine-man Portugal on Ji-Sung Park’s superb effort (70th) in Inchon enabled Arena’s side to advance as the group runners-up with four points despite a 3-1 thrashing by Poland in their last match in D’jon.
The Nigerian-born Emmanuel Olisadebe (3rd), Pawel Kryszalowicz (5th), and Marcin Zewlakow (66th) connected for the Poles, while Donovan (83rd) got the U.S. consolation.
Germany, winners of Ireland’s Group E, reached the quarterfinals for the 14th time in 15 trips to the finals by edging game Paraguay 1-0 on Oliver Neuville’s 88th-minute goal in Jeju.
The Germany-USA game kicks off at Friday at 7:25 a.m. (EST) and can be seen live on ESPN2 and Univision (Ch. 41).
Becks vs. Ronaldo
Rivaldo (67th) and Ronaldo (87th) put Brazil on a collision course with England after ousting Belgium 2-0 in Kobe on Monday.
The English, meanwhile, dispatched Denmark 3-0 in Niigata last Saturday, thanks to Rio Ferdinand (5th), Michael Owen (22nd), and Emile Heskey (44th), to make the quarters for the first time since Italia ’90 when they reached the semis.
Brazil and England clash in Shizuoka on Friday (2:30 a.m., EST) in a rematch of their Mexico ’70 meeting that Pele and Co. won 1-0.
Senegal’s “Lions of Teranga” continue to roar with fury in the finals after knocking out Henrik Larsson’s Sweden 2-1 on a golden goal to become the second African side to qualify for the quarterfinals. Cameroon were the first African quarterfinalists in 1990.
Henri Camara (37th, 104th) bagged both goals for Senegal in Oita after Larsson’s ice-breaker (11th). The Celtic forward later announced his retirement from the Swedish side.
“This defeat by Senegal has been very painful, but you have to live with it, that’s how life goes,” the 30-year-old Larsson said.
This was only the second time that the golden goal rule was applied in the World Cup, after France’s win over Paraguay in 1998.
Senegal, who beat France 1-0 in group play three weeks ago, face yesterday’s Japan/Turkey winner in Osaka on Saturday (7:30 a.m. EST).
In next week’s semifinal pairings, the Germany-USA winners tackle the Korea/Italy survivors in Seoul on Tuesday, June 25, while the winners of Brazil-England will face the Senegal vs. Japan/Turkey victors in Saitama the following day.