June 2002


Sunday, June 30, 2002

World Cup better than sex says Ronaldo

Has Ronaldo lost his senses? Brazilian star Ronaldo admitted that scoring both goals in the World Cup final had been better than sex.

"The World Cup is better than sex. Anyway, the World Cup is only once every four years and sex is not," he said on Sunday, laughing with journalists after giving Brazil their fifth World Cup triumph by beating Germany 2-0.

Brazil win the World Cup 2002

Ronaldo, who finished the tournament's top scorer with eight goals, is married to Milene Nazario Da Lima, who is a football player.

The couple married in December 1999 and have a son, Ronald Domingues, and a dog called Pichichi, which means top scorer.

Check out all the World Cup final news with us here today by visiting our World Cup Information Service.

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here

Brazil v Germany

Who will win today?

Enjoy the World Cup with us here today by visiting our World Cup Information Service regularly to get all the latest news stories in the build up and during the World Cup final.

Enjoy and may the best team win.

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here

The success of Submit Your Patch

The guys from FifaCenter have informed us that their very new section called "Submit Your Patch" received a lot of uploads. They are so happy that you paid so much attention. For this first edition they publish the patches which work correctly and can be installed with ease.

Just a little reminder for the patch makers: Please make sure that you include read.me text which describes how to install, how to run etc. You may also wish to explain the details of your patch and include some zipped screenshots. They will publish these screenshots when promoting your patch.

First edition of Submit Your Patch Downloads list can be found over at FifaCenter.

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here


Thursday, June 27, 2002

Umit Davala's hair style

Leo From Fifa Online have informed us about his latest great patch, for WC 2002.

Click for larger image

This new excellent patch, will add Turkish Forward, Umit Davala, new hair style into the game.

So make sure you visit Fifa Online to download this excellent patch, and much more. Enjoy.

Posted by Shlomy - Please post your Comments/Feedback here

Fifa Chile reopens

Fifa Chile has reopened with great new sections and a new server that is much faster for international visitors.

ScreenshotsClick for larger imageClick for larger image

Pay them a visit at Fifa Chile and whilst you are there why not download a copy of their popular Liga Chilena v3 patch (downloaded over 5,400 times already) which includes:

  • 3GK shirts of all the Chilean league
  • new flags for each team
  • good formations
  • all errors and bugs of the Liga Chilena v2.0 fixed
  • the SKY TV Logo
  • and more

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here

Request a screenshot from the new UEFA CL Patch

Over in the Soccer Gaming Forums, Robert from Soccered.com is offering you the chance to request a screen shot from their forthcoming partner patch with SoccerGamez, the UEFA Champions League Patch 2002 for World Cup 2002.

Screenshots Click for larger image Click for larger image

This patch is reported to include:

  • kits will be made by Robert and JJ
  • rosters will be sorted by Joris from SoccerGamez and his great team
  • the numbering will be removed from the shirt
  • new ball, new gloves and new boots
  • Champions League Anthem
  • Adboards and stadium graphics will be adapted to be more like the Champions League ones
  • flags

Currently they have posted shots of Liverpool, Arsenal, AC Milan and Barcelona. Get over to the forum now to post your requests and check out these great images. Also, a full list of teams included and star players can be found in our Patches Database.

We await reports of an official release date.

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here


Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Ronaldo talks

Ronaldo, the Brazilian striker, said his team must keep their concentration if they want to beat the Germans in the World Cup Final.

Ronaldo

”After what I have been through, every time I score a goal it is a victory,", Ronaldo said, "Every time I step on the pitch it is an honor, the nightmare is over."

The 1998 final was very disappointing for Ronaldo, who mysteriously collapsed hours before the match and was a shadow of his self during that game. The next four years he spent sidelined, suffering from two knee injuries, and is only just returning to his best form.

”We know the emotion of reaching a final from 1998,", he said, "But we must concentrate now. We must not think it is over and let our heads go into the clouds. I myself don't want to remember that World Cup Final against France. I want to think about our next final against Germany.”

Ronaldo also explained his injury: ”I know some people were even saying I had psychological problems when I was injured before this match, but this is wrong. There was not a psychological problem, it was a physical problem with my thigh."

Posted by Shlomy - Please post your Comments/Feedback here

A patch for the Dutch Gouden Gids Divisie in FIFA 2002

Stephan Oexman and his team over at GG Patch have created a patch for the Dutch second division, the 'Gouden Gids Divisie', for FIFA 2002.

Screenshots Click for larger image Click for larger image

It will provide:

  • correct rosters
  • a Gouden Gids divisie menu
  • Gouden Gids divisie badges
  • and much more

They hope to release it on Friday, so meanwhile check out their site at the home of the Gouden Gids Divisie patch. Full details as always can be found in our Patches Database.

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here


Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Coming soon - One patch providing all World Cup kits for 2 games

That's right folks. One patch will soon provide you with the World Cup 2002 home and away kits for both your World Cup 2002 and Fifa 2002 games.

Screenshots Click for larger image Click for larger image

Check out the screenshots above and return later this week when we will have this great patch for you developed by the prolific Amir Elmeligi.

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here


Monday, June 24, 2002

I am only a fan of the great game like the rest of you

There, I have got that off my chest. The reason I entitled this article is because since there have been some indifferent referee and linesman decisions during the World Cup, especially effecting Italy and the likes, I have received constant threatening e-mail's and virus attacks.

Please accept that I am in no way associated with Fifa the organisation and the only reason my site includes Fifa in the name is because it supports the Electronic Arts Fifa series of games.

Please, I do understand your frustration, but do not maliciously target me for abuse when I am only a Fifa game and soccer fan like you.

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here

History of soccer boots

Today we have something a little different for you whilst you relax in anticipation of the World Cup semi finals.

Cameron Kippen is a shoe historian working at the Curtin University of Technology, Perth WA and he has developed a website which focuses on the "The History of Soccer Shoes". This makes a very interesting read and contains lots more information regarding the history of soccer.

Pay Cameron a visit now and benefit from his knowledge of soccer boots over at "The History of Soccer Shoes".

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here

All the latest files from FifaCenter

The guys over at FifaCenter just never stop producing the goods. Today we bring you all their latest news and great downloads to enhance your World Cup 2002 entertainment.

Their great new patches include:

Pop over to FifaCenter to download all these great patches and keep up to date with all their latest news.

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here


Sunday, June 23, 2002

World Cup 2002 XGK Beta patch v1.0

In the 2nd installment of news from our partners at SoccerAccess, be sure to pay a visit to their Download Zone to download their latest patch for the 2002 FIFA World Cup TM game. Now you can use your classic Skill Moves Selector moves in the latest game from EA Sports. Add 4 XGK kits, the 32 bit IGGex, and you've got enough reasons to download the latest patch form their network.

Screenshots Click for larger image Click for larger image

The patch includes:

  • XGK 1.0 kits: Argentina (home), Ecuador (home), England (away), Croatia (home)
  • 32 bits IGGex
  • Skill Moves Selector for 2002 FIFA World Cup TM

Remember this is only the beta version of the WC 2002 patch. They expect to release the final version (with all the 32 kits from the World Cup) soon. They were looking forward to release the XGK 2.0 kits with this patch, however, those kits make the game return to windows before the fifth match begins. Ariel is still investigating how to make them get along with your copy of 2002 Fifa World Cup, stay tuned.

They're also be releasing the Skill Moves Selector and the 32 bit IGGex separately on their site. Stay tuned for the XGK 2.0 WC 2002 patch and the Soccer Access WC 2002 Cinematics! Yes, Ariel cracked the code already and is preparing a pack of new cinematics for your WC 2002 game.

This patch can also be found in our Patches Database.

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here

XGK Essential Files for WC 2002 ready

The XGK Essential Files have been published over at SoccerAccess' Download Zone. The XGK (X Generation Kit) is a new kit format that's useful and easy to use and it features:

  • Supports 32-bits (16 million colours), instead of the 256 colour palette
  • New sizes and images provide maximum realism to the game
    • Front and Back part - 164x164 pixels
    • 2 Sleeves (right and left) - 92x92 pixels. Includes new image for the armband
    • Crest - 64x64 pixels
    • New Image for Sponsor in shorts
    • Personalised numbers for each team
    • Shorts - 164x92 pixels
    • Socks - 92x92 pixels
  • Fully compatible with the original kits
  • No need of a new executable

The installation is automatic and includes the Argentina (home) and England (away) kits as an example (Argentina = 1369 and England=1318), and the XGK white textures. You wont find the kit's numbers inside the XGK fsh file as they are in the jnum.big file (player directory). In this patch, Argentina is using the number 23 and England number 24. You can set this to a different value inside the ini.big part of the jersy.ini file if you want.

KIT INSTALLER: With this program you can install updated kits to your World Cup 2002 game with extreme ease. Just click on "Select Kit", select your team kit (fsh) and finally click on "install". The kit will then be compressed and inserted into the kits.big file.

Get on over to the SoccerAccess Download Zone now to get your game updated with this great new kit format.

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here

News from FIFA Ukraine

Hello to all of you!!! After long and mistirial dissapear I'm back! My name is still Michael Spasov and I'm still webmaster of FIFA Ukraine, so as you understand I got news from my web. So the news are that my site now has totally new design! It's totally magnificent thanks to hard work of Robert Marney from Soccered! All I wanna do is just to thank him for his work and to let him know here that I apreciate his help very much. Thanks Robert! And the second thing I wanna do is to ask you to pay a visit at my site, that is hosted by Sweetpatch MRA, thanks to David Witts! Bye!

Posted by Michael - Please post your Comments/Feedback here


Friday, June 21, 2002

Egypt came to the World Cup 2002

This patch is Amir's first for the World Cup 2002 & the first Egyptian patch for the Fifa World Cup 2002 game.

Screenshots Click for larger image Click for larger image

The patch brings you:

  • the Egyptian National team with the most accurate rosters & player looks
  • the Egyptian team's home & away Puma kits
  • the Egyptian small and big flags in the game
  • New Legal & Title menu
  • the Egyptian team's badges

Screenshots Click for larger image Click for larger image

Download this direct from our Patches Database and enjoy taking Egypt to the World Cup final.

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here


Thursday, June 20, 2002

All time greatest team

About two weeks ago, the official FIFA website, asked the surfers to combine their all time greatest football team, Well… couple of days ago, we got the results.

The Greatest

The formation that was chosen, was very offensive: 3-4-3.

Here is the all time greatest team, chosen by the surfers:

Defense: Yashin (GK), Beckenbauer, Paolo Maldini & Roberto Carlos.

Midfield: Platini, Zidane, Diego Armando Maradona & Roberto Baggio.

Attack: Romario, Pele & Cruyff.

Posted by Shlomy - Please post your Comments/Feedback here

Romania Comes In Fifa 2002 second edition

Following on from the success of the first edition of this patch, the new Fifa Romania Team of Cojocariu Catalin (Catalinc7), Daniel Dumbrava (mns) and Cristian Danescu have released the second edition of Romania Comes In Fifa 2002 here.

Sweetpatch Screenshots Click for larger image Click for larger image

The patch includes:

  • Romania 1st division (Divizia A) replaces the Belgian league
  • Complete rosters for all the 1st division teams and the 2nd division ones too
  • 3GK kits for the 1st division teams and 2GK-4S kits for the 2nd division teams
  • Flags for all the teams
  • Badges
  • Real adboards
  • A Nike GeoMerlin ball

Go grab your copy of this excellent patch direct from our Patches Database. Soon you'll also be able to visit the team at the first Romanian site dedicated to the Fifa series.

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here


Wednesday, June 19, 2002

The A-League Finally Arrives

It's been a long time coming, but our partner site FIFA CONCACAF informs us that the long awaited A-League 2002 patch is finally here.

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Featuring the USA 2nd division and Canadian 1st Division teams, this high quality A-League patch for FIFA 2002 features:

  • All 18 A-League teams

  • Home and Away 2GK2S kits

  • Updated Rosters

  • Very nice FoxSportsWorld TV graphics

  • A-League Adboards

  • Special A-League ball

  • Some other surprises

This great patch is available at FIFA CONCACAF so head on over there to grab your copy today!

Posted by Greg - Please post your Comments/Feedback here

Fifa On Line WC2002 Superpatch released

Leo, from our Italian partners FifaOnLine.it, informs us that they have finally completed their first Superpatch for the new game World Cup 2002, the Fifa On Line WC 2002 Superpatch.

Click for larger image

This Superpatch contains:

  • updated rosters for the 32 teams who join the competition;
  • updated tactics for the 32 teams;
  • added 3 teams: Holland, Colombia and Yugoslavia;
  • home and away kits for the 32 qualified teams;
  • new Virtual Adboards of the World Cup.

Full details of this patch as always can be found in our Patches Database.

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here


Monday, June 17, 2002

Alessandro Del Piero

Italian striker, Alessandro del Piero is expected to start for Italy against South Korea after lining up for the first team in training on Monday, after he has been a substitute in each of Italy's group games but came off the bench to score a crucial late equaliser against Mexico.

Alessamdro

Most of Italy's certain starters, such as Francesco Totti and striker Christian Vieri, wore red bibs in training on Monday, with the reserves in green. In Italy's first two group games, manager Giovanni Trapattoni used Vieri as a front striker with Totti behind him, But he used Filippo Inzaghi in tandem with Vieri against Mexico, with Totti in an attacking-midfield position.

Del Piero been asked how sure he was of starting, he chose his words very carefully for this answer: "I'm sure that I am always ready, It doesn't matter whether that is as a player in the starting line-up or from the bench like last time.”

"I think that's the case with (Filippo) Inzaghi and (Vincenzo) Montella and the other lads too. Our strikers have technical ability, strength, speed, imagination and they're dangerous in the area. When a coach has an abundance of choice it shouldn't be a cause of concern to him."

Posted by Shlomy - Please post your Comments/Feedback here

History-making victory over old foe

United States 2 v Mexico 0
McBride 8
Donovan 65
   

The United States won a knockout-round match for the first time in its World Cup history Monday, defeating fellow CONCACAF side Mexico 2-0 in Jeonju.

The Americans went back to the tactics that proved successful in their opening match against Portugal, applying tight pressure to their more offensive-minded opponent while looking to take advantage of counter-attacks.

The strategy again paid off early, as midfielder and captain Claudio Reyna capped off a run in the 8th minute with a cross to Josh Wolff. Wolff then fed Brian McBride, lurking from 12 yards out, who fired a shot past Mexico goalkeeper Oscar Perez for his second goal of the tournament.

Mexico were hard done by in the 57th minute, when it appeared that US defender Gregg Berhalter punched clear a Mexico corner kick inside the 18-yard box. While numerous TV replays showed Berhalter's hand make contact with the ball, it was difficult to spot the infraction while the play was going on.

Again, the US worked the counter-attack to great effect in the 65th minute, this time with a run by Eddie Lewis. Lewis served up a ball that forced Perez off his line, putting him at the mercy of Landon Donovan's header. It was Donovan's second goal of the tournament.

The match was a fairly ill-tempered contest, one that required referee Vitor Melo Pereira to dish out ten cards. The last, a red card, was given to Rafael Marquez in the 88th minute for a horrendous challenge on midfielder Cobi Jones that saw the Mexico captain leap, studs up, into Jones' backside before head-butting him.

The US will face Germany in its quarter-final match on Friday in Ulsan.

Line-ups:
United States: Friedel, Berhalter, Pope, Sanneh, Mastroeni (Llamosa 90), O'Brien, Lewis, Reyna, Donovan, McBride (Jones 79), Wolff (Stewart 59)
Mexico: Perez, Marquez, Carmona, Vidiro (Mercado 46), Torrado (Garcia Aspe 78), Morales (Hernandez 28), Luna, J. Rodriguez, Arellano, Borgetti, Blanco

Booked: Pope 26, Vidiro 37, Mastroeni 47, Wolff 50, Berhalter 53, Hernandez 67, Blanco 70, Garcia Aspe 81, Friedel 83, Carmona 84
Sent Off: Marquez 88

Posted by Jonathan - Please post your Comments/Feedback here


Sunday, June 16, 2002

England make their mark

Denmark 0 v 3 England
       

Ferdinand (5),
Owen (22),
Heskey (44)

England demolished Denmark 3-0 in their Second Round match in Niigata. It was a comfortable win for England with all the goals coming in the first half. Rio Ferdinand's header was palmed in by the Danish keeper, and Michael Owen and Emile Heskey added further goals.

Denmark v England

The team defended magnificently in the second half after Owen and Paul Scholes went off. Now, it's the Quarter-Final in Shizuoka on Friday...

Match Statistics

Denmark (DEN)

Statistics

England (ENG)

10

Shots

8

3

Shots on Goal

7

19

Fouls

14

8

Corner Kicks

3

14

Free Kicks

16

2

Offsides

3

1

Cautions

1

63%

Ball Possession

37%

Check out all the latest official news from the World Cup as it happens over at our World Cup Information Service.

Apologies for the lack of updates from me in the last week. In between the excitement of the World Cup I have taken delivery of my new PC and been setting up my home network. It all looks so easy in the manual!

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here


Friday, June 14, 2002

US take "Italian route" to second round

United States 1 v Poland 3
Donovan 83   Olisadebe 3
Kryszalowicz 5
Marcin Zewlakow 66

The United States lost its final Group D match, 3-1, against Poland, but were still able to advance to the second round thanks to some help from Group D winners Korea.

Play got off to a furious pace, as Emmanuel Olisadebe scored his first World Cup goal in the third minute, sending home a Polish corner kick at the second time of asking past US keeper Brad Friedel.

The US looked to have a quick equalizer in the fourth minute when Landon Donovan headed home Brian McBride's speculative effort. But referee Lu Jun disallowed the goal, claiming Donovan fouled his marker before the header. Donovan later said of defender Arkadiusz Glowacki simply that "he dove."

In the confusion that followed, the Polish counter-attacked up the left side of the pitch and scored their second, a strike from Pawel Kryszalowicz.

At this point, the Americans' knew their work was cut out for them. But as each American attack bogged down in the packed-in Polish defense, it became apparent that the US would need to rely on a positive Korean result.

Twenty minutes after the interval, Poland took a 3-0 lead when substitute Marcin Zewlakow, who came into the game two minutes prior, converted a second Polish corner kick into a goal. Soon after came the news the Americans were longing to hear - Korea had taken a 1-0 lead over Portugal! If that result held, the US would advance regardless of the outcome of their game.

More heartbreak for the US in the 76th minute, when defender Tony Sanneh fouled Kryszalowicz in the box. Maciej Zurawski stepped up for the penalty kick, but Friedel, who had already made the lone PK save of the tournament, parried Zurawski's effort for his second such save.

In the 83rd minute, Donovan was able to open his World Cup account, scoring the goal that had so cruelly been denied to him twice (he also had a strike adjudged to be a Jorge Costa own-goal in the Portugal game) by volleying a Clint Mathis header into the net to set the final margin at 3-1.

The US will play neighbors Mexico in the next round. US captain Claudio Reyna acknowledged the help from their hosts:

"We're through to the second round because of (Korea's) result, not because of what we did. We owe them a big thanks."

"A lot of teams got through with a bit of luck. Italy, one of the best teams in the world, got through with luck, so we'll take it. We're happy."

U.S. coach Bruce Arena is pleased to be playing Mexico in the next round:

"We know our next opponent quite well," he said. "They played extremely well in the tournament. Mexico is an outstanding team, and they were minutes short of being undefeated, almost winning three games. They will be a very difficult opponent for us on Monday."

Line-ups:
United States: Friedel, Hejduk, Pope, Agoos (Beasley 36), Sanneh, Stewart (Jones 68), Reyna, O'Brien, Donovan, McBride (Moore 58), Mathis
Poland: Majdan, Klos (Waldoch 89), Zielinski, Glowacki, Krzynowek, Zurawski, Murawski, Kucharski (Marcin Zewlakow 64), Olisadebe (Sibik 86), Kryszalowicz, Kozminski
Cautions: Majdan 44, Kozminski 46, Kucharski 63, Hejduk 72, Olisadebe 86

Posted by Jonathan - Please post your Comments/Feedback here

Teddy will open

England former coach, Glenn Hoddle, believes that good old Teddy Sheringham should start alongside with Michael Owen in the second round game against Denmark.

Owen and Sheringham

Hoddle believes the 36 year old should now be given the chance to show all his experience, on what would be his 50th appearance for England.

"Against Denmark I would favour Teddy from the start. We will not be hitting them on the break - that will be their gameplan, so we need to have someone up front who is as astute as Tomasson.", Hoddle said.

"Teddy fits the bill because he can create opportunities with a single pass. Of course he might not finish the game, but so what? That might work in our favour because Emile Heskey's power for the last 20 minutes could be a great bonus at this stage of the competition. Heskey would get on the end of any ball pumped into the area during that last quarter." ,he added.

”The early exits of Argentina and champions France have left the door open for England to go on and on. Brazil look strong and Germany have managed to stride their way through to the next stage.

"Everyone will need to be at their best if we are not to go the way of France and Argentina. It's time to show what we can really do.", he summated.

Posted by Shlomy - Please post your Comments/Feedback here

All the latest files from FifaCenter

The guys over at FifaCenter just never stop producing the goods. Today we bring you all their latest news and great downloads to enhance your World Cup 2002 entertainment.

Their great new patches include:

Also, if you are bored with playing national teams in Fifa World Cup 2002, this is the patch designed for you. The World Cup 3 Top Teams patch places the three top teams of Turkish Super League; Fenerbahce, Galatasaray and Besiktas and replaces the national teams of Greece, Israel and Switzerland. You can live the derby emotions with this brilliant patch... (screenshot 1, screenshot 2, screenshot 3, screenshot 4) (download)

Pop over to FifaCenter to download all these great patches and keep up to date with all their latest news. Also, while you are there, pay attention to their FifaCenter Poll and please vote for:

"Which team do you choose mostly when playing 2002 Fifa World Cup?"

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here


Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Vieri worries

World & European champions, France, and pre-tournament favourites Argentina have been knocked out at the first round stage in the past two days.

Vieri

Christian Vieri, Italy’s striker, afraid that this kind of fall down, can happen to his team too.

"If we do not win and have to go home, it will be a disaster for us," the striker told reporters on the eve of their make-or-break clash with the Latin Americans" Vieri said.

"We need to win to go forward, we have no choice but to be aggressive, ruthless and not give up for one second whatever happens." ,he added.

”It has been a strange World Cup, we know that small teams can beat the big ones and if France and Argentina can go out, so can Italy."

Posted by Shlomy - Please post your Comments/Feedback here

Irish book passage into second round

Rep. of Ireland 3 v Saudi Arabia 0
Robbie Keane 7
Breen 61
Duff 87
   

The Republic of Ireland have qualified for the second round of the World Cup finals with a 3-0 victory over Saudi Arabia.

Goals from Robbie Keane, Gary Breen and Damien Duff sent the Irish packing for Korea and the Saudis packing for home.

The win means the Irish are now 3-for-3 in qualifying for the knockout round of the World Cup, a stage they also reached in 1990 and 1994. It also marked the first time in the Republic's World Cup history than the team scored more than one goal in a game.

With the Irish needing a two-goal victory to be assured of qualification, regardless of the outcome of the Germany/Cameroon match, manager Mick McCarthy's boys pushed for a goal from the opening whistle. Their effort was rewarded in the 7th minute, when Robbie Keane notched his second goal of the finals, a volley from Matt Holland that found the Leeds man unmarked.

Pushing for a second goal, the Irish left themselves exposed in defense at times, and the Saudis made runs challenging the Irish goal throughout the latter part of the first half. However, the equalizer failed to materialize as shots either went wide, right at keeper Shay Given, or the Saudis found themselves dispossessed.

But when the second goal finally came, in the 61st minute, it was in similar fashion to the first - a volley - but from an unusual source. Veteran defender Gary Breen reached out and poked home a cross for the vital two-goal margin.

Keane's strike partner, Damien Duff, added the third goal of the match, a hard shot right into the hands of Saudi keeper Mohammed Al-Deayea. But a combination of velocity and moisture meant that the ball squirted out of Al-Deayea's hands and into the goal, giving Duff a well-deserved first World Cup tally.

"(Saudi Arabia) played well in the first half," McCarthy said, "but in the second half I thought we were excellent. It was a big game and it's great to go through. The lads responded really well."

McCarthy also pointed out the performance of striker Duff. "His second half performance was brilliant and he deserved his goal," McCarthy said.

Ireland will face the first place team in Group B on June 16 in Suwon, Korea.

Teams:
Republic of Ireland: Given, Finnan, Breen, Staunton, Harte (Quinn 46), G. Kelly (McAteer 80), Holland, Kinsella (Carsley 89), Duff, Robbie Keane, Kilbane
Saudi Arabia: Al-Deayea, Al-Jahani (A.D. Al-Dosari 79), Tukar, Zubromawi (Al-Dosary 68), Al-Shehri, I. Al-Shahrani, Sulimani, Khathran (Al-Shlhoub 67), Al-Dossari, Al-Temyat, Al-Yami
Cautions: Al-Temyat 61, Staunton 70

Posted by Jonathan - Please post your Comments/Feedback here


Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Iran come to the World Cup

Our great friend Sam from Iran Patch Online is back with a new patch. The IWCP 2002 (Iran World Cup Patch 2002).

Sweetpatch Screenshots Click for larger image Click for larger image

He made this patch for World Cup 2002 and it adds Iran to the game with:

  • home and away kit
  • logo and
  • flag

You can download this patch from Iran Patch Online World Cup 2002 page and take Iran to the World Cup final. Full details as always can be found in our Patches Database.

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here


Monday, June 10, 2002

Friedel saves valuable point for US

United States 1 v Korea Republic 1
Mathis 24   Ahn 78

The United States and Korea played to a 1-1 draw today in Daegu, with the stellar play of American goalkeeper Brad Friedel securing a valuable point for the visiting team.

The Blackburn Rovers keeper made nine saves on the evening, including the first save of a penalty kick in this Finals.

Friedel was flawless in goal, with the Koreans' only tally coming on a shot that he had absolutely no opportunity to stop.

Despite Korea dominating the early play in the game, the US took the lead in the 24th minute when midfielder John O'Brien placed a pass on the foot of Clint Mathis, breaking for the goal. The striker, who did not play in the Portugal game because of discomfort in his surgically repaired knee, stroked his second touch into the right-side netting for a 1-0 lead.

However, danger loomed in the 40th minute when US defender Jeff Agoos was whistled for a foul inside the penalty area, despite the fact that it appeared that a group of players from both teams tangled legs and fell down. Lee Eul-Yong stepped up to take the spot kick, but Friedel anticipated the blast to the right, preserving his clean sheet.

In the 78th minute, Ahn Jung-Hwan beat Agoos to a high ball served up by Lee. The substitute's deft header hit the same right-side netting as Mathis' goal, albeit much higher up.

The home side wasted a golden opportunity to go ahead minutes later. Lee drew Friedel off his line with some dribbling near the six-yard box, then passing the ball to Choi Yong-Soo. Choi missed an absolute sitter in front of the wide-open net, chipping the ball over the crossbar to preserve the 1-1 scoreline.

The US team enters Friday's final group game with their destiny well and truly in their own hands. The Americans need one point from their game against Poland in Daejeon to go through to the second round, regardless of the outcome of the Korea/Portugal match. If they were to lose, they would need Korea to beat Portugal, as they would more than likely lose out on goal difference if they ended up level on points with either team.

Line-ups:
United States: Friedel, Hejduk, Pope, Agoos, Sanneh, Beasley (Lewis 75), Reyna, O'Brien, Donovan, McBride, Mathis (Wolff 83)
Korea Republic: Lee Woon-Jae, Choi Jin-Cheul, Kim Nam-Il, Yoo (Choi Yong-Soo 69), Kim Tae-Young, Seol, Lee Eul-Yong, Hwang (Ahn 56), Hong, Park (Lee Chun-Soo 38), Song
Cautions: Hejduk 30, Agoos 39, Hong 80

Posted by Jonathan - Please post your Comments/Feedback here

New undefeated CONCACAF kit pack

CONCACAF is still undefeated at the FIFA 2002 World Cup - Korea/Japan, and to celebrate, our partner site FIFA CONCACAF has just released a new CONCACAF kit pack.

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This patch includes Home and Away kits for:

- Mexico
- USA
- Costa Rica

As an added bonus, it also includes Canadian kits to be used in conjunction with the Canada World Cup - 2002 patch (fixing a small problem with the long sleeves).

So head on over to FIFA CONCACAF today to grab your copy.

Posted by Greg - Please post your Comments/Feedback here

Fifa On Line WC 2002 Kits Superpatch released

Leo from FifaOnLine.it has recently released their first official patch for World Cup 2002.

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It is the Fifa On Line WC2002 Kits Superpatch and it contains 64 kits, home and away for each World Cup team. The kits have been converted from their Fifa On Line Superpatch for Fifa 2002.

You can get this great patch direct from our Patches Database and Download Boutique.

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here


Sunday, June 9, 2002

Trapattoni strikes back

The Italian coach, Giovanni Trapattoni, is returning fire towards his critics, after the lose against Croatia.

Trapattoni

The main criticism was on the issue that the Italian team plays with only one striker (Vieri), instead with three strikers, which was the formation they played through out a successive qualifications. One newspaper, even called Trapattoni to "Change it or leave it".

"I have been a coach for 25 years and I don't give much weight to people who say I should go" Trapattoni said, "We have seen the world champions (France) play with three strikers here and lose. It is the spirit, the approach that counts. I feel that on Saturday we had the right approach and we went and got the goal and had chances. You can say, well if (Filippo) Inzaghi or someone else had played, but these aren't the things that make you win. You don't win because you have one striker more or one less"

"Maybe if we had a fit Albertini then I would say yes. But he wasn't able to be here and I don't think I left at home someone who would have made a qualitative difference. In that case we are talking about more numbers not more quality," ,he added.

So, with one striker or three, Italy, who stands now in 2nd place, still must win it’s last game against the first placed, Mexico, on Thursday.

Posted by Shlomy - Please post your Comments/Feedback here

Treebeard's WC 2002 Rosters now online

Mr Rosters himself (Jochen Tree) has released his latest World Cup 2002 Roster Update. This patch provides:

  • the accurate 23 man rosters for World Cup 2002
  • All teams updated from the opening game of the tournament with the:
    • correct shirt numbers
    • team formations and
    • starting line-ups

Get over to the home of Fifa Rosters and play your World Cup 2002 game with the very latest rosters. Full details can be found in our Patches Database.

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here


Saturday, June 8, 2002

Get your World Cup kits here

Is your team progressing well in the World Cup? Do you want to wear their kit and merchandise during the World Cup?

Get your World Cup kits and merchandise here

You can get all your favourite merchandise for your World Cup teams from us here now. This has already proved very popular with you. Join the thousands of fans who have already visited our great World Cup Store and be kitted up to watch your team progress.

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here

The kick of God

England 1 v 0 Argentina
Beckham (44 pen)        

The kick of God

As the English public rise from their 24 hours of celebrations, following the fantastic result with Argentina yesterday, the official news on the street has been running fast and thick. Here is the latest official news from TheFA.com.

The group of death it may be, but England are very much alive and kicking in Group F after a sensational night in Sapporo saw Sven's men defeat Argentina courtesy of David Beckham's first half penalty.

Once the hype had turned into action, it proved to be a game that you could not take your eyes off for a second.

England needed to withstand a second half siege from Argentina to earn a victory which will be savoured long into the night by our fans who have suffered so much at the hands of Argentina in the past.

England captain and goal-scorer David Beckham's immediate reaction to the victory over Argentina:

"It's just unbelievable - it's been a long 4 years."

He reflected on the reaction of the Argentinean players when he was about to take the decisive penalty:

"Obviously, their antics were difficult. The 'keeper was telling me where to put the ball and Simeone tried to shake my hand. But we did well and battled hard. It's a team game - it is not just my penalty but the team played well for the whole 92 minutes."

Sven-Goran Eriksson's immediate reaction to the stunning win by England against Argentina in Sapporo was unsurprisingly upbeat:

"I think we deserved to win the game, " he said. "We played with a big, big heart. I'm very pleased because it was very hard in the last 15 minutes. It pleased me that we played football - we came out in the 2nd half and created chances. This win was very important after the first game, but we had to work very very hard."

Once the initial excitement had died down, Sven was keen to look forward to the next challenge.

"From tomorrow we have to focus on Nigeria," said Eriksson. "If we can stay in the tournament I think we will get better and better. We had three, four, even five players at the start coming back from long-term injuries who were not 100% match-fit. With every game they play they will get better and better."

Check out all these stories over at TheFA.com and see what Sven was impressed with most and what Argentina coach Marcelo Bielsa said.

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here

Zidane is fit

The World Champions, France, have been given a massive boost ahead of their final Group A match against Denmark, with the news that Zinedine Zidane will play.

Zizu

France have had a nightmare tournament and their bad fortune began on the eve of the World Cup when Zidane was injured in a friendly match against South Korea.

Since then, they failed to score in their opening two games and only managed one point, as they prepare for the showdown with the Danes on Tuesday, a match they have to win by two clear goals in order to go through. However, now Zidane has recovered from his thigh injury and will be fit to play.

"Zinedine Zidane is cured. His injury is totally healed," team doctor Jean-Marcel Ferret said on Friday, "Zidane is fit to play against Denmark."

Posted by Shlomy - Please post your Comments/Feedback here


Friday, June 7, 2002

Canada Goes to the World Cup

Our partner site FIFA CONCACAF has just released the new Canada World Cup - 2002 patch.


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This exciting new patch brings Canada into FIFA World Cup 2002, and is the first of a "CONCACAF at the Cup" series of patches bringing some of the other teams in the CONCACAF to the big show.

Features include:
- Updated Canadian Rosters (including similar style faces)
- New Canada Home and Away kits
- Canadian large and small flags and badges
- Optional Canadian commentary files

This patch is available with audio commentary (10MB) and with out (1MB) for easy downloading. So take a trip over to FIFA CONCACAF today and check it out!

Posted by Greg - Please post your Comments/Feedback here

Watch fantastic World Cup highlights here and now

Today we have some fantastic news for you. As part of our World Cup Information Service and in partnership with FIFAworldcup.com you can now sign-up for their "FIFA VIP Club". This is FIFAworldcup.com's premium subscription service which includes exclusive Internet video match highlights available online for the first-time in FIFA World Cup history!

Check out all the latest World Cup footage

To join the FIFA VIP Club costs $19.95 USD; 22.50 Euros; 2,500 yen; or 25,000 wan and provides:

  • Four minutes of professionally-produced video highlights, including three minutes of sequential match events with voice over commentary and four additional :15 second clips, including Shot-of-the-Game and Man-of-the-Match footage
  • Highlights available as the games end each day throughout the FIFA World Cup
  • On-demand, searchable highlights, giving fans the ability to easily locate their favourite moments, such as all the goals by their favourite team
  • Voiceover commentary in English, French, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and German
  • Vintage FIFA World Cup TV and film footage, telling the story of the last nine FIFA World Cups from England 1966 through France 1998
  • Four exclusive video screensavers from FIFA World Cup archived highlights
  • Sweepstakes and FIFA World Cup ticket opportunities proprietary to the FIFA VIP Club

The following is some of the excellent no cost information you can also obtain from FIFAworldcup.com:

  • "Philips MatchCast" - graphic-based, real-time coverage that merges text play-by-play, still images, scoring, penalties, team kits and more
  • "United Time Converter" - instantly convert match start times in Asia to your local time
  • "Match Box" - all-in-one summary of previous day's results, upcoming matches, and a tournament bracket
  • Original editorial content from football experts who tell fans the inside story on teams and match ups, plus what's hot and what's not
  • Extensive photo galleries, slideshows, fan polls, 700+ player bios
  • Team and match reports direct from official FIFA sources
  • State-of-the-art search capability that finds video, text and photos with ease
  • Host city photo galleries, 360-degree stadium views and real-time weather
  • Game Zone: Test your football memory and skills with an interactive puzzle game, show your knowledge in the FIFA World Cup Trivia Game, and cast predictions with the "The Budweiser Challenge-The Official FIFA World Cup Pick and Win Game"
  • An assortment of new monitor wallpaper and screensaver downloads
  • The Official FIFA World Cup Online Store where fans can browse virtual catalogs and purchase leisurewear, football and sports equipment, games, toys and souvenirs

To launch our partnership they have also provided an exclusive video screensaver free. This is normally only available to VIP Club subscribers. Click here to access your free screensaver.

We hope you can benefit from this great new partnership with FIFAworldcup.com.

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here


Wednesday, June 5, 2002

US scores monumental upset

United States 3 v Portugal 2
O'Brien 3
Costa (og) 29
McBride 36
  Beto 40
Agoos (og) 71

The United States team pulled off the second big upset in the 2002 World Cup on Wednesday, defeating heavy Group D favourites Portugal by a 3-2 score.

The Americans showed early on that they were not to be taking lightly, when midfielder John O'Brien blasted a re-directed Brian McBride header past Portuguese keeper Vitor Baia in the third minute. The US went up 2-0 in the 29th minute, when Landon Donovan's shot from the right wing deflected off of the back of defender Jorge Costa, continued toward the goal and was pushed in by Baia's attempted save.

Incredibly, the lead was extended seven minutes later. Earnie Stewart lofted a cross from the right wing, hitting favored American target man McBride. The Columbus Crew striker's diving header made the score 3-0, and Portugal looked well and truly beaten.

The Portuguese gathered up enough resolve to pull one back five minutes before the half, when their third successive corner kick was gathered by defender Beto, who poked it toward the goal. O'Brien's weak clearance attempt fell back at Beto's feet, and he tucked it in at the second time of asking.

Not surprisingly, the US plan of attack in the second half was defense and ball possession, although they were having trouble executing that, especially the latter. US keeper Brad Friedel was the team's saving grace, but even he didn't have an answer in the 71st minute when a clearance by defender Jeff Agoos went under the bar instead of over it, making the score 3-2.

Portugal continued to push for the equalizer, bringing Nuno Gomes into the game and fielding a combination of five strikers and attacking midfielders. But the Americans were able to stick to the defense-and-possession game plan, especially after veteran Joe-Max Moore entered the game in the 75th minute.

The US now faces hosts South Korea on June 10, with the winner gaining the inside track to advancing to the second round. Portugal will face Poland, also on June 10, with the loser facing elimination.

Teams:
United States: Freidel, Hejduk, Pope (Llamosa 80), Agoos, Sanneh, Beasley, Stewart (Jones 45), Mastroeni, O'Brien, McBride, Donovan (Moore 75)
Portugal: Baia, Costa (Andrade 73), Couto, Beto, Jorge (Bento 69), Rui Costa (Nuno Gomes 79), Petit, Sergio Conceicao, Figo, Pauleta, Pinto
Cautions: Beto 35, Petit 52, Beasley 90

Posted by Jonathan - Please post your Comments/Feedback here

Keane strike saves Ireland's Cup chances

Rep. of Ireland 1 v Germany 1
Robbie Keane 90   Close 18

The Republic of Ireland stole a point in their second Group E match, drawing 1-1 with Germany in Ibaraki after Robbie Keane's sensational goal in stoppage time.

Group leaders Germany looked to be on their way to a win and the three points that would secure their passage to the second round, taking a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute when Miroslav Klose headed home Michael Ballack's cross past Republic keeper Shay Given. The goal, Klose's fourth of the competition, cemented the Kaiserlautern man's position as the early favorite for the Golden Boot.

In the second half, Germany seemed content to bring men behind the ball and maintain the one-goal lead, with Ireland unable to make anything out of several runs and free kicks. Luckily for the Irish, Germany also had trouble capitalizing on opportunities, Carsten Jancker in particular.

With four minutes left, it looked like disaster for Ireland as Shay Given mis-kicked the ball to Germany's Marco Bode, who failed to take advantage of the gift. Gary Breen cleaned up the mess, allowing the Irish to counter-attack. However, second-half substitute Niall Quinn's run culminated with an ill-fated chip that ended up on top of the Germany net instead of in back of it.

Finally, two minutes into stoppage time, Keane, who had been quiet throughout most of the match, received a ball from Quinn, beat his marker and squeezed a shot between the post and goalkeeper Oliver Kahn's outstretched hands. The goal secured Ireland's second point of the competition and kept the team's hopes for a second-round appearance alive.

Ireland's next match will be against Saudi Arabia, while Germany will play Cameroon. Both matches are scheduled for June 11

Teams:
Republic of Ireland: Given, Finnan, Breen, Staunton (Cunningham 87), Harte (Reid 73), G. Kelly (Quinn 73), Holland, Kinsella, Kilbane, Robbie Keane, Duff
Germany: Kahn, Linke, Ramelow, Metzelder, Frings, Hamann, Ballack, Schneider (Jeremies 90), Ziege, Jancker (Bierhoff 75), Klose (Bode 85)
Cards: None

Posted by Jonathan - Please post your Comments/Feedback here


Tuesday, June 4, 2002

Bug fix for the World Cup Mega Patch 2002 available here

Amir and his team have released a bug fix for their very popular World Cup Mega Patch 2002. As some of you had problems with the game crashing they have released this fix.

Screenshots Click for larger image Click for larger image

Get your copy directly from our Patches Database and enjoy this wonderful patch during the World Cup.

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here

News, news and more news from SoccerAccess

Wow, the guys never seem to sleep over at SoccerAccess these days. It must be the excitement of the World Cup keeping them awake all the time. Please find below all their latest and greatest news which you should not miss.

World Cup Center
They are now providing excellent daily World Cup news updates at their World Cup 2002 Centre site. They have also developed a great utility for all you need to know about the World Cup (plus the first update for the utility which provides you all the latest news from the actual World Cup is now available). I really would advise that you download this excellent World Cup companion and visit their World Cup 2002 Centre. Great work guys.

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World Cup 2002 forums
Over at their World Cup 2002 Centre they've published their international forums. They are available in several languages:

  • English
  • French
  • Hebrew
  • Hungarian
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish and
  • Turkish

They will add more languages if possible. The idea is to have a major center of discussion during the WC time. The World Cup 2002 Centre forums, the place to be after the match is over.

FIFA World Cup 2002 International commentaries
They have also published the commentary files for the World Cup 2002 game in several languages:

  • Spanish
  • English
  • Italian and
  • Portuguese

Remember to grab your commentaries from their Downloads Zone. Soccer Access also has the Spanish commentaries for Fifa 2002 and Fifa 2001 so there are plenty of downloads waiting for you.

Soccer Access World Cup 2002 patch
Finally, they are also creating a patch for the WC 2002 game and as part of it they'll include the Skill Moves Selector program. The patch should be published at hopefully next week.

Check our all their latest World Cup 2002 news and gaming information at World Cup 2002 Centre.

Also, don't forget all the latest World Cup news we have for you here at our World Cup Information Service. We have all the latest scores, tables, news and forthcoming fixtures all in one place for you at our World Cup Information Service.

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here

Champions League 4GK Beta v1.2 out

As we enjoy the excitement of the World Cup, the latest version of the Champions League 4GK Beta patch has been released over at SoccerAccess.

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This version 1.2 of the patch includes:

  • 4GK Essential files
  • Real Madrid G3 Stadium
  • Skill Moves Selector for Fifa 2002 (20 skill moves in total)
  • Real Madrid and Bayern Leverkusen updated rosters and 4GK kits
  • referee 4GK kit
  • Cinematics from the WC 2002 patch upgraded to Episode 2
  • all new ESPN Champions League IGGex with screenshots, logos and pictures from the participants teams
  • Champions League 2GB ball (2nd Generation Ball)
  • nets
  • edited crowds
  • enhanced in game indicators and CL adboards

Version 1.3 of this patch is already being produced and will include the final version of the Champions League Final IGGex. Full details and download link for this great patch can be found in our Patches Database.

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here


Sunday, June 2, 2002

England must draw comfort

England 1 v 1 Sweden
Campbell (24)       Alexandersson (59)

After the elation came the deflation. For the first forty five minutes England's game plan came together in splendid style. The slow-quick variation of our tempo left Sweden in a spin and promised three crucial points in the battle for survival in the 'Group of Death'. However, in the second half Sweden proved that they are no easy prey, fighting back to level the scores in front of an enthralled Saitama crowd.

Campbell scores 1 v 0

Having held the lead for 35 minutes, England left the field visibly frustrated at having yielded to Sweden's onslaught but, by the time they have returned to the team base in Awaji on Monday afternoon, they will no doubt appreciate that a draw represents a respectable platform from which to build.

Check out the full story of England's woeful second half performance at TheFA.com.

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here


Saturday, June 1, 2002

ECP2 Champions League patch is released

The highly acclaimed ECP team have today launched their latest version of the fantastic European Clubs Patch 2 (ECP2) Champions League over at their site.

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This awesome patch features :

  • compatibility with FifaFX and MRA
  • accurate rosters with right tactics, player info, numbers etc...
  • the Teams are:
    • Panathinaikos - Sparta Prague - Galatasaray - Boavista - Porto - Lokomotiv Moscow - Spartak Moscow - Dinamo Kiev - Fenerbahce - Juventus - Liverpool - Anderlecht - Manchester Utd. - Arsenal - Roma - Leverkusen - Nantes - La Coruna - Real Madrid - Lyon - Barcelona - Mallorka - Lille - Olympiakos - Lazio - Celtic - PSV - Rosenborg - Feyenoord - Shalke 04 - Dortmund - Bayern Munich.
  • great 2GK4S and 2GK2s kits (users will choose their favourite kits format)
  • great 2GK4S Qualification Round Teams Kits for:
    • Slavia Prague - Inter Bratislava - Haka - Hajiduk Split - Crvena Zveda - Steaua Bucarest - Shakthor - Copenhangen - Ajax - Grasshopers - Levski Sofia - Rangers - TIrol - Wisla Krakow
  • great 2GK1S (compatible with 4s essentials) and 2GK2S Goalkeeper's kits (users will choose their favourite kits format). Many Teams will have 2 Goalkeepers to use with FifaFX
  • 2GK1s Referee kits (compatible with 4s essentials) and 2GK2s Referee kits
  • Stadiums for almost every team
    • Delle Alpi - Olimpico Lazioli - Olimpico Romanista - Nou Camp - Bernabeu - Riazor - Anfield Road - Highbury - Old Trafford - Ali Sami Yen - Suku Sarakoglu - Olympic Stadium of Athens - Apostolos Nikolaidis - Constant Van de Stock - Letna - Olympic Stadium of Munich - Bayer Arena - Auf Arena - Westfallen - Gerland - Grimonprez Jooris - Philips Stadium - De Kuip - Celtic Park - Luzhniski - Das Antas and of course the Stadium of the CL Final Hampden Park

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  • Champions League Ball
  • Champions League adboards
  • Flags for every CL team
  • Badges for every created team
  • Sidelines for every CL Team
  • Modified menu with the names of the teams and the Leagues they represent
  • Champions League Intro Menu with cool effects
  • CL Intro music, mixed and edited for high volume and echo for stadium effect
  • Champions League TV Broadcasting Patch
  • UEFA CL press and camera men
  • UEFA CL crowd watchers from
  • new training and suits for the sideline bench
  • new faces on bench
  • the most popular Shoes (assigned shoes like Mizuno to Rivaldo and also New Predator to Raul and other players who wear this and also new Nike 90 II in many players but still promise a giant update in future)
  • FifaFX Stuff (except the Stadiums, sidelines, CL intro and Goalkeepers), Balls for many Teams (for example Roma use red Kappa, or Nantes use Le Coc Sportif, Lazio Puma, many teams use the Nike Geomerlin or Adidas Equipment or Umbro like United, Celtic, Olympiakos etc etc ), Crowds, chants, goals chants, win - tie - loose chants etc etc. And the most important FifaFX scripts with great features for the CL Patch. The most important is that the scripts will count the matches every team play so every team reach the final you will be able to play in Hampden Park of Glasgow
  • real Calendar for the Champions League games
  • new edited cameras
  • Gameplay Patch
  • works with all languages (English - Portuguese - Dutch - French - German - Greek - Italian - Spanish - Swedish) and we will try to make it work with Hebrew too (not finished yet).

Get on over to the home of the European Clubs Patch to get your copy of this awesome patch. You won't be disappointed. Full details can be found, plus developer details, in our Patches Database.

Posted by Dave - Please post your Comments/Feedback here

Republic share spoils in first match

Rep. of Ireland 1 v Cameroon 1
Holland 52   Mboma 40

The Republic of Ireland grabbed a point from their first match in the 2002 World Cup, perhaps putting to rest concerns that the absence of Roy Keane has irreparably damaged their Cup hopes.

Matt Holland's goal in the 52nd minute pulled Ireland level, which overcame a shaky first-half performance to hold on for the draw with favored Cameroon.

Robbie Keane and Damien Duff, among others, missed second-half chances that would have put the Republic ahead, but Mick McCarthy's men have to pleased to take a point away from the match, especially after the saga involving their former captain convinced many that their stay in the Far East would be a short one.

Cameroon defender Raymond Kalla's clearance of a danger ball landed at the feet of Ipswich midfielder Holland, who then coolly stroked it past a diving Boukar Alioum for the tying goal.

In the 40th minute, Cameroon grabbed the lead when Patrick Mboma found the back of the net off a feed from Samuel Eto'o, who caught Republic keeper Shay Given flat-footed. Gary Kelly tried to clear Mboma's shot off the line, but he arrived too late.

Steven Reid gave Ireland its last chance to take all three points, but his powerful free kick near the end of the match, despite clearing the Cameroon wall, went straight into the hands of Alioum.

"I thought we played far, far better in the second half," McCarthy said. "We were individually and collectively poor in the first half. We sorted a few things out at half-time."

Man of the match Holland agreed.

"In the second half we had a lot of chances," he said, "but it was a good performance nonetheless and we are pleased with the result."

"Hopefully it will stand us in good stead. It was a crucial that we didn't get beat today."

Teams:
Republic of Ireland: Given, Harte (Reid 77), Staunton, Breen, G. Kelly, Holland, Kilbane, Kinsella, McAteer (Finnan 46), Duff, Robbie Keane

Cameroon: Alioum, Tchato, Song, Kalla, Wome, Lauren, Foe, Olembe, Geremi, Eto'o, Mboma (Suffo 68)

Cautions: McAteer 30, Finnan 50, Reid 82

Posted by Jonathan - Please post your Comments/Feedback here