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World Cup Iran

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World Cup 2006 Group Stage Review - Phase Three - Part One by David Walker

All 32 teams have completed the group stage and 16 are preparing for the knockout phase. This is a short round-up of Groups A to D, of the results as they stand after three matches. Did your country qualify or fall at the first hurdle?

Group A
1. Germany 9pts, 2. Ecuador 6pts, 3. Poland 3pts, 4. Costa Rica 0pts

Both Germany and Ecuador had qualified for the knockout stage by the time they clashed in the final round of fixtures but it was the 1/3 host nation that topped the group. First half goals from Miroslav Klose after three and 43 minutes edged him into the Golden Boot pole position while strike partner Lukas Podolski fired in a third nine minutes after the group.

Disappointing Poland ended their campaign on a high note by beating Costa Rica 2-1. Ronald Gomez put the Costa Ricans in front on 23 but a brace from Bartosz Bosacki on 32 and 65 landed a winning bet at 4/5.

Group B
1. England 7pts, 2. Sweden 5pts, 3. Paraguay 3pts, 4. Trinidad & Tobago 1pt

England stuttered to the top of Group B to set up a second round clash with Ecuador after a 2-2 draw with Sweden. Joe Cole's wonder goal gave England the lead after 33 minutes but Marcus Allback headed Sweden level five minutes into the second half. Steven Gerrard looked to have won it with six minutes left but Henrik Larsson snatched an 11/5 daw at the death.

Trinidad & Tobago needed to beat Paraguay and for England to beat Sweden to have any hopes of qualification. An own goal from Brent Sancho after 24 minutes and a goal from Nelson Cuevas on 85 ensured Paraguay ended on a 1/2 positive note.

Group C
1. Argentina 7pts, 2. Holland 7pts, 3. Ivory Coast 3pts, 4. Serbia & Montenegro 0pts

Argentina topped the group to set up a second round encounter with Mexico after drawing 0-0 with Holland. The bookmakers had anticipated both sides would have made it through to the knockout stage by the time this fixture came around and best odds of 2/1 were available for the draw.

The Ivory Coast were involved in a remarkable game against Serbia & Montenegro where they fought back from 2-0 down to win 3-2. Nikola Zigic and Sasa Illic found the net after nine and 19 minutes but Tottenham Hotspur target Aruna Dindane converted a penalty on 36 and netted his second after 66 minutes to restore parity. When a second penalty was awarded five minutes from the end, Dindane refused the chance of a hat-trick and allowed Bonaventure Kalou to win the game at 6/4 from the spot.

Group D
1. Portugal 9pts, 2. Mexico 4pts, 3. Angola 2pts, 4. Iran 1pt
Portugal saw off closest rivals Mexico to meet Holland in the knockout stage. Available at 5/4 before kick off, Maniche opened the scoring after just five minutes while Simao doubled the lead from the penalty spot after 23 minutes. Jose Fonseca pulled one back for Mexico five minutes later but Portugal held firm.

Angola needed a win against Iran to have any hope of qualification and had the perfect start when Flavio drew first blood after 59 minutes. But Sohrab Bakhtiarizadeh levelled on 75 to tie the game at odds of 9/4.

David Walker runs a free bets website. You can watch live football online during the World Cup.

Article Source: http://www.earticlesonline.com/Article/World-Cup-2006-Group-Stage-Review---Phase-Three---Part-One/41099

World Cup Iran

The impact of online backgammon and community games by Gene Marshall

The backgammon game is one leisure activity that has been enjoyed by millions of people from around the world for thousands of years. It is hard to believe that the backgammon set we know today has been in existence for some five thousand years. The backgammon board with its twenty-four alternately colored and triangular-shaped divisions, the dice and the cup used to shake the dice are not inventions of some Victorian toy manufacturer, but a legacy from the various earliest days of recorded history. Certainly the materials used to make the sets have changed plastic has replaced wood, bone and clay, or in Internet backgammon, a virtual board and pieces have replaced their physical equivalents, but the basic ideas of how to play backgammon have demonstrated a remarkable endurance over the centuries.

From its beginnings in the lands that we now call Iraq and Iran, the ancient empires spread the game of backgammon around the world. The popularity of the Roman version of backgammon, or tabula as it was known, appears to have been a key stage in the transference of backgammon from its Middle-Eastern heartland into Europe. With the European settlement of the American continent, and African and Asian countries backgammon was well on the way to becoming the internationally known game that we know today.

So what has been the impact of online backgammon on the games and its players? Certainly without doubt the world of backgammon has been radically changed by the introduction of Internet backgammon. However, the effects have not manifested themselves in any changes in the backgammon rules. Backgammon is played to the same rules on the Internet as it has been played in the physical game. Internet gaming sites have even brought to a wider public some of the versions of backgammon played around the world, for example, the Turkish version of the game. The skills needed to play backgammon online are precisely the same as those required in traditional offline play. Even the many opportunities provided for backgammon gambling do not represent a departure from the way the game has commonly been played but simply their transferal to a new technological format.

For all the aspects of the game that Internet backgammon has left unchanged, it has also produced major changes worthy of note. Today anyone who has an Internet connection is able to download backgammon software and start playing. There is no need even to go out and buy a book to learn how to play since backgammon rules are displayed and explained on these sites. In addition, the possibilities of playing backgammon against a computer have presented many new opportunities for learning how to play the game that have not been available in previous generations. Also, online backgammon has made the game available at times and places to suit every player's convenience. There is no need to call round any more for a friend to come and play backgammon with you, or to go and see if a game is available at the local caf, whenever you feel like playing you are able to do so and you need go no further than your own home or office to take part.

Gene Marshall, professional backgammon player, is commissioned by a number of well-known online backgammon websites. The author contributes articles about internet backgammon and backgammon rules. Additional editorials that were written by Gene Marshall about backgammon can be obtained on the web.

Article Source: http://www.earticlesonline.com/Article/The-impact-of-online-backgammon-and-community-games/165567

World Cup Iran

World Cup 2006 Group Stage Review - Phase One - Part One by David Walker

All 32 teams have played one match each as the World Cup has begun in explosive fashion, but are things going according to plan for the favourites or are the underdogs having a say in proceedings? This is a short round-up of Groups A to D, of the results as they stand after one match.

Group A
1. Germany 3pts, 2. Ecuador 3pts, 3. Costa Rica 0pts, 4. Poland, 0pts

Germany kicked off the tournament in style with an entertaining 4-2 win against Costa Rica at odds of 1/4. Full back Phillip Lahm scored a cracking goal after six minutes to break the deadlock but veteran Paulo Wanchope levelled on 12. Miroslav Klose netted twice on 17 and 61 before Wanchope hauled his side back into the game 3-2 down. Torsten Frings ensured victory for the host nation three minutes from time.

Poland were the victims of a shock result as Ecuador won at odds of 10/3. The least rated of all the South American sides took the lead through Tenorio after 24 minutes before former Southampton striker Augustin Delgado scored a second with 10 minutes remaining.

Group B
1. England 3pts, 2. Sweden 1pt, 3. Trinidad & Tobago 1pt, 4. Paraguay 0pts

England struggled in the heat against Paraguay but picked up three vital points as they beat their South American opponents 1-0. Carlos Gamarra headed in David Beckham's free kick into his own net after three minutes as England clung on to a win at odds of 8/13.

Sweden were expected to brush aside an unfancied Trinidad & Tobago side and the Caribbean side even had a man sent off early in the second half. But Leo Beenhakker's side showed tremendous spirit and held firm for a goalless draw at 7/2.

Group C
1. Argentina 3pts, 2. Holland 3pts, 3. Ivory Coast 0pts, 4. Serbia & Montenegro 0pts

The two favourites had their own way in the opening round of fixtures as both Argentina and Holland beat their opponents at odds on. Two Chelsea goalscorers were on target as 4/7 Argentina showed genuine class to defeat a dangerous looking Ivory Coast. Hernan Crespo and Javier Saviola scored the decisive goals before Didier Drogba netted a consolation eight minutes from the end.

Holland, marginally better at 4/6, were made to sweat against Serbia & Montenegro as Arjen Robben's goal after 18 minutes was all that separated the sides.

Group D
1. Mexico 3pts, 2. Portugal 3pts, 3. Angola 0pts, 4. Iran 0pts

Both Mexico and Portugal faced arguably weaker opponents in the first round of matches and duly obliged at odds on. Omar Bravo opened the scoring for Mexico after 28 minutes but Iran levelled through Yahya Golomohammadi on 36. With the match looking to finish all square Bravo netted a second on 76 and Zinha secured an 8/13 win three minutes later.

In one of the World Cup's more political matches, Portugal edged past Angola by a single goal. Firm 1/2 favourites before kick-off, Portugal took the lead through talismanic striker Pauleta after four minutes but couldn't find any more as they managed to take all three points.

David Walker runs a free World Cup bets website. You can watch live football online during this year's World Cup.

Article Source: http://www.earticlesonline.com/Article/World-Cup-2006-Group-Stage-Review---Phase-One---Part-One/38208

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