Media Release

Federation Internationale de Football Association

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Match day preview for 17 June 2006

Match day preview for 17 June 2006

  • Match #24 - Frankfurt - PORTUGAL-IRAN*

Portugal won the only previous head-to-head against Iran 3-0, a friendly match played on 14 June 1972 at the Brazilian venue of Recife.

Portugal will meet an Asian team at the FIFA World Cup™ for the third time: in the 1966 quarter-finals, they defeated Korea DPR 5-3, coming back from 0-3 down, and in 2002, they lost 0-1 to Korea Republic.

Iran have never defeated a European team in a FIFA World Cup™ match; against Europeans they have a record of three defeats and one draw to their name. The sole draw came in 1978 v. Scotland (1-1).

  • Match #25 - Kaiserslautern - ITALY-USA*

Italy won two previous FIFA World Cup™ head-to-heads against the USA, both of which were contested on home soil in Rome: 7-1 in 1934 and 1-0 in 1990.

Italy and the USA have met in a total of eight matches; the Europeans are unbeaten, with a score of six wins and two draws. Italy and USA have already played each other in Germany; at the Olympic Football Tournament of 1936, Italy defeated the USA 1-0 in a first-round match and went on to win Olympic gold.

Italy's 7-1 win over the USA in Rome on 27 May 1934 was their first and biggest ever win at the FIFA World Cup™.

Bruce Arena is the first coach to manage USA at two editions of the FIFA World Cup™.

17 June is a bittersweet date for Italy in FIFA World Cup™ history; on this day in 1954, Italy lost their first group match 1-2 to Switzerland; in 1970, they defeated Germany FR 4-3 in the semi-finals at the Atzeca stadium in Mexico City; in 1986, they were eliminated in the round of 16 by Platini's France (0-2); in 1998, Italy defeated Cameroon 3-0 in their second group match.

  • Match #26 - Cologne - CZECH REPUBLIC-GHANA*

Czech Republic and Ghana have never met before.

This is the first time either a Czech Republic or Czechoslovakia team will meet an African opponent in 31 FIFA World Cup™ matches. Aside from this, Czechoslovakia have only met a CAF team on three previous occasions; they played Egypt in three friendly matches in 1957, 1990 and 1992, recording one win and two defeats.

To date, African newcomers have generally had a positive record against former FIFA World Cup™ runners-up: Tunisia drew 0-0 with Germany FR in 1978 and Cameroon drew 1-1 with Italy and Algeria defeated Germany FR 2-1 in 1982; despite good performances, all three African teams were eliminated at the first stage. The only African newcomer to have qualified for the round of 16 after facing a former FIFA World Cup™ finalist was Nigeria, who topped their group despite losing 1-2 to Argentina in Boston in 1994. An exception to this positive trend are African newcomers Morocco, who lost 1-2 to Germany FR in 1970.

Czechoslovakia have never won a FIFA World Cup™ match on 17 June: on this day in 1958, they lost 1-2 in extra time to Northern Ireland in a first round play-off; in 1962, they were defeated 1-3 by Brazil in their second FIFA World Cup™ final; in 1982, they drew 1-1 with Kuwait in a group match.

FIFA Communications Division

Berlin, 15 June 2006