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No foul play: Argentina won it fair & square

It took 28 years for Argentina to win a World Cup finals match by six goals. And this time around, there were no insinuations of unfair play.

india Updated: Jun 18, 2006 10:49 IST

It took 28 years for Argentina to win a World Cup finals match by six goals. And this time around, there were no insinuations of unfair play.

Cesar Luis Menotti's World Cup winning squad scored six against Peru to oust Brazil and stay in the competition. Fingers were then pointed at Peru goalie Ramon Quiroga and it was even said the military regime in power had paid money for a favourable result.

Peru's legendary goalscorer Teofilo Cubillas was among those issuing a public denial. Nothing has been proved, though for a lot of people, it took some sheen off Argentina's maiden triumph.

In Gelshenkirchen, though, no one doubted Argentina's superiority. Two goals from Maxi Rodrigues with one from Esteban Cambiasso sandwiched between them and a strike each by Hernan Crespo, Carlos Tevez and Lionel Messi gave Argentina the biggest margin of victory so far in the competition.

"Argentina were always a strong side and against Serbia and Montenegro they just showed how good they are. Everybody is now convinced how strong they are," Holland coach Marco van Basten said.

English bookies upset with team’s win

Berlin: ENGLAND MAY be going World Cup crazy at the moment but bookmakers are keeping their fingers crossed that Sven-Goran Eriksson's team fall short of glory in Germany.

Despite being far from convincing in their opening two games, England have already qualified for the knock-out stage and patriotic punters have forced bookmaker William Hill to reduce them to 5-1 second favourites. Brazil remain favourites at 11-4 but a win for David Beckham and Co. would be the worst possible result for the country's bookmakers. "England are our big losers," Hills spokesman Graham Sharpe said. "The 5-1 is certainly not a price justified by their two matches but people are still backing them," he said. With only two draws — usually a good result for the bookmakers — occurring in the first 18 matches, punters have certainly had the upper hand from the first week. "It's been bloody awful," Sharpe said.

"The Brazil game (against Croatia) and the Germany game (against Poland) were the two big losers for us. The guy who won £261,000 on the Brazil game put it all on Germany, so that cost us a third of a million straight off. The best results for us were the two draws, but they have been the only glimmer of light for us," he added.

Steve Freeth, spokesman for Britain bookmaker Bet365, agreed with Sharpe's assessment. "It's been absolutely terrible for bookmakers as a whole," he said.