Fears of fan violence eased yesterday as tens of thousands of raucous English supporters peacefully celebrated their team's advance to the World Cup quarterfinals under a heavy police presence in Stuttgart, Germany.
Beer, expletives, and patriotic songs flowed freely -- but an evening downpour and victory helped restrain the crowds.
It was a contrast to Saturday, when riot police arrested more than 500 English who hurled bottles and plastic chairs in separate outbursts.
Nearly 2,000 police officers patrolled this normally pristine southern city, a force boosted by hooligan experts from England. It was a model of cooperation that so far this World Cup has helped prevent widespread trouble.
Police said nine fans were arrested for minor offenses.
Lineup changes Marco Materazzi
likely will replace injured Alessandro Nesta
in central defense today when Italy takes on Australia. The Azzurri also will be without midfielder Daniele De Rossi
, who was banned for four matches for elbowing US forward Brian McBride
in the face . . . Mark Schwarzer
will return in goal for Australia after a difficult start by Zeljko Kalac
in a 2-2 draw with Croatia. The other lineup concern for Australia is winger Harry Kewell
, who skipped training yesterday. The scorer of the equalizer in the 79th minute against Croatia that advanced the Aussies is recovering from a nagging groin injury and coach Guus Hiddink
has said Kewell is not completely fit . . . David Beckham's
goal against Ecuador yesterday ended the Englishman's 13-match scoreless streak dating to a World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan March 30, 2005 . . . Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari
extended his World Cup record mark to 11 straight victories. The first seven came with Brazil in 2002.
Sharing the credit
The opening German goal in a 2-0 win over Sweden in Munich Saturday resulted from a patient dissecting of the Swedish defense, every player on the team involved in the buildup, Miroslav Klose
and Lucas Podolski
combining on the final exchange and Podolski scoring in the fourth minute. Sweden did drop every player into the penalty area to defend a free kick just before surrendering the goal, but stopped the threat and had a breakout before surrendering possession. Sweden was too cautious against the Germans, the lack of aggressiveness possibly resulting from feelings of inferiority over a 44-year period, the last time the Swedes defeated Germany. Highlights of the last Sweden win over Germany (3-2 in the 1958 World Cup) were broadcast constantly during the week.
Globe staff writer Frank Dell'Apa contributed to this report.
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