KOENIGSTEIN (Germany): Germany's opening win made millions happy in the host country, and even impressed Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira.

Parreira, who is trying to win his second World Cup title and the sixth for his country, praised Germany for its tactics and physical condition in its 4-2 win over Costa Rica.

``Germany was a team with a lot of tactical commitment,'' Parreira said. ``It was well set up on the field, and was able to take the initiative.''

Good physical condition

Parreira, who had Brazil practice earlier than usual so he could watch Germany, said he was impressed with the host team's physical condition.

The Germans ``played with a lot of health,'' he said.

Parreira, however, noticed some problems in the defence, especially when Germany tried to set up the offside trap.

``That's how Costa Rica scored its first goal, and the second, too,'' said Parreira, who led Brazil to the 1994 World Cup title in the United States.

Smoking issue

Croatia coach Zlatko Kranjcar has no problem with his players smoking.

The issue was raised after Niko Kovac verbally attacked a Croatian journalist at training for naming him as one of the team's chain-smokers in a newspaper article.

``As far as I know, nobody smokes regularly, or not in my company at least,'' Kranjcar said. ``Maybe they go out onto the balcony of their hotel room when nobody is around or something.''


German drivers know how bad the traffic jams can be on their highways. Now the Portuguese national team also knows the meaning of the word ``Stau.''

The team bus got stuck in a highway tailback, called ``Stau'' in German, for more than an hour on Saturday as it travelled to Cologne on the eve of its opening Group D game against Angola.

The Portuguese left their base in Marienfeld at 9:30 a.m. local time and arrived in Cologne, 170 km away, almost four hours later. AP

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