Saturday, July 01, 2006

World Cup Quarter Finals... R.I.P.

Having won through the Round of 16 to the Quarter Finals, the drive to get into the Semi-Finals resulted in the following casualties:

My favourite team to win the tournament, unbelievably lost to Germany in the penalty shoot-out after a 1-1 draw... And then the post-match mélèe!

Not a team I like but they are next doors after all, and their heart-wrenching misery could be felt through the TV screen, from the glum faces of Beckham and Ericsson, the choking tears of Ferdinand sitting on the grass, to the speechlessness of Gary Lineker and his fellow commentators on the BBC...

My support for Argentina meant that I didn't care for Brazil at all, contrary to almost everyone else, except my little brother, who love Henry and supported France during the match (even though he has a namesake in one of the Brazilian players). At his expressed request during the second half, I cheered for France, and immediately Henry scored a goal, which turned out to be the decisive goal. If only my cheering had a similar effect on Argentina... (or perhaps that was precisely why they didn't win - not because they held back when they should have continued pressuring the Germans after their one-goal-win, or because of their incredibly feeble penalty kicks - but because I couldn't cheer for them in real time as I had to stay and work in the office while the match was on...)

(Of course, the other quarter-final casualty includes also Ukraine, but I really don't care much for either Italy or Ukraine to bother watching even the highlights at all...)

The result is that we have two most well-thought-of teams (and I do not mean England, of course) eliminated even before the semi-finals! This World Cup is getting curioser and curiouser. The actual semi-finals then will have the following boring teams going against each other:

Italy vs. Germany - I just can't get worked up about either of those teams at all at all...

Portugal vs. France - Portugal is my original "back-up" choice in the unlikely event that Argentina lost, and of course the unlikely has happened. Having eliminated Brazil though through some classy football, I am now inclined to cheer for both teams...

Go Ronaldo!! Go Henry!! May the best team win!

(I have a sneaking suspicion though that this World Cup may be a repeat of 1974 where the German team will again lift the trophy themselves on home ground... a scenario which I do NOT want to see happen in real life at all!)


Back in the office today (Monday), my long-time-South-Africa-resident-and-recent-settler-in-Ireland-with-young-family white English colleague, whose desk is next to mine, says that he's actually not too bothered about the result at all. In fact, he is thankful for the respite from all the madness. In his words, "The sooner they are out the sooner they are put out of their misery and we could all just get on with our normal life."

Hmmm. Quite.

Spoken like a true inter-cultural who don't give much of a shit about tribal sports of any kind.

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At Tue Jul 04, 07:44:00 p.m. IST, Anonymous Ronald said...

I love Argentina too.
Why they withdraw the pressure during the game they vs Germany, I think the main reason is the keeper, after he injury seriously, the substituted keeper is not the stable one, (The original one is not stable, too but he is the best among the team) the coach need to make the team more defensive to overcome the weakest point, the keeper. So he withdraw their playmakers. Argentina can't through the semi finals, it is so disappointed to me.

At Sun Jul 09, 04:25:00 a.m. IST, Blogger Snowdrops said...

Ah glad to see another Argentina fan, and thanks for explaining what went on behind their strategy.. I guess it did make sense to them at the time,.. but anyway, the result is v. disappointing.

What did you think of the Italy vs. Germany match?? In spite of all my misgivings that was one hell of a match indeed. I'd be cheering for Italy now and Del Piero is my new hero! I also caught the second half of France vs. Portugal but oh, Portugal went out again....

And also saw the last bit of Portugal vs. Germany... I guess Germany deserved their win even though I have wished otherwise.


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