Monday, June 21, 2010

More World Cuppery (quick rundown)

Alright. I'm going to make one big quick post about a few of this past weeks bout of games.

New Zealand - All White is All Right!
First off, NZL v SVK. Winston Reid of New Zealand made a spectacular play in the last 30 seconds of the game to tie with Slovakia. Absolutely brilliant. And then they tied again with Italy (Italy is just not doing so well this time round). It was a great game, the Italians completely bombed though, but the best player (aside Reid) was New Zealand's goalie, Mark Paston. He blocked every shot like a pro. The only one he missed was Italy's penalty kick (he unfortunately dived the opposite direction...but that ball was too quick to have been caught had he dove toward the ball anyway). Honestly though, if it weren't for that penalty kick New Zealand would have absolutely won that game. The Italians looked completely crestfallen, and the New Zealanders celebrated by taking their shirts off a la Winston Reid of the first game.

Spain was totally off this game as well. The online rumor mill says it's the goalie's fault, that he was "distracted" by his bombshell of a girlfriend who was reporting from the sidelines (yeah, blame the women folk! How ridiculous is it that these girlfriends and ex-girlfriends keep getting blamed for their boys' failure!) Anyway, Switzerland scored 1 against Spain, and who saw that coming! (Go Shweiz!) Unfortunately they lost today to Chile, and were playing a player short due to Valon Behrami getting an unnecessary red car.

France LOST to Mexico. WTF. The European teams are all off this year; England, France, Spain, Italy...they're just losing it left and right! Anyway. Big story about France of course is that Nicolas Anelka has been expelled from the French football team by the French Football Federation because he refused to publicly apologize after some heated words to coach Raymond Domenech, who nearly lost his job in 2008, and is lucky to be coaching at the cup. This was supposed to be a private conversation confined to the team members and their coach, but word leaked, newspapers exploded, and there you have it. And NOW, the entire French time is refusing to train in solidarity for Anelka wrongfully being banished from playing. And THIS has lead to their liaison officer, Jean-Louis Valentin, to storm off in a huff and resign. France implodes!

Then somehow Deutschland lost to Serbia, after their brilliant last game against Australia in which they lived up to the name of Arian by pummeling 4 goals into the Aussie net.

England is just disappointing. Tied 0-0 with Algeria, totally dull. They did have the decency to switch Green out of the game at least. Then some fan got past all the security and broke into the team's locker room only to be chastised by David Beckham (hah), and was later arrested by South African police (hahah). Props to the riled up fan.

UGH. UGH UGHUGH. Good news is, Koman Coulibaly, the referee that made the awful disgusting calls in the game against Slovenia, won't be allowed to ref anymore except from the sidelines. Serves the schmuck right. There was no offside, USA had that third goal in the bag, if anything should have been called it should have been a penalty kick for the US seeing as how nearly every American player was being held by their shirts or in a bear grip by the Slovenians. Absolute outrage. They deserve to get to the round of 16 over England for sure (sorry Britain, no hard feelings, but there you have it).

Ok. I love Japan, don't get me wrong, but I'm rooting for my nationality here all the way baby. (I'm sure my Dutch uncle got a kick out of this game, he HATES Japan). The Japanese definitely kept the Dutch on their toes, and we're damn lucky they kept missing all those goals. I ended up going to Kells Irish Pub for this one in downtown Portland, and while it was at 4:30 am west coast time I was thankfully still on east coast time, and actually got to wake up later than I had woken up for the NED v DEN game on Monday (yay not relying on the subway to get places!). I definitely picked the right pub to go to for this one, as all the fans inside were dressed in Oranje, and there were even some actual Dutchmen (who knew they lived out here!) And they had tea, and breakfast, and beer, and it was a lot less crowded than Tonic in New York, but that was to be expected. What I'm concerned about, is that the next game against Cameroon happens at the same exact time as the JPN v DEN game, I have to figure out what game they'll be broadcasting at each of the pubs, which I intend to do Wednesday when I go down for the GER v GHA game. Or I could wake up early again and head down for MEX v URU, which should be very interesting, and absolutely for the USA v ALG game, which is at the same time as the ENG v SVN game, which also totally sucks, because I want to watch them aaaaaalll and how can I if they're happening at the same tiiiiime. They should have just added three extra days to the cup instead of squeezing in all these games like this. So annoying.

Hate. Still bitter from the last world cup. They got 7 goals in against North Korea. SEVEN FREAKIN' GOALS. They weren't even cheering anymore by the seventh it was so passé. I just hope the North Koreans aren't put to death for having lost so terribly. I can't wait for Portugal to be pummeled by Brazil. That's going to be spectacular.

Some brilliant plays, but I was rooting for Côte d'Ivoire (sorry to say). And they're probably going to be battling the Dutch in the quarter finals, which freaks me out. Scary scary!

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