Sunday, June 18, 2006

Ups and Downs of the World Cup

Yesterday was exhausting. Czech played against Ghana at 18.00 and Team USA played Italy at 21.00. I watched both games at home, kd came over to join me.

I had been out with kd and Scouseman in the afternoon, and barely got back in time. In fact, I missed the Czech-Ghana kick-off because I was downstairs in the beer store stocking up for the evening. No big deal, I thought, what’s going to happen in the first couple of minutes?

So when I turned on the tv at about 3 minutes into the match, I couldn’t believe that it was already 1-0 to Ghana. It’s history now, the Ghanaians outplayed the Czechs and won 2-0. Headline on the BBC’s website immediately after the match: Ghana stun Czech Republic. To say the least.

Interesting observation: during celebrations, i.e. when Ghana scored and at the end of the match when they had won, player number 15, John Pantsil, took an Israeli flag out of his sock and waved it around in front of the cameras. I wondered why. Just now, I googled and found what may explain the flag. From Wikipedia:

John Pantsil, né le 15 juin 1981, est un footballeur ghanéen. Il joue au poste de défenseur avec l’équipe du Ghana et le club de Hapoël Tel-Aviv.

In case you didn’t get that, Pantsil plays for Hapoel Tel Aviv football club. He has also played for Maccabi Tel Aviv. Mystery at least partially solved.

On to the next match…

Italy and the US drew 1-1. The game was a big disappointment for Italy, but somewhat of a success for the US. While the 1 point the US gets for the draw may not help the team in the tournament, not losing to Italy whilst playing a man down (9 to 10 because of red cards) was a big psychological victory. And if DaMarcus Beasley’s goal had not been called back for offside…

US goalkeeper Kasey Keller was the hero (and named man of the match). Italian Daniele De Rossi was the villain. His “sickening, needless” elbow that bloodied Brian McBride’s face was “the undoubted low point” of the World Cup tournament, according to the BBC.

The important thing was that Team USA showed that they can play at World Cup level and that making the quarter-finals 4 years ago may not have been a fluke after all. The Americans looked like a different team than the one that had lost 3-0 to the Czechs 5 days earlier.

The USA-Ghana match on Thursday should be a good one. So should Czech-Italy, for that matter.


Tits Malone said...


The USA vs Italy was exciting to watch. I admit, I was expecting a total slaughter. Perhaps now the Italian team will stop prancing around.

Did you hear about the thousand Dutch fans forced to remove thier ugly orange shorts because they had a non-sponser ad on them?

Men watching football in their underwear....quelle surprise...

Monkey's Max said...

Yes, the Dutch in their underpants was a top story on the BBC website for about 24 hours - as you would expect. That makes me angry actually, that fans can't wear what they want because of the sponsors. The fans paid cold hard cash for their tickets and it's just a ridiculous rule. It was because of Anheuser-Busch, by the way. The Dutch orange trousers had the name and logo of a Dutch brewery.

Anonymous said...

I was watching this game (Italy VS US) at an Italian cafe in my hood. We were all Italian supporters except for two or three Americans. Now why would you watch this game at an Italian cafe if you are an American team supporter? Ok, if you are going to watch this game at an Italian cafe, then shut the F$#% up with your useless remarks or go watch it at TGI Friday's. It was kind of funny, I made my friend laugh as I always do:
C rolling her eyes: Why don't they friggen watch this game at an american bar say TGIFriday's?" C thinking: Oh shit we don't have that here in little France.
Anyhow, it was an exciting game, the cafe was packed until the street corner.
For the record, I will be supporting the Czech team while I watch the game at the Italian Cafe unless they will televize the match at trendy Bily Kun bar they advertise as Czech yet all they serve is Betons with real Becherovka for 7 bucks (I get the whole bottle from Czech) and a shot of Absinth for 15 bucks. TM next time you come bring a 24 of budvar and then I'll take you to BK for shots of becher if you want.
Back to the World Cup.