Sunday, June 11, 2006

They did it - just

We watched the England-Paraguay match on television yesterday afternoon after we went grocery shopping (we had no beer and no food).

You would have thought everyone in Asda ( a supermarket chain owned by WalMart) was on their way to the match grounds. I think 85% of shoppers were wearing some kind of England gear, including red and white wigs, goofy hats and face paint.

The game itself was not the most enjoyable I've ever watched. England scored early with an own goal header by Paraguay captain Gamarra. It sounds as if it were a lucky accident, but it follwed a superb free kick by David Beckham.

Actually, I shouldn't say it wasn't enjoyable. Football, after all, is a game of two halves. In the first half England was agressive, playing a pressing game, taking advantage of the Paraguay's bad luck and shattered nerves. After the half, Paraguay was a team re-born (fortunately reborn a little lame) and England was back to its shrinking, defensive style playing in its own half. Coach Sven blamed it on the heat exhausting the players. I blame it on the fact that he removed Michael Owen (which I think is fair enough - he has had an injury plagued season), but failed to put anyone back in front. Beckham was crossing, but there was only a lonely, but hardworking, Peter Crouch to receive. He just couldn't make the most of it without support. But still, England win, 1-0, and look set to finish at the top of their group. We also watched a bit of the Trinidad & Tobago v Sweden game, the other teams in England's group. The Trinidadians played with a little bit of heart, the Swedes definitely seemed lacklustre - and didn't even manage to score after T&T went one man down. It was a nil-nil draw in a yawn inducing match - and bodes well for rest of the group stage.

After the game we took a walk in the local graveyard, just to shake out the tension. It looks like absolutely everyone has Cup Fever. Many, many graves were decorated with England flags instead of flowers this week.

Forever England

Supporting England, whatever happens

T-tags: soccer, Football, World Cup 2006, germany, England, World Cup, Paraguay, Sweden, Trinidad


jen said...

we watched it here in vientiane, laos at a brit-owned pub. i have to admit i was secretly supporting the paraguayans as a) as a bostonian, it is my lot in life to always back the underdog and b) i have a soft spot for paraguay as i was an exchange student to asuncion in high school and c) to annoy my newly-brit husband, who's only supporting england because south africa didn't make it. i never imagined they'd actually win, but i was glad they put on a good game.

Sam said...

I have to say I didn't share your take on the Sweden v. T&T affair. I thought it was incredibly exciting, at least in the T&T end. That Shaka Hislop was unbelievable. Every Swedish touch in the Trinidad end had the look of a goal. It was terrible finishing, to be sure, but the Trinidad defense was calm, assured, and very skilled. I thought it was a massively exciting game.