Saturday, July 10, 2010

Ten Days Left

Never drink and dive. Several Żubrówkas and a small bowl of cereal left me inadequately prepared for the first high ball of the morning, which squirmed back out of my grasp and dropped straight at the feet of the only opposition player within thirty metres of the goal. "Shit happens," I shrugged. "I'm a shotstopper."

Algeria versus the combined might of Ukraine, Vietnam and Chechnya.

It wasn't a good day for goalkeepers all round. One of the students got both hands to a long-range shot only to see it slip tamely through his fingers with a sound like a wet carrier bag flapping against a tree trunk. Another, built up pre-tournament as a professional volleyball player, was about as agile as a sweeping brush. By the last of the group stage games the only hope for the two student teams was for Algeria to beat England. They didn't. After the two international teams played out a convenient one-all draw, Ukraine 1 took on Ukraine 2 for third and fourth place, Ukraine 1 triumphing in a penalty shoot-out won by a Chechen shot that the goalkeeper unsuccessfully tried to beat away with a flick of his right foot.

The final was settled by the referee, the winning goal scored while the Algerians were (rightly) appealing for a foul at the other end of the pitch. "We cannot congratulate you because you did not win," they all said at the end. The referee was too busy asking for money off next year's course fees.

The first of the morning's refereeing controversies.

Penalties in the third-place play off.

The English celebrate their historic victory.

2 comments:

TeeTotallyNot said...

At last.
Congratulations :D
and the grass vodka I very distinctly remember from my school days (or daze?).. wicked stuff, especially when not appropriately chilled.

Michael said...

Chilled you say? Damn, I knew I'd missed something...