SUNDAY WORLD CUP UPDATE:
The biggest match of this world cup so far takes place today as our boys from England play the blokes from Germany. England and Germany have a long and storied tradition of world cup rivalry starting in 1930. Perhaps our lowest hour was when the team was instructed to give the nazi salute in Berlin in 1938. But we've won one world cup and it was a thrilling victory over the West Germans in our home stadium in Wembley, England in 1966. Unfortunately the Germans have won three. This is the 28th time our boys have faced the Huns, and the score is 12 apiece with three draws. Today will be fun, considering the papers in London compare the match to the blitz. We'll be hoisting a pint or two of bitter and cheering our lads on. Depending upon the results we may be off to a bit of a slow start tomorrow in court.
It was with a mixture of bemusement and haughtiness that we watched the American team in the world cup. Getting a tie against our beloved boys from England two weeks ago was difficult to swallow. But these Yanks had pluck, coming from behind again and again.
Their luck ran out today against Ghana, a team we believed the USA was fully capable of beating. The lads played their hearts out again, coming from behind one - nil, to eventually lose 2-1, in a match that was in doubt up to the final horn after 120 minutes. For the second time in two world cups, Ghana- a country the size of Oregon, has knocked out the USA from the world cup.
Having honed our competitiveness on the football pitch at Eton, we know of what we speak. The Yanks went as far as they deserved to. This was not Hockey in Lake Placid in 1980. There would be no "do you believe in miracles?" moments.
Football- what we here call soccer- is not our game. It is a game that belongs to almost all other countries, but not ours. We wouldn't expect Ghana to compete and win the Stanley Cup. We wouldn't expect Brazil to field a basketball team to compete with the LA Lakers. We don't expect Germany to challenge the NY Yankees at the world series. And there would be serious risk of death if Japan or China put a team in the NFL.
There is no reason to expect our lads could compete with the rest of the world on the Football pitch, but they made it out of the first round and were very competitive today.
Well done lads; well done indeed.