Monday, July 12, 2010

This is the Way the World Cup Ends

Not with a bang, certainly. And hardly even a whimper. But with plenty of yellow cards--a record 13 to be exact.

The beautiful game didn't look so comely yesterday afternoon, especially on the Dutch side. Scoreless matches can be tense, exciting affairs, showcasing brilliant defending and great goalkeeping. But in this case I imagine the vuvuzelas were being blown more out of frustration than anything else. As the tackles and fouls and stoppages piled up, things went from scrappy to just plain ugly.

As it turned out, we were in a rented convertible on the Alex Fraser Bridge, on our way to a family barbecue in North Delta when Spanish midfielder Iniestia (the man of the match, to be sure) scored the winning goal in the last minutes of the second extra time. Richard's 91-year-old mother, who was with us, and who was fulminating along with the BBC announcers about what a poor game it was, let out a whoop, praising the soccer heavens that we didn't have to go to penalty kicks, and insisting that Richard toot his horn all the way to his brother's house.

That moment made the previous inglorious 115 all worth it, and is while I'll be back watching the tournament in four years--hopefully alongside the irrepressible Nellie.


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