The Trumping of the Vuvuzelas & other Stories

A week which starts with a viewing of SATC-2, followed by the Karate Kid, interspersed with umpteen football matches, treks on the good long roads of JNU to meet lazy bums also known as Richa and Izeule, coupled with the vuvuzela and you certainly can’t term the week as sane.

I might be the only girl in the world who went to see SATC 2 on my own, yes you read it right…saw it by my ownsome lonesome and enjoyed it too, the experience that is. Both movie reviews will be up shortly. Let’s finish off with the football stuff.

Day 4 (14th June)
Last match of the day. Italy-Paraguay draw, 1 all. Nothing new here. The only goal was struck by midfielder Daniele De Rossi. Italy has always been a slow starter but will definitely reach the QFs. I mean the group has Paraguay, Slovakia, New Zealand and Italy (Group F), Italy inspite of not having a talismanic player can still make it. Their defense and Buffon’s goal keeping, coupled with an occasional goal and they will certainly be through to the next round.

Day 5 (15th June)
Now let’s come to the Portugal-Ivory Coast match. Typically, C Ronaldo was challenged so many times that I lost count. Top class bullying also happened and the referee resorted to giving a yellow card to both offenders. Drogba came in at the fag end as replacement, but the match still ended in a goalless draw. Ronaldo did loft one brilliantly, but it hit the goal post. Time to buck up guys, you are in the group of death.

But it was the Brazil match which I enjoyed the most. First half saw the North Koreans attacking the Brazilians with frenzy. Loved the Korean forward, Jong Tae Se for his aggressive play. In the playoffs to the FIFA World Cup, Kora DPR scored 20 goals with Jong Chol Min as the top scorer. So this is one team to watch out for. They may not qualify to the QF, but will certainly spoil the chances of one team in the run up to the QFs.

Brazil looked shaky in the first half. No convincing goal attempts according to me. Luis Fabiano, their top scorer has not been in firing form now. Goals from Maicon (what a goal that was. Sweet curve eh!) followed by another firing by Elano via Robinho and the Brazilians were sure of bringing home the bacon this time round. But the Koreans are nothing if not tenacious. A late goal in the 89th minute by Ji Yun-Nam proved yet again that Korea DPR is one underdog that’s not be trusted. Next playoff is between N. K and Portugal. The Portuguese team will have to provide adequate support to C. Ronaldo if they want to keep their qualifying hopes alive.

Day 6 (16th June)
The Spaniards were expected to thrash the Swisses, but got creamed like a fondue instead. Switzerland won, and how. Through an own goal by the world’s most famous goal keeper, Iker Casillas no less. A stupid mistake, but a goal is still a goal. This one is definitely the whooper till now.

Chile had finished third in the Latin American qualifiers to the WC. And they showed their stuff in the first match itself. Marcelo Bielsa did for Chile what he couldn’t do for Argentina, he guided Chile to their first world cup victory in 48 years. The WC finals in 1968 were the last time when Chile as hosts beat Yugoslavia in the third-place play-off in Santiago. Jean Beausejour fired a beauty which looked even better on the office flat screen TV.

But the best was saved for last as can be seen from the Sa Vs Uruguay match. Three times the wail of the vuvuzela was silenced. Twice by Diego Forlain, and once by The SA team was completely dominated during the play. The Uruguayans got a number of free kicks courtesy tackles on Suarez by the South Africans. Suarez did get his mug bashed up, but he was also taking some pointers fro C. Ronaldo on fake injury. Overtly dramatically and ridiculous, but it did the job for him. South Africa had a bad day.

With Khune being given a red card for tackling Suarez inside the penalty area for what seemed like a sure shot goal was the worse blow for the SA team. Repeats shows that the tackle was not deliberate and to top it all, it was offside. But the linesman didn’t spot it. Steven Pienaar was the outfield player to go off, to make way fro replacement GK Moneeb Josephs leaving the side with 10 men. Moneeb Josephs had no chance against Forlain. On deft kick and the ball soared over to the top of the nets giving Uruguay their second goal. Alvaro Pereira added the third goal in injury time, heading the ball off his knee and into the net from Luis Suarez's cross. Of course there have been a lot of grievances against referee Massimo Busacca. SA coach Parreira said “He was giving yellow cards that weren't yellow cards…He doesn't deserve to be here."


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