Brazil 3 Croatia 1
Unusually toss and turn all night instead of sleeping like a brick, waking up in time to miss most of the anthems, which is a good thing, because most anthems suck anyway, as do opening ceremonies. This Olic bloke is sweating like he’s just destroyed the entire Viet Cong army singlehandedly, and it’s only ten minutes into the game. Still, the Cros go one up thanks to an own goal and maybe they’ll make a game of this, but instead a long range toe poke which slowpokes its way off the post and into the corner of the net gets Brazil level, and I can’t help but think the Cros are going to be stuffed after that, as well as such crazy notions as maybe the keeper could have done better, but also maybe Croatia would have been better off falling behind instead of scoring first. That penalty is dodgy as, but the keeper gets a hand on it, but it goes in anyway, so now that Brazil are ahead it’s a case of how many they’ll win by, but simultaneously Croatia realise that some points is better than no points and push forward, managing to score, but the unnecessarily protected species that is the soccer goalkeeper gets unnecessarily protected and the goal gets ruled out. Then a foul against the Cros in midfield is missed and Brazil score another long range toe poke which the keeper may or may not have done better at trying to save. The end of the game brings up the conundrum of whether to enjoy the Croatian misery on my Twitter feed or acknowledging the quite obvious manner in which ‘they waz robbed’. SBS’s Sydney Croatia legal firm panel of Zdrillic, Kalac and Zelic aside, my innate sense of morality tells me to go with the latter. I’m not quite up to Aristotle’s notion of the Virtuous Character, but I’m trying.
Spain 1 Netherlands 5
One goes to sleep after another crazy night of staying in, listening to the NPL broadcast of Pascoe Vale vs Green Gully while having the TV on mute and flicking between the footy on Seven and the rugby league on Gem – the last of which by the way is a completely pointless exercise because a) I don’t actually care about rugby league and b) @amul82 wasn’t tweeting #sackeverything or even #sackanything, so #sackamul82 for not being there to tweet about I assume some Burgess brothers’ Union Jack underpants. It’s quite a hectic lifestyle that I lead. Wake up at 4:20, so oh my insert relevant deity there’s still another forty minutes of pointless chatter and Mark Schwarzer trying to convince me to bet. Didn’t you make enough from your ridiculously long career, Mark, so you wouldn’t have to sell your arse to these people who have managed to take the last bit of the game’s innocence that FIFA has yet to sully? The worst thing is that these forty odd minutes are spent still half asleep, so maybe I can even argue that I’m now being indoctrinated subliminally, but maybe that has its own upside, because once again, outside of snatches of Champions League football I have no idea who most of these guys are, which allows me at best to bullshit my way through conversations in the same way that the constant barrage of AFL reporting in this state allows the majority of people who don’t actually care about footy to make meaningful interspecies contact with the minority that actually do, before being able to squirm out of said conversations leaving the footyhead none the wiser. Spain look OK, doing their tic-tac football thing and scoring off what afterwards looks like a bit of a dodgy penalty, but at that moment, you know that moment where the referee has to make a call then and there looked reasonably fair dinkum. Then the Dutch start moving about, and they start scoring some freaky goals, like they’re the footballing version of the Harlem Globetrotters, the Haarlem Globetrotters if you like. Robin Van Persie’s headed goal was freaky, and I always think that Arjen Robben looks about ten years older than he actually is, and even if he is a ball hog, man that speed and skill is just phwoar! The Spanish defence at times played like they were Australian (see below), but nevertheless Holland looked great playing fast, direct and effective football. If only there was a way to watch players like that every week.