Monday, June 26, 2006

In a state of schock?

It looks like Quico and myself are barely recovering from yesterday's event. Heck, I did not even attempt to write a preview of today's events. Then again procrastination pays off as today's game were dismal affairs. Heck, Australia, a first comer, holding Italy for 90 minutes to end up in a lousily called penalty quick. The replays are clear, it was not a penalty but Oz is out. OZ can leave with its head very high and hopefully a secure seat for Oceania in a next FIFA tournament. Why not them instead of Saudio Arabia or Iran again, and again (I agree with Quico there)?

But that was just a taste of things to come: the second game ended up in a hopeless, and hopelessly boring, tie, implying a penalty shoot out. The drama suddenly promised to be high when almighty Shevchenko missed the first one! I thought that that was that, Ukraine would be out. But the Ukrainian goalie, in a dramatically impossible feat, stopped three canon balls from the Swiss Guards!!!!!!!! That was that, Ukraine was in. On the right, by any yardstick, the man of the day, goalkeeper of the incredibly lucky Ukraine, Oleksandr Shovkovskiy. I wonder which will be his next European Club.

Then again the only question I have is how come Ukraine and Switzerland came that far in the tourney when last year European champion, Greece, did not even qualify.

It does not matter: Italy won twice today as they are all but certain to beat Ukraine in a few days and reach the semifinals without much trouble.

To end this lackluster day, the shot of Shevchenko putting the ball into the Swiss goalie hands (who is not dishonored by tonight's bad luck: he leaves the tournament as the only goalie WITHOUT receiving a score except for today's penalty series. Yes, that is right, in all previous games no one could place a ball in Zuberbuehler gate.)

13 Comments:

Anonymous Alfredo Octavio said...

Australia has asked to play in the Asian conference from now on and FIFA has accepted. So, they have a chance of knocking Saudi Arabia, or Korea, or Japan, or Iran, or... On the other hand, Australia didn't hold the Italians, it was Italy DOWN TO TEN MEN due to a lousier decision by the spanish referee who manage to hold the Australians and received it dues. You can think what you want, but in order to get a penalty (even a wrong one) you have to BE in the penalty area. Italy showed character and courage by being there at the 93 minute with one man less. But while stingy doesn't define the italian it does define venezuelans very well. We have this tendency not to give credit when due... Question: Who is the goalie with the fewest goals received now that switzerland is out?

10:19 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

buffon

10:27 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

alfredo

at any rate, it is ITALY versus first comer australia. italy lost a player in the second half, so they played full squad for 45 minutes, more to the merit of australia.

ok, so i do not like italy as a matter of fact, but today was certainbly not a glorious win for them but a glorious defeat for australia.

i did not know that australia had asked to play in asia. that is great. it is also great for latam since i do not see new zealand kicking out uruguay in repechage any time soon. so for all practical purpose we get one more team.

there was a project for venezuela palying in comebol. maybe we could replace costa rica now that wnachope is too old.

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Alfredo Octavio said...

Daniel, No, Venezuela plays in Comebol. The project was for Venezuela to play in Concacaf: The North American and the caribbean conference. Since venezuela has more coast in the caribe than any other country it seemed reasonable. But Comebol doesn't want to lose countries, since that's one of the things they consider when they hand out spots in the World Cup. Australia, may be a first comer, but they had the magician Hidink in the bench and they outsmarted Uruguay plus they reached the last 16. They are good, and so are the Ukranians, that may beat the australians, perhaps on a penalty shoot! As for not liking Italy, that's okey. I don't like Brazil. But I make a point of only criticize them when they lose (rarely unfortunately) or when they get away with something ilegal (Rivaldo pretending being hurt to throw out a Turkish player, for example). Today Italy was in the penalty area at the 93 minute. Australia wasn't. That's the reality. And before anyone gets on my case, I don't like Brazil (in futbol) because the stingy venezuelans prefer Brazil to Italy, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, to name only a few of the countries that have out contributed brazil, through immigration, through love, through sacrifice, to this country, that I love and I hate...

11:34 PM  
Anonymous Alfredo Octavio said...

And buffon has only received an own goal, so NO ONE has scored against him. On those conditions Italy could beat nay team.

You see, the important thing about futbol is scoring more goals than your opponent that's what makes it so democratic, as you so passionately point it out in your letter to the Devil yesterday, there are two ways to do that: scoring goals and not letting your opponents score goals, and they are both beautiful when you get them. The thing is... An attack only has to be successful once, it may have an effectiveness of less than 0.01%, but if it tries enough and succeeds once... It's a goal!!! Defense has to be perfect 100% effective. If it isn't it has failed. That's the hard part...

I'll stop commenting for now, lest you banished me from the site ;-)

11:40 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

alfredo

sorry about the concacaf/comebol confusion. that is what happens when you write too fast. unforgivable mistake for a pundit!!!!!

but where is quico? is he so schocked that he cannot even correct me?

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Domingo Ruiz said...

Well, it seems Italy has a red carpet to semifinals...

6:48 PM  
Anonymous Alfredo Octavio said...

There is never a red carpet for Italy. First, because it suffers, whether the rival is big or small (Ukrania is big, though they haven't show it yet). Second, because no matter what Italy does, most people will never recognize their merits... Look at the penalty against Australia, everybody mentions the "theater"of the Italians (as if the rest didn't do the same!), nobody mentions that Italy with ten was attacking at the 93 minute, nor that the mistake was on the part of a Spanish referee, not the italians...

1:02 PM  
Blogger Vittorio Pozzi said...

If Italy win the world cup it will be a huge black mark on world football. The current scandal in the Italian league with at least 5 teams involved in match fixing (Milan, Roma, Juventus, Lazio and Fiorentina) as well as 30 other people is a disgrace to all concerned and reflects the mafioso mentality of the Italians. A decision on the punishment of these teams is expected between 7 -9 July.

Let's face it - Italy are just a bunch of cheats and always have been even when I managed them to 2 world cup victories in 1934 and 1938 - voctories based on violent intimidating play. The star of the '82 world cup, Rossi, was sent to jail for match fixing. Milan and Lazio were sent dowen to Serie B in 1980 and now the rising star of Italian football, de Rossi is banned for 4 games for elbowing McBride in waht was obviuosly a dirty, intentional foul.

Italy should have been removed from the world cuip and replaced as a message to all Itlain footballers, managers, referees and the Italian League itself.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Alfredo Octavio said...

See what I am saying? Vittorio will refuse to remember Tab Ramos downed by Leonardo in 94, or Rivaldo theatrics to get a turkish player out, but he will go out to 1934 to punish Italy for something I'm quite certain he has no proof of. He probably hates Maradona too...

5:10 PM  
Blogger Vittorio Pozzi said...

The point of the post, Alfredo, was to highlight the endemic corruption and cheating in Italian football - not to refer to specific incidents as being the reason why Italy should not be in this world cup. If they win, which cannot be discounted, it will blacken world football and imply that it's OK to cheat and bribe if your national team are world champions.

If that measure of specific dirty incidents on the pitch was applied then many teams would not be there in Germany

It's there for all to see Corruption and cheating. It's all on the www if you look for it. FYI - just before the 1938 final against Hungary, Mussolini sent a message to the Italian team that reached the final beating Brazil 2 -1 with the message: "Win or die".

I should know about the tactis I employed in the 1930's - I was the coach.

Did you see that Pessotto tried to commit suicide as he is involved in the present scandal as procedding are due to start tomorrow.

Be honest with your self - you know that the Italian game is rotten to the core and if you support that sort of sports ethos it says a lot about you personally - especially as you are now aware of the facts - so there is no excuse.

Surf internet and check it out yourself.

6:08 PM  
Anonymous Alfredo Octavio said...

Vittorio... You are a fake and not a very good fake. The name of the Italian coach in those years is Vittorio Pozzo... Not a lot of people would get THEIR OWN NAME WRONG! By the way, you died in 1968. You most be another Italy basher, to coward to give your own name. A liar and a pretender. VA FAN CULO!

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Alfredo Octavio said...

To top everything up... the penalty was a penalty as it can be seen that Neil holds Grosso's foot to trip him, after Grosso had put one foot over him.

10:32 PM  

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