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June 12, 2006

There's only one happy Swede tonight

Thanks to living in a telecommunications back hole this is the first time I've been online to post my reaction to the England game. As I'd said, my money was on a tense 1-1 draw, which goes some way to demonstrate why my money often ends up in Coral's bank account and then stays there.

Wc2cheeseburgers Our original plan had been to watch the match down in town, but actually on Friday I had a really bad night - probably caused by a bit too much Das Boot - so didn't really feel up to it. We did some chores in town, and then came back to cook and watch the match. For the occasion we threw out our healthy Cretan diet, and instead went for cheeseburgers with bacon and hot chilli sauce - proper football food.

I guess it was the same for everyone, but did you not think they needed to put a zoom lens on the camera position in Frankfurt? It was like watching subbeteo at the far end of the room. And did anyone else feel that the referee had just decided that Peter Crouch's height made him like the only eleven year-old in the playgorund playing amongst a team of seven year-olds, and therefore penalised him every time he got near the ball regardless? I'm sure when the stats come out he'll appear to be the dirtiest player in the tournament.

Wc2testcard We had a minor nightmare about twenty minutes into the game, when Greek TV lost the pictures from Frankfurt. Instead for about four minutes we were treated to a lovely animated world cup screensaver and just the commentary in Greek. From our experience so far, our faith in the technical quality of Greek TV broadcasting is not high, so we were a bit concerned as to whether anyone would actually notice and put the plug back in.

The biggest result of the day was in Dortmund, where Trinidad & Tobago pulled off an unexpected draw with Sweden. You wouldn't have given them much chance of doing that with 11 men, but the fact that they spent nearly all of the second-half with 10 men made it all the more remarkable.

Wc2adama One Swedish player had a curious hair-do where he had avery thin straggly pony-tail. I have to confess that had I ever lined up to mark him whilst defending a corner I don't think I would have been able to resist giving the offending excess hair a sly tug. I also warmed to Trinidad & Tobago when I decided that their coach Leo Beenhakker looked a little bit like Lorne Green's Commander Adama.

The last game of the day was a hard one to call in terms of whom to support. Years of ingrained English antipathy precluded supporting Argentina, yet the thought of cheering on a team spearheaded by blatent cheat and all-round odious character Didier Drogba left a sour taste in the mouth. In the end it was a good match, and everybody lived up to their sterotypes, as Drogba got booked for throwing the ball at the Argentine keeper, and notoriously publicity shy Diego Maradona somehow managed to upstage his compatriots with his scarf-waving terrace support at the final whistle.

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