World Cup Blog #5

Sorry it’s a bit late! Final blog will follow shortly…

So that’s the semi finals done.  Two great games, for very different reasons, have led to the Official 2010 FIFA™ World Cup South Africa being guaranteed to go to a first time winner. Having dispatched Germany and Uruguay respectively, Spain and the Netherlands will now thrash it out mano a aanreiken on Sunday to decide which team gets to have their name etched onto the famous trophy.

In the unofficial 2010 FIFA™ World Cup South Africa Reader Sweepstake that means that Phil Davis and his Oranje boys will be taking on the plucky tiki-takas of Jon Davis’ Spain for the ultimate prize of pride. And money.

The first semi final saw the Netherlands exact the rough justice Ghana, and most of the world, wanted to see, opening the scoring with arguably the best goal of the tournament and then ultimately squeaking through courtesy of a contentious strike by Sneijder that could have been disallowed due to Van Persie’s offside shins. Uruguay suffered from inadvertently replacing star striker Diego Forlan with the former Great Britain 400m hurdle champion Sally Gunnell. Needless to say that despite riding tackles with wonderful proficiency, she didn’t quite have enough ability to score on the highest stage and was substituted before the end.

Spain had the pre-match confidence boost of Paul the Octopus picking their clam for his tea over Germany’s, only the second time he’d gone against his adopted home nation. For the first time in the tournament Germany looked toothless as Spain passed rings around them culminating in Carlos Puyol’s towering header. When the German defence was questioned afterwards as to how the goal came about Per Mertesacker, the implausibly tall centre back, said ‘his hair was just too big. We couldn’t get anywhere near him. If we’d grown our hair too maybe we would have had greater chances but you don’t learn these things till you get here.’ Germany’s captain Philip Lahm commented ‘Whilst we’re disappointed with the result, we’ve four years to grow ours out now so next time we’ll be back hairier and stronger’. When asked if he thought Paul’s prediction played on his team’s mind Lahm simply said ‘Yes’.

As I write this Paul the Octopus, the all seeing eye of football, has predicted Spain to win on Sunday. Given his 100% success rate so far in predicting the outcome of the Germany matches, only a fool would ignore this bold statement of prophetic fact.

To celebrate the final four I’m going to have a delightful four course meal with national beverages. So far my menu looks like this:

Uruguayan Starter

Empanada Gallega- a small fish pie with onions and green peppers

Spanish Main

Paella de la Mar- paella with all things fishy with the option of added octopus in homage to Paul…

 

German Dessert

Rote Grütze- a dish made from mixed summer berries and cream

Dutch Cheese Board

A veritable feast of Gouda, Edam and Leyden  

I’ll let you know how I get on in after the final. Here’s to a mind blowing final weekend!

 

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