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Day 3 of the FIFA world cup kicked off yesterday and many of the people at home watching started to voice their disgust of the vuvuzela, a stadium horn used by sports fans in Africa. Campaigns have started to get them banned from the tournament, mainly because the people at home are finding them distracting.
There were three games starting with Algeria versus Slovenia, a fairly boring game, even Algerian born legend Zinedine Zidane looked bored from his seat in the stand. The game got so bad at points that the pundits had time to trawl over Rob Green’s blunder the previous night… Using the fact that these two teams make up the rest of the group England and USA belong to.
Having watched the worst part of this game, I switched over to my playstation for a bit of Modern Warfare 2 and missed the action, when it finally happened. First, there was a sending off when Ghezzal, a substitute, handled the ball earning him a second yellow and an early bath, his first was for pulling an opponent’s shirt in an area of the pitch that his opponent posed no real threat… Two silly yellows.
In the 79th minute Slovenia finally did something interesting and scored a goal, the Algerian goalie made a huge error in judgment and helped the ball into his goal… His error was nowhere near as terrible as Rob Greens the previous night, but the media suggest it is to save a little face.
I decided to turn the TV back on to see if the Ghana/Serbia players would be kind enough to provide some entertainment. I kept thinking throughout this game that it was being played in Petoria, but it turned out to be Pretoria and sadly, any chance of a Family Guy reference went out the window…
Any fans at home that are rattled by the sound of tens of thousands of vuvuzelas being blown throughout the game would not have been happy, as it seemed to reach a completely new level in this game… Any claims that it ruins the atmosphere are completely redundant; the World Cup is in South Africa… Vuvuzelas are what make the atmosphere in African football, the same way that idiotic bigoted assholes make up the atmosphere in British football… Particularly in Scottish football.
Most people I know were supporting Ghana, mainly because it is very difficult to support Serbia. Sadly, this was a trifle boring, although there was another sending off… The second of the day, but not the last. However, when Serbia lost Lukovic for pulling down a player in the midfield, there was surprise all around when the ref showed a yellow and then a red, suggesting the player had already been booked… Apparently, he had been in the 54th minute… Even the commentators had missed it, probably out of boredom; at least the ref was paying attention.
Serbia nearly nicked a goal despite being down to ten men, but only minutes later Kuzmanovic the substitute handled the ball in the area giving Ghana a penalty in the dying minutes. Gyan gave the keeper no chance with his well-taken spot kick. In the last minute, Ghana nearly made it two through Gyan who hit the post after tearing through the Serbian defence. It ended better than it started with the score at one-nil. The first African team to win a game at these finals.
The night game promised to be a cracker with the German team taking on the Australians. Personally, I couldn’t care less who won this one. Germany is essentially the panto style villains of the world cup and Australia… Who cares how they do in a world cup, they don’t have Mark Viduka in the team any more.
The German team is always in the top five teams that are expected to win the cup by their opponents, along with Italy, Brazil, and Argentina and, this year, Spain… I would include England but it is only the English that think they ever stand a chance, no one else. It only took 8 minutes for the German team to take the lead through Podolski. This looked to worry the Australians ever so slightly. They made it two-nil 20 minutes later, but not before Podolski missed an absolute sitter, an unforgivable miss if they were not in so much control.
If Germany didn’t have complete control over the game already they did when the referee made an absolutely disgraceful decision to send off Australias captain and best player Tim Cahill for a tackle that I would have thought he was hard done by to see a yellow for. Really, this is a prime example of the governing body FIFA ruining the game. Referees are card happy at this tournament, especially when it comes to hard tackling, the Australians were angry, and justifiably so… The ref should be excluded from the tournament for such bad judgment, which didn’t end with that decision, he kept making them. Although referees have always found it hard to separate the genuine bad tackles from the classic German diving.
Within two minutes of each other the Germans got goals 3 and four, first from a beautiful Muller goal and then Cacau, who had just replaced Klose got his name on the score sheet.
It finished 4-0. Had the ref not lost his mind the Australians could have saved a little face, it is highly doubtful, but I guess we will never know. Ballack was injured, which I am sure he will see as the worst possible thing to have ever happened to German football, as he is now just a massive ego as his best days are behind him.
The Germans showed they meant business, but we will see how they get on against a real team. No offence to Australia.
Today Holland play Denmark, Japan play Cameroon, and the night game is current World Champions Italy will face Paraguay. Of which I think Holland, Cameroon and Italy will come out on top.