CULTIVATING LIBERALISM
FOR ALL CLIMATES
SINCE 1759
 
Google
 

Free alert to Candide's Notebooks
Your email:

JOIN ME AT MY BULLSHIT SITES

World Cup Diary

MATCH OF DEATH

GAME 58, QUARTERFINALS, JUNE 30, 2006 --HAMBURG
ITALY 3, UKRAINE 0
FINAL


Prediction? well, Italy--that's easy enough--but by what score? An Italy in good form would give us a fair enough 3-0 score. An Italy like we've seen, 2-0. A traditional Italy, the stingy non-scoring kind we've been used to for so many decades, 1-0. So let's split the difference: 2-0 Italy.

5... GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL ITALY! AND WHAT A BEAUTY! The beautifully named Gianluca Zambrotta (well, Zambrotta could use less zip) took a ball from 15 yards out and left-footed it across a great plains of green right into the corner of goal, the keeper dove too late. Terrific strike and start for Italy.

Leave it to American television to play puritan with facts: Gianluca Pessotto jumps from a second-story window with a rosary in his hands, an obvious suicide attempt (he was once a player with Juventus and was recently "appointed to act as a bridge between management and players because of the scandal that prompted [a football] tribunal," according to the Guardian, and ESPN says he "fell out a window." Never mentions suicide. These are the idiots we have to listen to.

12... This goal for Italy has the effect of the Czech goal against the Americans, stunning the Ukranian attack, which looked brisk, into wondering what on Orthodoxy's earth happened to them.

There's an Italian player running around out there like he's auditioning for a 1950s movie directed by Akira Kurosawa. The Italian samurai. My darling, as always, is Luca Toni, the late-blooming Fiorentina striker who must score here.

Shevchenko alert: It has been Candide's Notebooks's habit to honor the Ukranian player's wife here and there by displaying her here in her Eve-like, semi-beauty (we don't particularly find her more than cosmetically, plastically good looking). Should the game slow down, we'll hunt for a few of her latest exhibitions. That may happen soon.

Already a Ukraine substitution, a defender is out, a striker is in. Ukraine obviously finding no need to fool around with its intentions. It does need a spark, a crunch bar, a hit of crack--something to give Italy a challenge. Italy looks stylish today, a bit of Prada in its steps.

Italian ice

Italy down an actor briefly (Gennaro Gattuso, the AC Milan midfielder who's had very little impact...) and Shevchenko takes advantage: a an attempted rear for a shot on goal, or at least a pass: no one there to assist.

39... Luca Toni brought down at the edge of the box: ref says no to the repertory theatrics.

41...Shevchenko with the closest left-footed missile at goal so far, a skimmer with English that almost sent the keeper on an existential goose hunt, but I think it looked more dangerous than it really was. No Ukranian penetration into the Italian box, and unfortunately Italy are willing to play that traditional Italian game of settling, probing only when absolutely necessary.

I have to ask: where is Luca? His name is noname in this game, and I don't mean Ulysses in sheep's clothing.

33... Anatoliy Tymoschuk with a solid but off-target shot at the Italian keeper, one of the lesser-needed men on football fields anywhere: the Italian defense is generally that good. That's Mauro Camoranesi playing samurai there, and doing it quite well, with the ball for a sword. Italy free kick 30 yards out, just to the near side. Headed out by Ukraine. The game sliding toward a bit motre violence now: the ref's whistle is beginning to sound like those shrill Tosca arias.

45... Several minutes lost to an injury: just two minutes added on, a diffuse end to a first half with brief highlights but too many stretches of fiftful play.

halftime...

HALFTIME FUN WITH EDDIE JOHNSON

So, here I am at this morning's celebration of Eddie Johnson by the local school board. Eddie went to high school here. He dropped in this morning to accept a few gifts and awards. My words? "Bruce Arena cheated us by playing you so little." Eddie's high school coach, who was also there, would have done a better job in Germany. Exclusive: Eddie Johnson is being courted by Tottenham. [The picture was taken by my 12-year-old daughter; see below]

 

Eddie, his mother and his former high school coach, Bob Sawyer, whom he flew to Germany for support during the World Cup. They're cutting a cake emblazoned with Kansas City MLS insignias.

 

And finally, here's Eddie and my daughter Sadie.

Now back to Hamburg... and thanks for indulging my fandom.


SECOND HALF...

48... Italy almost gives the opposition the only chance of goal against Italy: an own goal... and a corner, a SUPERB HEADER AT GOAL, barely saved, the keeper slams his head against the far post. He'll take the pain in exchange for that terrific save.

54... Totti finally with a substantive touch: easily handled, and he goes sprawling.

The savior

TWO ASTOUNDING SAVES BY ITALY, FIRST BY THE KEEPER KNOCKING AWAY A WICKED SHOT FROM TEN YARDS OUT THEN A LEG SAVE BY GIANLUCA, THE VERY PLAYER WHO SCORED THE GOAL IN THE FIFTH MINUTE!

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL MY LUCA! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL LUCA TONI! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL LUCA!

59... A cross from Totti to Luca inside the 6-yard line, marked but not well, and Luca head-slams it into the near corner of goal for the 2-0 lead and Italy's ticket to the semis. Yes, Luca gets his goal, and so do we!

62... Amazing how unlucky the Urkranians are: Andriy Gusin heads the ball at goal, slams the crossbar.

66... Now it's the Italian samurai's turn to play time-wasting. He took an honest enough foul at the edge of the box, but his writthing, provoking a house call by thev ref, was all show. Italy wants to run out the last 25 minutes in craven style. Come on, don;t ruin this match, especially this half: Ukraine still pressing. But for its bad luck the match would have been tied. The samurai is being substituted out for a player called Oddo (make your own pun), so is Pirlo, for Simone Barone, not to be confused with ...

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL LUCA! LUCA AGAIN! But this was a fantastic set up by Gianlucca Zambrotta, who cut his way through two defenders from the near-side of the box then skimmed the ball on a slide to Luca Toni, who was again inside the six-yard line for the perfect finish and the 3-0 lead. Luca!

Germany Italy? I have to give it to Germany.

79... Shevchenko with a great direct kick on goal, but well saved by the Italian keeper. And Gianluca Zambrotta answering with a boot-to-air missile of his own, but a bit more air than he intended.

82... Luca Toni and Totti play a little give and go inside the box,. the keeper reads them well, Totti tries a chip over the keeper's shoulder but misfires into the keeper's hands. Totti wants his goal.

Luca Toni makes the call

90... Anti-climactic end to what was never billed as a climactic game, but it'll be good to see this Mittleeuropa battle of the great football powers. They're not actually running out the clock by any means, but the soul of the match has departed for other venues.

Amazing to think that this is the side that was held to one goal, and an own goal at that, by the United States.

 

Bookmark and Share

 


|

 

THE DAILY JOURNAL
Read Pierre’s Latest at


 
The Latest Comments
 
GOOGLE GOOGLE NEW YORK TIMES NEWSPAPERS NETFLIX UK INDEPENDENT NETFLIX
 
  
RECENTLY IN THE DAILY JOURNAL: NOTEBOOKS ORIGINALS
RECENTLY IN THE DAILY JOURNAL: CRUMBS & CRIBS

   
 
Add to Google Reader or Homepage Subscribe in NewsGator Online Subscribe in Rojo   Add to My AOL Subscribe in FeedLounge Add to netvibes Subscribe in Bloglines Add to The Free Dictionary