ALPHA Journey at St Finbar’s
June 24, 2018
The Brazil X Factor
June 24, 2018

Keeping the faith over the bumps

By Nth Degree

Usually in a World Cup tournament the real action begins in the round of 16 knockout phase, but these first-round matches are like nothing I’ve seen before!
I haven’t seen a boring one yet, and believe me, I’ve seen some really boring matches in my years watching the World Cup. We’re talking since 1978, okay?

I remember there were some matches in the 1990 World Cup in Italy that put me to sleep. England was playing, but that’s another story. The pace of matches at this World Cup is pretty fast. It’s like watching a hybrid of the English Premier League and the Spanish La Liga.

Okay, after all my pro-Germany talk two Sundays ago, I know you want to know how I took their shocking defeat at the hands of CONCACAF giants, Mexico. For all the naysayers out there who sent me messages of condolence— not you ‘Lars’, not you—I simply respond on behalf of my friend Junior, brother-in-law and all other Die Mannschaft supporters to keep the faith. We will not give up hope. Today for you, tomorrow for us. The journey is not to the swiftest but the one who can endure. There will be bumps along the way… You get my point.

Yes, the Mexicans almost outpaced the German centre backs at will, threatening with lightning fast counter attacks. I took the defeat like a man on Fathers’ Day while my Brazil-loving first born snickered. But then his beloved ‘Samba Boys’ drew with the Swiss later that day, so there we go!

I read some new reports online that there was an artificial earthquake in Mexico when Hirving Lozano scored for Mexico. Really? Hope the Mexican wave isn’t replaced with wailing and gnashing of teeth!

Here are the really, really big matches this coming week:

Today (Sunday) : Poland vs Colombia.
Monday: Uruguay vs Russia.
Tuesday: Denmark vs France; Nigeria vs Argentina; Iceland vs Croatia. Wednesday: S Korea vs Germany; Mexico vs Sweden; Brazil vs Serbia Thursday: Senegal vs Colombia; England vs Belgium.

Now that we’ve had a full week of World Cup action, the teams I’m sure will be packing their bags for some early R&R are Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Morocco. Which team is looking dangerous? Belgium. And which one has momentum? Russia. President Putin must be proud.