Stalemate sandwich

Into every World Cup a little metaphorical rain must fall, and yesterday it arrived in the form of Nigeria v Iran. Our first draw of the tournament and it wasn’t a pretty sight.

I did start the game with high hopes. The omens were good. The BBC seemed to be an Alan Shearer free zone and Iran’s coach Carlos Querioz bought a certain understated chic to the dugout with his black jacket and casually draped scarf combo. But with the exception of that, some concerns about Iran’s goalie having a short sleeved shirt…that’s just wrong for keepers and Phil Neville’s bon mot, “this is a boy who catches pigeons, “, there was not a lot to write home about. Well even if there was, I wouldn’t would I? Cos I was at home.

A shame really as of course the 8pm game is the one most likely to see me in front of the TV. Yes I know there are zillion ways to ‘catch up’ but there are still only 24 hours in the day and some of them are taking up by the ridiculously inconvenient ‘work’ thingy. Still things could be worse. I could be Ronaldo. No amount of man bags and hair care products can help when you are down to 10 men and playing the ‘ruthlessly efficient Germans.”

Oh yes. The stereotyping, be it conscious or unconscious was in full flight on Radio 5 Live’s commentary last night. Post match analysis contained at least 3 efficients and I shall be setting up a monitoring scheme for the rest of the tournament. When we weren’t stereotyping there was some good old lather going on. I know it was a harsh sending off, but Tony Pulis, when you said, “If you’re a Portugal fan you’ve paid a lot of money to come and watch this and I know people will say rules are rules but I think the refs got to try and keep 11 men on the pitch.” Did you really mean it? Because last time I looked the ref’s role was to police the rules of the game, not ensure VFM for travelling fans. But bless your heart you are not Andy Townsend so you can stay.

Rubbing salt into the IranvNigeria wound was the news that the late night game had produced the fifth fastest goal in World Cup history and a late winner by a bloke called Brooks (not the best spelling of the name I have ever seen admittedly).

Today the final four teams enter the World Cup stage left, with Belgium, everyone’s outside bet getting things going with the early kick off. I am looking forward to Brazil v Mexico. Will the hosts own this ref too?

De verloren vos

Germany 4 Portugal 0
Iran 0 Nigeria 0
Ghana 1 USA 2

5pm Belgium v Algeria, Grp H
8pm Brazil v Mexico, Grp A
11pm Russia v South Korea, Grp H

Phrase of the day – Russian
Don’t blame me. I didn’t vote for Qatar
Не вините меня. Я не голосовал за Катар

Website of the day
– Purely in the interests of open debate and keeping readers informed I did track down the online pictures of the Croatia players enjoying some nude swimming. To be honest only a handful (BOOM!) were naked. Still in the interests of propriety the link has been pixellated out of this report.
And if you think that is selling you short then check out google today – best one so far methinks.

Dish of the day
A first appearance for the gluten free squad. Brazilian cheesey balls. This dish was in no way inspired by website of the day.

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