Lionel makes a messi of Iranian resistance

OHOH. We’re halfway there. OHOH living on Braaaasil 2014”, as Jon Bon Jovi didn’t say. Yep 32 games gone and 32 to go.

Kind of a relief once we got that Costa Rica result out of the way wasn’t it? We could bin our very briefly adopted Italian nationality (far too classy and chic to sit well on English shoulders) and stop clutching at straws slightly thinner than a fag paper. And as a fan in the Guardian said, “it’s sort of more exciting when England are out and you can just relax and watch the game.”

Having seen my daily football intake reduced to a miserable 10 minutes on Friday, football was going be the only winner on Saturday. The garden did get some cursory attention with me looking to snuff out the attacking threat of dandelions; score draw methinks. The new irritant in the garden department is a plague of jackdaws who are currently bossing the pitch. They are the Suarez of the domestic green space; supremely talented, skilful, sneaky and ANNOYING. I have no evidence of biting or racial abuse of the local robins but it wouldn’t surprise me.

Expectations were low when I sat down for the 5pm Saturday kick off, particularly as Mr TLF didn’t seem that keen on offering table service in the delivery of beer and snacks department. As it turned out Iran were more of a challenge for Argentina than expected. And it wasn’t just about them parking the bus. Mr TLF kept in touch with that game by listening to my strangled yelps and eeks from the living room as Iran had the best of the second half and gave Argentina a bit of a scare.

He deigned to join me for the GeeGee game. Great stuff. Although you are probably labouring under the illusion that Ghana drew with Germany aren’t you? Oh no. Let me tell you the game finished Ghana 10 Germany 4. Well at least it did on this pitch. TLF coming into form just at the right time.

The scene of Mr TLF's hefty defeat

The scene of Mr TLF’s hefty defeat

My other triumph of the weekend came in the shape of a Google search – look – second. Thus proving that luck and use of random words can enhance your search engine optimisation.

Never thought I would be grateful to Mr Savage

Never thought I would be grateful to Mr Savage

One thing we also learnt this weekend is never judge the likely quality of a game by its participants, which is a frequent pundit crime. After the SnoozeFest of the Belgium game, I’m glad to say that World Cup joy and goal excess equilibrium was restored with Algeria and South Korea, which became something of a StatFest. Algeria being the first African team to score 4 goals in a World Cup match and in 90 minutes undid much of the damage done by that tedious draw in 2010 with England (nice to see at least one of those two teams have applied some lessons learned).

This week our final 16 will be revealed. Even though football is a funny old game I don’t think it is funny enough to see Brazil get anything other than a win against Cameroon (the irony of Cameroon players threatening to strike over the size of their win bonuses is I hope not lost on anyone). That will leave Mexico and Croatia to fight it out for second place in Group A.

Group B comes down to the game between Holland and Chile which will decide who goes through as winners. Could be a corker, as both teams have impressed. I do hope that Chile have spent sometime considered tactics in the pants department, after last weeks colour gaffe. Happily this game coincides with the arrival of Stella on draft in the 113 bar and a sizeable staff summer discount. Who needs a FIFA fan park when we can move seamlessly from office to big screen and beer without even encountering the outside world?

My new Holland shirt might be getting a second airing, hopefully a slightly comfier one this time round, having removed the five…Yep FIVE labels therein. I wonder if the Dutch squad have employed a label-remover or have given each squad member a pair of official national nail scissors to deal with the issue.
I’ll be the one in orange in the bar (my shirt not fake tan)
失われたキツネ

FRIDAY AND WEEKEND RESULTS
Italy 0 Costa Rica 1
Switzerland 2 France 5
Honduras 1 Ecuador 2
Argentina 1 Iran 0
Germany 2 Ghana 2
Nigeria 1 Bosnia 0
Belgium 1 Russia 0
South Korea 2 Algeria 4
USA 2 Portugal 2

TODAY’S GAMES

Oooh group games now take place at the same time to avoid dodgy shenanigans….(see Austria v West Germany, 1982)
5pm
Australia v Spain, Grp B
Netherlands v Chile, Grp B
9pm
Croatia v Mexico, Grp A
Cameroon v Brazil (Ooops auto correct just tried to make it Cameron v Brazil….), Grp A

Phrase of the day – Spanish

La senora gorda ha cantado
The fat lady has sung

Dish of the day – From Holland we have Bitterballen. Ideal snack to accompany a few beers. NOT a description of the mental state of the England camp.
http://www.holland.com/us/tourism/interests/food-drinks/dutch-recipes/bitterballen.htm

Site of the day – the football attic.
Quality nostalgia and this particular blog is Panini related (sticky ones not toasted ones)
thefootballattic.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/paninis-world-cup-nearly-men.html

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