Friday, 20 June 2008

Perspiration and endurance

Croatia versus Turkey in the quarter-final of Euro 2008 hasn't been a neutral's dream as far as pure football is concerned. Underneath the cliches about "passionate support" lies an aura of violence and menace that makes neither of these sides instantly appealing. But extra time has been absorbing, and strangely, I have a feeling that Turkey, the less equipped of the two teams technically and imaginatively, might just nick this one. It's 0-0 in extra time so far. It could come down to set plays, stamina, heat... and in the final analysis, penalties. Nothing like the pulsating Germany versus Portugal game, which I was pleased to see the Germans win, if only to wipe the smug grin of Ronaldo's face. If he could switch to Spain for better prospects and money, I'm sure he would. [22.17: Astonishing. Croatia looked as if they had it, and the Turks scored in literally the last kick of the game. Then won on penalties. Nicked indeed.]

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