Saturday, June 23, 2018
France, Peru, and 26 games all with a score of one to nothing
I am watching a game in which, in a complicated manner, I am pulling for both teams. One of these teams, though, is leading one to nothing. Lately in this World Cup, when it goes to one to nothing the game is over and you might want to go for a walk or something. It doesn't matter if there has only been six minutes of play, a score of one nothing and it's over. This is all very sensible to the announcers that I am sometimes compelled to listen to.
"I don't understand what these players are doing." One commentator criticizes. "There is only 42 minutes left to play and they're up one to nothing. Why doesn't the heaviest player just sit on top of the ball so that nothing can happen?"
That's an exaggeration.
But not by much.
Well it works. In the first truly sad elimination of the tournament a bright and sparkly and never say die Peru team will not be advancing out of the group stage. One can say that that's on Peru for shining in so many areas, but being so utterly unable to finish. But that's pretty harsh when virtually no one in this tournament has been able to finish. It's all own goals, penalties that never would have been goals without the penalty, weird deflections, and set pieces (which, even at their highest level, Ronaldo and Suarez, include a good dose of luck).
But as they say in soccer, you make your chances.
And as they also say: All to play for.
Except, I am truly sad to report, for Peru.