I didn’t work yesterday. Because I had a lot of errands to run, but also because I knew if I did, i likely wouldn’t get to catch the start of the Italy Czech game.
I met up with some friends at Angelo Mai, a centro sociale in the centre. They weren’t playing the game so we relocated to Druids Rock, an Irish Bar up the street. We managed to get there early enough to get a seat upstairs which proved crucial because when I went downstairs to get a drink at the end of the first half the place was jammed hip-to-hip and stunk of humid summer BO. It didn’t smell that much better upstairs, but a little. Also there were two simultaneous games: Italy Czech Republic and Ghana USA. Fans from all parts were represented.

Man Italy looked good. Or at least better than that horrible game against the USA. The good news is Totti was looking good. He asisted on the first goal (a nice corner kick) and had more than a couple shots. I remember one being terribly weak. And the other being a bullet. Good news. Toni didn’t play. Let’s hope the scoring hero of Serie A learned his lesson and stops making a loud sucking sound when he steps onto the World Cup pitch. Marco Materazzi, Italy’s sub off the bench, a giant of a man and a complete thug, scored the game winner.
Italy played well, and so did Pavel Nedved. But one man alone can’t be the Azzurri. Special mention also goes to goalie Buffon who made some great saves. Proud to pretend to be Italian.

Man the USA sucks. They finally scored a goal in this World Cup though, so they can go home proud. Ghana however can be way more proud because they don’t have to go home. The best news of all is that USA’s coach, Bruce Arena has to go home.* That guy is such a punchable douchebag. Doesn’t looking at him just make you hate his irritating face? Me too.

*The best thing so far about this World Cup (speaking hyperbolically) is the Coachcams they have. Frequently after a break in play they show the expressions of the trainers. Catch them picking their nose (Italy’s Lippi) or pushing FIFA Officials (Australia’s Guus Hiddink) or looking cool (Holland’s Marco van Basten throwing the ball back after it was kicked out-of-bounds). Often it’s just run-of-the-mill yelling and foot-stamping, but it adds a nice human element.

Brazil kicked Japan’s ass, no surprise. But Japan was leading for most of the first half, so they can take that partial coup home with them and hold their heads high. Ronaldo is now the all-time leading scorer in the World Cup, after scoring two goals. That fat bastard brought his A game, after taking heat for looking old, tired and fat in the first two games.

Australia’s Harry Kewell tied this up late in the game, and all Australia needed was a draw to advance. Good on those fellas.


I’ve been pulling for the Socceroos up until this point, but the buck stops here. Italy should beat Australia handily, but the tenacity and flow of the Aussies game says it may actually be close. I say Italy wins 3-1. Unless the Australia keeper makes alot of mistakes, as opposed to the 3 or 4 a game he usually makes. In which case everyone on the Italian side will get a goal, even the coach.

Well, I suppose Ghana can start packing, though I’m hoping so bad for a shocking thrilling upset that I’ll predict Ghana 2-1 over a stunned world and a devestated nation. But the odds of that aren’t good.