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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chp 312. Santosh Trophy: Mizoram QuarterFinals

Lolz. My ninth post this month! Damn. I always try to keep my monthly posting below 4 so as to make it more qualitative rather than quantitative. I guess there’s too much trivial stuff to blog about this football month.

So today was a great day for us Mizos. We beat Kerala, a five-time Santosh Trophy champion, 1-0 in the pre-quarterfinals! Wooohooooo! Beikhokhei scored the winning goal. Woot!

And I just discovered that my close friend and school classmate Stephen is in Kolkata with the Mizoram football squad! He’ll be there to live-update me with all the matches right from the pitch itself. I am loving this!

This is the first time Mizoram has entered the Quarter Finals of India’s most prestigious football tournament - Santosh Trophy. And right now, Mizoram is the only North Eastern team in the QF. The burden just got heavier. Will we see a North East team winning this coveted title for the first time this year?

Some time ago we joked that Mizoram would be like Spain – losing the first match and then moving ahead to win the World Cup title, something that no team had ever done before in World Cup history. And suddenly, Mizoram looks to be on the verge of repeating this!

About the Santosh Trophy fixtures etc, I have made a small presentation on slideshare. Do take a look. I hope this presentation says everything I wanna say in this blog post.





Monday, July 26, 2010

Chp 311. Santosh Trophy: Mizoram vs Kerala

Ok here’s what most of you may not know. Back in Engineering College in Tamilnadu, I was known as a MallZo. Because I was a Mizo in a Mallu gang. Well, in our close circle of friends, there was me, one Marwari, two Tams, and the rest were all Mallus.

I even learnt how to pick up a chick in Malayalam. It’s a bit rusty now after all this years, but here goes – inne ninne kanam sheile onda

After a dramatic match today, Mizoram moved on to the pre-Quarterfinals stage of the ongoing Santosh Trophy to meet Kerala, and that kinda brought back some memories of those College days.

Today’s match was quite miraculous for us because we won by a whisker!

Here are the stats, before today’s match.


TeamGames playedWDLGFGAGoal differencePoints
Railways2200111+106
Mizoram2101113+83
Orissa210134-13
Bihar2002110-90



As you can see, Railways were well on their way to the Pre Quarters, with superior “Points”, “Goal Difference” and “Goal For” stats compared to the others in their pool.

And then today, Orissa beat Bihar 3-0 while Mizoram beat Railways 1-0. Just one goal, and that changed everything!


TeamGames playedWDLGFGAGoal differencePoints
Mizoram3201123+96
Railways3201112+96
Orissa320164+26
Bihar3003113-120


Three teams had the same points. Six Six Six.

So Goal difference came into factor. Orissa, even though they beat Mizoram, had a goal difference of just 2. So they were knocked out.

Mizoram and Railways again had the same goal difference points. Both +9. So according to FIFA rules, they compared the “Goal For” section. Mizoram had scored 12 goals while Railways scored 11. Hence Mizoram is through to the Pre Quarterfinals round while Railways, Orissa and Bihar packed their bags and booked their train tickets (nah, am not gonna make fun of the Railways train ticket pun. It’s too obvious.)

Wohoooo Mizoram!

This coming Wednesday (28 July), Mizoram shall meet Kerala at the Pre Quarters. Here’s hoping Mizoram will win! As many of my friends said, Mizoram is playing just like Spain. Spain is the only team to lose the first match (Mizoram lost to Orissa 1-3 on their first match) and then moved ahead to win the coveted World Cup title!

Here’s their road to the Pre Quarters:

Mizoram:
Lost to Orissa 1-3
Beat Bihar 10-0
Beat Railways 1-0

Kerala:
Beat Uttarakhand 3-1
Beat Himachal Pradesh 10-0
Beat Assam 5-2

It’s gonna be a really good match. The “eda pattis” versus the “zawngas”.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chp 310. Skewed a bit is Love

My dear friend Aduhi tagged me in her post about the qualities of someone you would fall head over heels in love with. A post about the kind of person you’d like to spend the rest of your lives with and share your most <insert M & B adjectives here> moments.

Well, first of all, yeah, it’s quite a girly topic if you haven’t noticed it already I am one of the only three guys tagged in that post while the rest are all women. And the other two guys tagged in that post are already… you know… capable of swimming upstream if you know what I mean

Anyhoo, being a sport, I decided to give it a shot and list out 10 qualities… until I hit a roadblock.

You see, I am already seeing someone. I love that someone and I want to remain happy like this for as long as it takes. And I’m not just saying this because that someone reads my blog too

Trying to write about these qualities, I realized one thing – the way men and women perceive this thing called love is quite different. A woman will not react the same way a man will when you tell her/him about your dream girl/guy.


Scenario 1.

Mary and Richard are in love. They’ve even talked about the names of their (future) children a couple of times. Mary is a blogger. Richard is… well, active on Facebook, Twitter and other online platforms, but not that interested in blogging. But he never misses any of Mary’s posts.

One day, Mary’s friend tagged her in a blog post asking her to name 10 qualities she would like to find in her Mr. Right. And so Mary quickly jotted down 10 qualities and published her post. Richard came online later and read Mary’s post. “He must be a tidy person, someone who always folds his clothes neatly, wear fresh boxers every day, blah blah blah”.

Richard laughed because he wasn’t the type of person who is neat or tidy. In fact he didn’t possess many of the other qualities Mary had mentioned in her blog. Opening a can of beer, he took a quick gulp and burped. He then logged on to Facebook and started playing Mafia Wars.

Three months later, as planned, Richard and Mary got married and lived happily ever after.


Scenario 2. (Oh you’re gonna love this)

Henry and Jenny are in love. They’ve even talked about the names of their (future) children a couple of times. Henry is a blogger. Jenny is… well, a hot Kingfisher swimsuit model with a degree in law and currently the creative head of an Ad agency In spite of her hectic lifestyle, she never misses any of Henry’s posts.

One day, Henry’s friend tagged him in a blog post, asking him to name 10 qualities he would like to find in his dream girl. Henry, the stupid dork that he was, without thinking, quickly wrote down 10 qualities and published his post.

That was when the fight started.

An angry Jenny stormed into his room that very night. Her eyes were moist red, hair a mess, and Henry could have sworn he caught a whiff of vodka in her breath.

“What the fuck do you mean you like a girl who is good at cooking? So suddenly you have a thing for home cooked meals? Why didn’t you mention this to me on all those occasions when we ordered food or ate out?”

“Urmmm Jen listen…”

“No you shut the fuck up. How could you lie to me all this time? I thought you love me! And since when did you start finding girls with short hair attractive? So my long curly hair turns you off? Is that what this is? You want more variety? You slimy sleaze ball…”

“Jen…”

“Don’t Jen me asshole. Reading your post, I realized how I am not good enough for you. You want someone who loves dogs? You know very well about my traumatic childhood experience when I was chased by a street dog on my way to school. I can’t suddenly start liking dogs after that scar. Even my shrink will agree to that. Is this your way of saying you want to break up with me?”

“Whaa…”

“And who were you talking about when you said you want your dream girl to be passionate about hiking and adventure sports? You know I don’t have much free time to go on weekend vacations, leave alone hiking. Does Samantha love hiking? I’m sure she does, that fucking bitch whore. Why don’t you two go hiking and fuck and fulfill your every fantasy, you cheating scumbag.”

“Samantha who…? Honey…”

“Don’t you dare call me honey now, you slimy asshole. I can’t believe you’ve been living a lie after all these years. I thought I knew you. All those things you’ve told me, all the times we’ve made love… Oh Godddd… everything had been one big fat lie!!!”

And before Henry could say anything else, Jenny stormed out. That was the end of their two years “wonderful” relationship. End of scenario 2.

What can I say, my friends. C’est la vie. I may be generalizing a bit here, but the way most men and women treat relationships is quite different. And that is why, as a guy, we must be extremely careful about writing such stuff Try putting yourself in a woman’s head and don’t expect her to treat this the same way you would. It does not work that way.

Hence the reason why I must politely decline from writing Aduhi’s tag. If you think this is unfair, well, what can I say. We got skewed.



Monday, July 19, 2010

Chp 309. MM: Broken Wings – The Chosen

It’s MM – Music Monday time once again!!

Just four days ago, I rediscovered a whole bunch of old blog friends on Facebook – Marzie, Ane, Jean Chia, Lady Java, Emila etc etc. Ah, the old gang. Seeing them all again on FB brought back a lot of wonderful memories from those days…

Apart from sharing our usual blog posts with each other, MM - “Music Monday” was one of the regular memes we used to take part in, where we would post our favorite music video every Monday.

Well, for old time’s sake, here I am taking part in this Music Monday meme once again. Plus, there’s this really amazing song by a local band that I came across recently, which really moved me. And of course this is a good opportunity to promote Mizo bands to my non-Mizo friends.

It’s a new Mizo band, an ALL GIRL band to be precise. Their debut English song called “Broken Wings” really really really touched me deep inside. Maybe it’s the lyrics or the music or the rhythm of the song. There is something really amazing about this song. Feels proud to know a bunch of young girls from my tiny state of Mizoram here in India can come up with a song of this caliber.

Here you go: Broken Wings by The Chosen.




Music Monday:



Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the actual post link here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.


PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!
Cheerio…




Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chp 308. Santosh Trophy 2010 – Unsung tourney

Alright ladies and gents, now that the World Cup is finally over, most of us are still recovering from the buzzing Vuvuzela noise and all the late nights spent cheering for our favorite team… which, for us Indians, was of course a foreign country.

Now it is time to focus back on India

Tomorrow Santosh Trophy kicks off!!! Whupididooo! And here’s the good news (at least for the smaller states) – Players in the National team (Seniors) are not allowed to represent their respective States and play in this tournament this year! New AIFF rule. Plus they are currently training in Portugal for the Asian Cup. More chance for Mizoram to win this coveted title!

Most Indians are actually not aware of India’s most prestigious football tournament. But then again, I don’t blame anyone. Most of us prefer to watch EPL, La Liga, Serie A etc rather than our own countrymen playing. And the governing body AIFF never makes any attempt to promote football. They of course blame the Indian Government for not allotting enough funds for this sport while cricket is treated like a pornstar rockstar. People blame the media for not properly covering Indian football events, but media blames the lack of sponsors. And the blame game continues.

Zee Sports and Ten Sports may not even broadcast the I-League and Federation Cup matches come this new season!

We live in difficult times, my football crazy friend.

Anyway, I will not become depressed by worrying about the future of Indian football. Hence changing the subject to happier thoughts - the 64th Santosh Trophy that will be held in Kolkata from tomorrow onwards. The question on everyone’s mind is, will the most successful State West Bengal with 29 titles finally be able to break their 11 years drought? Or will we see the likes of Goa, Punjab and Kerala winning the cup again?


Here is the group stage fixture:


Cluster 1: Karnataka | Meghalaya | Jharkhand

Cluster 2: Maharashtra | Chandigarh | Tripura | Andhra Pradesh

Cluster 3: Punjab | Pondicherry | Gujarat | Nagaland

Cluster 4: Manipur | Rajasthan | Jammu & Kashmir

Cluster 5: Delhi | Arunachal Pradesh | Madhya Pradesh | Uttar Pradesh

Cluster 6: Haryana | Sikkim | Chhattisgarh

Cluster 7: Kerala | Uttarakhand | Himachal Pradesh | Assam

Cluster 8: Mizoram | Bihar | Railways | Orissa

Already qualified: Goa (2009 winners), West Bengal (runners up), Services & Tamilnadu (semi-finalists)


-------------------------------------

I have taken the fixtures from the AIFF website and rearranged it chronologically. I’ll try to update it every day (sounds like I’m utterly jobless, naw? But then, that’s what I am passionate about). So do keep visiting this page if you want to see updates (and hopefully interesting comments).

I am not going to use any HTML table tags to display the results or match below because I realized that although table makes everything neat and tidy, it is not mobile phone browser friendly at all. Hence I’ll just display it as simple as possible. Cheers everyone. All the best to your State


15-07-2010 Thursday

[Cluster 1] Karnataka [1] – [0] Meghalaya
[Cluster 2] Maharashtra [4] – [0] Chandigarh
[Cluster 2] Tripura [1] – [2] Andhra Pradesh


16-07-2010 Friday

[Cluster 3] Gujarat [0] – [4] Nagaland
[Cluster 4] Manipur [13] – [0] Rajasthan
[Cluster 3] Punjab [7] – [0] Pondicherry


17-07-2010 Saturday

[Cluster 2] Andhra Pradesh [1] – [4] Maharashtra
[Cluster 2] Chandigarh [1] – [1] Tripura
[Cluster 1] Meghalaya [5] – [0] Jharkhand


18-07-2010 Sunday

[Cluster 3] Nagaland [0] – [1] Punjab
[Cluster 3] Pondicherry [2] – [1] Gujarat
[Cluster 4] Rajasthan [1] – [0] Jammu and Kashmir


19-07-2010 Monday

[Cluster 2] Chandigarh [1] – Andhra Pradesh [2]
[Cluster 1] Jharkhand [1] – Karnataka [6]
[Cluster 2] Maharashtra [4] – Tripura [1]


20-07-2010 Tuesday

[Cluster 4] Jammu and Kashmir – Manipur
[Cluster 3] Pondicherry – Nagaland
[Cluster 3] Punjab – Gujarat


21-07-2010 Wednesday

[Cluster 5]Delhi – Arunachal Pradesh
[Cluster 6]Haryana – Sikkim
[Cluster 5] Madhya Pradesh – Uttar Pradesh


22-07-2010 Thursday

[Cluster 7] Assam – Himachal Pradesh
[Cluster 8] Bihar – Railways
[Cluster 7] Kerala – Uttarakhand
[Cluster 8] Mizoram – Orissa


23-07-2010 Friday

[Cluster 5] Arunachal Pradesh – Madhya Pradesh
[Cluster 6] Sikkim – Chhattisgarh
[Cluster 5] Uttar Pradesh – Delhi


24-07-2010 Saturday

[Cluster 7] Himachal Pradesh – Kerala
[Cluster 8] Mizoram – Bihar
[Cluster 8] Orissa – Railways
[Cluster 7] Uttarakhand – Assam


25-07-2010 Sunday

[Cluster 5] Arunachal Pradesh – Uttar Pradesh
[Cluster 6] Chhattisgarh – Haryana
[Cluster 5] Delhi – Madhya Pradesh


26-07-2010 Monday

[Cluster 7] Kerala – Assam
[Cluster 8] Orissa – Bihar
[Cluster 8] Railways – Mizoram
[Cluster 7] Uttarakhand – Himachal Pradesh



-------------------------------------

One last addition: The Mizoram squad

Player’s name, followed by the current Football Club he’s playing at.
Source: hmingsanga @ misual.com
  1. Beikhokhai - East Bengal
  2. Robert Lalthlamuana - Churchill Brothers
  3. Lalrinfela - Churchill Brothers
  4. Vanlalrova - Churchill Brothers
  5. Lalthuammawia - Lajong SC
  6. Zohmingliana - Lajong SC
  7. Ronald Lalthanzama - Lajong SC
  8. Samson Ramengmawia - Lajong SC
  9. Lallawmzuala - Lajong SC
  10. Lalramluaha - Lajong SC
  11. Lalhlimthara - Lajong SC
  12. Lalchhuanmawia - JCT
  13. Jerry Zirsanga - Chirag United
  14. Lalmuanpuia - ONGC
  15. Jonathan Lalsangzuala - ONGC
  16. Lalruatfela - Chandigarh Football Academy
  17. Sama Hnamte - 1st Bn MAP
  18. F.Lalrinpuia - 1st Bn MAP
  19. Laltuakliana - 1st Bn MAP
  20. Lalhruaitluanga - M.R.P
  21. R.Lalnundanga - Faria Striker, Goa
  22. David Lalrinmuana - Faria Striker, Goa
  23. Lalchhanchhuaha - Faria Striker, Goa
  24. Zothansanga - Faria Striker, Goa
  25. Lalthantluanga - Signal Corps, Goa
Coach : Benjamin Laldinpuia
Manager : Vanlalngheta


Comon Mizoram!

A goal dawn e! A goal dawn e! A goal dawn e!


Monday, July 12, 2010

Chp 307. Of losing (Holland) and losers (others)

Boring Finals. What an anti-climax. Extra time. Finally Spain scored at the fag end of extra time. 1-0. By then, many of us watching the match on TV were glad the boring ordeal was finally over.

I’m not going to write any match review here. Still hurts a bit. At the end of the day, Netherlands committed too many fouls while Spain played better and deserved to win the title. Congrats.

But you know what is irritating?

I can live with Spanish fans behaving like jerks and rubbing it in my face. After all, this is football and this is what we do to each other. I would have done the same to them too had Netherlands won. I got no beef with them. And by them I mean actual Spanish fans who had been behind Spain since the beginning of this World Cup. Respect to you folks for winning the coveted title.

But what I can’t stand are those spineless slimy (even slimier than Paul the octopus) freeloading so called fans who switch teams the moment their team loses. They talk about how much they support one team (say Brazil, Germany, England etc) and how they are hardcore fanatics ready to go till the end supporting their team, AND the moment their team is eliminated, they suddenly talk about how crazy they are about the next team to play and how that team has always been their favorite team (or second favorite team) every World Cup! Lolz, losers.

I mean, seriously, there is nothing wrong in cheering for a team if your team has already been eliminated. Had Netherlands lost, I would have still watched the other matches, supporting one of the teams playing. But I would never act like a hardcore fan of that team just because my team has been eliminated. There’s this thing called conscience. Too bad it’s absent in so many people.

Why is there a need to blatantly lie and mislead others into believing that the team you’re cheering for has won the World Cup, when you know deep inside that you’re just fooling yourself?

This Finals too, a lot of Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Germany, England and Portugal fans that I know, suddenly acted like Spain had always been the team they’ve cheered for since the beginning of this World Cup. Lolzzz. Many of them said Spain had actually been their second favorite team (and not because they made it to the Finals ) Why is it so hard to simply say they’re going to support Spain for the Finals, because they like the way the team plays or they find the players handsome etc? There’s nothing wrong in that. Why dump your original team just because they didn’t make it and then try to convince everybody (and yourself) that Spain had always been your team since the beginning?

Well, I am not going to argue with anyone because this is just a game. It is pretty silly to do that. And also because if you fight with a pig, you both get dirty, but after sometime you realize that the pig is actually enjoying it. So I too will join the sty and proudly and unabashedly claim that Spain had always been my second favorite team to win the World Cup too!

You know what this means???? My favorite team came in SECOND and my second favorite team came in FIRST!!!! WOW!!!! First place and second place! Yay! Beat that you Germany, Brazil, England etc suckers who were supporting Spain in the Finals!

Ah. World Cup. It certainly brings out the child in me. All the things I mentioned above are just in jest by the way. I love you all, even if you weren’t supporting for Netherlands This is that once-in-four-years opportunity when you can really fry your friends or be fried by them. Too bad all this is coming to an end now. See you all again in 2014, where I’ll still be cheering for the Netherlands as usual (unless of course, by a very wild shot, India makes it to the qualifying rounds! )


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Chp 306. World Cup: How to cook an octopus

This coming Monday morning/ Sunday midnight, I will be making a delicious octopus meal. Well at least metaphorically speaking. So feel free to stop by anytime. You’re all invited. As long as you support the Netherlands.

Suddenly, there is this loud buzz about Paul the Octopus, who apparently predicted the winners of all the matches so far. Well, me and a lot of friends have been predicting that Holland will win all their matches since the beginning of this World Cup, but hell, nobody listened to us or gave us press coverage. Instead, they decided to opt for a creepy slimy underwater creature that I’m sure, didn’t even go to a real school (PJ Alert!)

Paul

So do we need to have six more arms for people to start noticing us? Bollocks. Watch Paul the octopus cover his head in shame with all eight arms as he squirms in embarrassment for being wrong this Sunday night. Ah. Squirm. Squirt. Squid. Squeamish. Squashy. That’s Paul the Octopus for you.

Meanwhile, in other news today, Chuchu the rat, Dudu the vulture and Foofoo the duck-billed platypus all predicted that Netherlands will win and score at least 4 goals this Sunday while Henry the anaconda predicted that Kima will also score this weekend

Well, I’m not going to be online again till Monday morning (it’s one of those ahemzzz weekends, if you know what I mean… *wink*) so cheers to the Netherlands team. I can already picture the kinda comments that will be waiting for me here on Monday morning if Netherlands lose but that won’t happen. I trust Chuchu, Dudu and Foofoo (and of course Henry )

I have tasted dried octopus meat back in School during the early 90s. We had a couple of students from Thailand and they used to bring dried preserved meat from home – squid, octopus, shark etc. I definitely do not remember the taste now, but I would do anything to try it once more, especially if it’s Paul on my plate. Die Paul Die. That’s German for “The Paul, The”. Paul’s from Oberhausen, Germany, so he’ll understand. Die you ugly cephalopod.

Wouldn’t mind having Paul over for dinner. Provided he’s the appetizer Tandoori octopus 65 (boneless) sounds delicious. Or maybe Schezwan fried octopus noodles.

Here are some other great recipes I’ve found on Google.

Spanish Braised Octopus in Paprika Sauce

Paprika Octopus Basically you braise the octopus in its own juices, then cut it into pieces and dress it with a paprika-garlic sauce when it is still warm. This is a variant of a Spanish recipe known as "a la gallega." Any size octopus will work with this recipe. Serves 4 as a starter or tapas.

Read more at: About.com: Octopus Paprika

Stewed Octopus with Macaroni

Stewed Octopus Rinse the octopus under cold, running water and place in pot dripping wet (you don't want to dry it off - this is the moisture it will cook in). Add the red wine, garlic, onion, bay leaf and cinnamon and cover the pot. Bring to the boil over low heat.

Read more at: RecipeZaar: Stewed Octopus with Macaroni

Bon Appétit!

So I'll wish you all well (except Paul of course) and see you all again on Monday.

For tonight’s match between Germany and Uruguay for third place, I will be supporting Uruguay of course. Mainly because Paul the octopus said Germany will win. I am here to prove him wrong. Comon Uruguayyyyy! Psychic my ass.

Secondly, I support Uruguay because of Forlan. Like I mentioned in my previous post, I hate the guy because he was once a Manchester United player, scoring crucial goals against my Arsenal a couple of times. But as a person, I love him. Many of you would know the story of how he decided to become an international soccer player and become rich so that he could support his sister after she met an accident and became paralyzed, ending her dreams of becoming a model. For that, I will cheer for Forlan and the South American boys.

Go Uruguay! Screw you Paul. Eight arms you got but not one finger. Guess which finger I’m showing you right now.

Hup Holland Hup!



Thursday, July 08, 2010

Chp 305. Best FIFA World Cup Anthem / Song

FIFA has its own official anthem/song every World Cup. And such songs are all about the “spirit of the game”, regardless of whether you win or lose. And listening to them usually pumps you up before any game.

For this 2010 World Cup, the official song is Shakira’s “Waka waka”, which was a real let down for me because I like K’naan’s “Wavin’ flag” so much better. But then again, Ricky Martin’s “La Copa de Vida” was the official World Cup song of 1998 and Anastacia’s “Boom” was for 2002 World Cup. Not surprising that Shakira's song was chosen, if you look at the past official songs

As my wise friend once told me, “World Cup songs must appeal to the masses, and not just football fans.”

Touché. Here, you be the judge. Purely from a football perspective (forget the oh so curved dancers and bootie shakers), which song do you think should be the official 2010 World Cup song?


SHAKIRA – Waka waka.




K’NAAN – Wavin’ flag.




To me, Wavin’ Flag is still the song I play every day the moment I reach office. The song has so much depth and intensity, coupled with emotion and passion. Plus, it really does inspire me, especially if you had listened to the original version before.


Which World Cup song/anthem is your favorite?

Mine is definitely this…

To be number one… running like the wind
Playing hard but always playing fair.

To be number one… winning again and again
Reaching higher through Italian sky.



Yup. World Cup 1990. Italia '90.

Here is the song “To be number one” by Giorgio Moroder. This is the best World Cup song in my book. I still remember listening and singing it so many times when I was in hostel during this World Cup at St. Thomas Boy’s School, Calcutta (I used to sing it as “reaching high, the BLUE Italian sky” ). Even in Mizoram, many artists sang this song before football tournaments etc. This was a very popular song back home, and it still is.



The 1990 World Cup was the World Cup my team Netherlands was eliminated in the first round of the knock-out stage by West Germany, who later moved on to win the title, defeating Argentina in the Finals.

Yup, this was what I meant by the “Dutch disaster” in my previous post. Because the Dutch had just won the UEFA European Football Championship ’88 before this World Cup, beating West Germany 2-1 in the semi-finals. That particular Dutch team was declared by many football pundits as the best Dutch team so far. They had the likes of Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Ronald Koeman and Frank Rijkaard in their roster, while W.Germany had the legends Lothar Matthaeus, Juergen Klinsmann and Rudi Voller. When the two teams met in the '90 Italia World Cup two years after that, W.Germany won 2-1.

I managed to dig out this archive from FIFA. Italia '90 Germany FR vs Netherlands. Frank Rijkaard and Rudi Voller were both shown the red card in the 22nd minute. Rijkaard spat on Rudi, making it one of those “unforgettable moments” of Italia '90

Rijkaard spitting on Voller

Tonight, 20 years later, Netherlands will be facing either Germany or Spain in the Finals of World Cup 2010. I really hope Germany win this match against Spain, so that they will face Netherlands in the Finals - the Oranje can finally take revenge then. Match has just started, so I will stop here.

One last point before I start watching this semi-finals (which I predict is going to be boring). Did you know that the 1990 World Cup where “To be number 1” was sang, was considered to be one of the most boring World Cups ever? It had the lowest goals scored so far, because most of the teams were playing defensively and passing back to their goal-keeper to waste time. Because of this FIFA introduced the “back-pass” rule in 1992, hence disallowing goal-keepers from catching the ball if his own team-mate had passed the ball to him. That definitely made the game more interesting and faster.

Here, enjoy one more version of this Italia '90 World Cup official song. This was performed LIVE during the opening ceremony of the 1990 World Cup twenty years ago (so don't laugh at their clothes). Cheers.





Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Chp 304. World Cup: Holland semi-finals

So many things to write about, but being a World Cup season, I guess I can put those off for later. Like for instance, yesterday was a Nationwide curfew, with the opposition parties forcing asking people not to step outside.

Schools, colleges and offices were all closed, with the entire transportation division shut down here in Mumbai. Vehicles and shops were vandalized. One of my colleagues Sanket who was on his way to office had his bike tyres deflated by an angry mob after they forcefully stopped him on the road. Fortunately, that was the only thing that happened to him and they didn’t beat him or thrash his bike (further).

I could write about the hardship the common man (aam aadmi) faced and the debates on news channels between various political parties. Or I could write about how I spent the entire day staying at home, cooking and watching the entire season 2 of Castle, season 1 of White Collar and the complete limited series of “The Pacific”. Ah, what a series marathon and relaxing “holiday” it was.

But being a World Cup season as mentioned before, with the whole once-in-four-years exclusivity, and with my team the Dutch progressing to the semi-finals after beating Brazil 2-1, I can’t help but write about how much closer I am to seeing my team finally win the coveted title.

Netherlands beat Brazil 2-1
[A moment in history. Ned 2 – Bra 1. Pic source: WorldCupGirls]

For 4 World Cups I have been supporting the Netherlands now. They have been rightfully called the BEST TEAM to have never won a World Cup. This time, I hope that designation will never be upon them again.

I was too young to know about the legendary Cryuff, but I was a fan of Van Basten and Ruud Gullit (not much TV access those days but I still remember reading about the Dutch ‘90 World Cup disaster, losing to W.Germany). They were the first two footballers whose posters I had, while the rest of my friends were adorning Maradona posters on their bedroom wall. And of course there were the two Arsenal legends Overmars and Bergkamp, one of the main reasons why I started supporting Arsenal, and have been a hardcore Gooner for more than 10 years now because of that. I really miss those “Bergkamp is God” days, much before anybody knew who Henry was.

Not to miss out the others like Kluivert, Seedorf, Cocu, Davids, Koeman, de Boer, Nistelrooy, Hasselbank, Van der Sar, RVP, Sneijder, Robben, Kuyt, Huntelaar, Babel, de Jong, Heitinga etc. And of course the captain Van Bronckhorst - another ex-gunner. I can bet my arse he’s one of the oldest players in the current Holland World Cup squad, or at least the most capped. He was there in the ‘98 World Cup squad too along with uncle Van der Sar

Tonight, Netherlands will be clashing with Uruguay. A team not to be taken lightly. Suarez may be out with a red card, but Forlan is still there. Gawddd I used to hate him so much during his ManUtd days. Now that there are no Manure players in this current 2010 Netherlands World Cup squad, supporting the team is even sweeter

The winner of tonight’s match will meet the winner of Germany and Spain in the Finals. Uruguay definitely has a better history when it comes to the World Cup, winning the coveted title twice while Netherlands is nil. But then, didn’t people say the same thing with Brazil too who had won five times before? And what was the result again? History is not meant to be relived, but to be written. And that’s what the Dutch intend to do tonight.

The other side of the table, I hope Spain beats Germany. Because Spain looks like an easier opponent for Netherlands. Lolz. The Germans look scary right now, especially after thrashing Argentina 4-0 with flawless counterattack (something that will forever be mentioned again and again and again in the future whenever people talk about the World Cup).

But let’s leave that aside for now. Tonight, once again I will be screaming from the top of my lungs – HUP HOLLAND HUP. And maybe occasionally exchange tweets with ladyarse, who is the only Arsenal columnist that I follow on Twitter who supports Netherlands too. It would be a dream come true to see the Oranje win this World Cup.

Plus it would be a sweet oh so sweet victory in office, as my colleagues and bosses brushed aside the Netherlands team as a mere “Underdog” team!!! Underwhaaaaa? We shall see, my dear Girija, Sukruta, Jonathan, Prakhar, Preeth, Meghana and Tarana.




NOTE: Currently there is a bug in blogger.com. Your comment will appear briefly, but once you refresh the page, it will disappear. I am sure blogger.com people are looking into this issue right now.

NOTE 2: Problem solved!