Today is quarter final day for Spain, and we read in the press that our opponents Paraguay are going all out to intimidate us. What does that mean, they’re going to try and kick us out of the game, with nine men in defence like Switzerland? It is a worry, as everybody knows that is the only way they can beat us, but surely we are better than that and can find a way to stick a goal or two past them? Paraguay shouldn’t be a threat to our defence, their two star players are Roqué Santa Cruz (is he still at Blackburn?) and Lucas Barrios of Borussia Dortmund. Barrios only became Paraguayan three months ago, and was Argentinian before that, and even his mother (who is Paraguayan herself) didn’t know that her son had changed his nationality! Still, being a centre forward for Paraguay is dangerous, their last striker Salvador Cabañas is still recovering after being shot in the head in a night club in Mexico City!
Anyway, we’ll worry about that later, have to find something to take our minds off the game until then. Goran is coming back already, he broke so many plates at the hotel that the manager decided to cut his losses and let him go, and after Brazil got knocked out, the Casa Little Brazil is like a mortuary. What a surprise that was! When Robinho scored from Felipe Melo’s pass it seemed that was that. But Melo heads Sneijder’s cross in to his own net with Julio César (the best keeper in the world?) gone walk about, and then Sneijder (of all people) scores with a header! And then Melo’s cables get crossed and he walks all over Robben, red card and is it all over, it is now! So no Brazil / Spain final this year, a disappointment, but if we do get there then we would prefer to play anybody but them.
In the evening I go to Soccer City to see Uruguay and Ghana, and my nerves are well and truly racked, and I wasn’t supporting either side! How bad it must be for the Ghana fans to go out that way, better to lose 5-0 than on penalties after missing a last minute penalty in extra time, especially as they should have scored if Luis Suárez had not turned in to Gordon Banks and produced the best save of the tournament so far! Suárez is sent off and will miss the semi-final, but Gyan (who has already scored two penalties earlier in the tournament) shoots against the bar!
Anyway in to the shoot out, Gyan bravely scores Ghana’s first (what cojones!), but then Ghana miss two and Uruguay one. Last penalty for Uruguay, and it’s our old friend “El Loco” Abreu, ex of Depor and Real Sociedad. He’s going to do a soft “Panenka” penalty, he always does! Surely Wigan’s number four goalkeeper Kingson knows that? No he doesn’t, and he dives out of the way as Abreu chips the ball in to the centre of the net! Uruguay are through and Africa’s participation in the World Cup is over! Now it’s only Europe versus South America. So it’s off to the airport to meet Goran, watch Germany and Argentina and then off to Ellis Park. I just hope it doesn’t end in penalties!