June 15, 2010

New Zealand 1, Slovakia 1: An underconfident Slovakian team couldn't blow out the least-respected team in the World Cup, and paid for it at the end. Robert Vittek scored five minutes into the second half for the country known mainly for its ice hockey team, making its first appearance in the tourney since the Velvet Divorce. The All Whites rarely threatened*, and seemed content to walk off the field with a closer-than-expected defeat, until Winston Reid headed in a cross in the final minute of injury time. Thanks to the two ties in Group F, both teams will have a mathematical chance to advance no matter what happens in their next game, when I will be on a cruise ship off the coast of Alaska and not have to care what happens.

*Or so I assume. Starting at 4:30 a.m. in Los Angeles, this was a classic TiVo 3x Special, and, much like the whole Palestine v. Israel dispute, this was a fight in which I had no dog. Since the more important game was on right after, I followed my policy of zipping through the action, stopping only to see what the goal celebrations honored, and watching only the final minute+ at normal speed. I think I can safely say that I didn't miss a thing.

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