Day 2 was interesting. The football wasn't stunning but tournament heavyweights Argentina and England both took care of business. Of course the day belonged to mighty Trinidad and Tobago who represented CONCACAF by drawing 0-0 with Sweden.
Had a good time living the cafe lifestyle and watching the games outside at a bar. Two bars have joined up their terraces for the WC so we watched all 3 games outside with fine Belgian beers and grills ablazing. Games are on at 3, 6 and 9 in Europe, so it makes for a long days journey into night.
English fans were out in good numbers and good voice early in the day, but their team's dreadful 2nd-half performance reduced the good cheer. The Swedes came out in full force but soon were watching the game in stunned disbelief as TNT held them at bay sending the few fans of TNT into a frenzy. Finally, as the sun set there was a huge crowd for Argentina-Ivory Coast. As yesterday was a beautiful day, I think all the guys were forced into various couple activities by wives, mistresses, girlfriends, etc. and escaped for the late game. The atmosphere was similar to watching the late game of the NCAA tournament. Everyone was rooting for the upset and the biggest noise of the day came when the Ivory Coast scored a well-earned goal. That was the scene and here are some various thoughts on the day:
Feel the passion: God Save the Queen. You can feel all the enthusiasm and longing of the English fans when they belt out their national anthem pre-match. It's quite impressive.
Hero of the day: TNT's backup goalkeeper Shaka Hislop stood on his head to give 10 man TNT an epic draw with Sweden. C'mon everybody do the Shakamotion!
Africa, Africa: The Ivory Coast were awesome. They ran, created chances, ran, tackled, ran, scored, ran, defended, ran and ran. Did I mention how much this team ran? A huge effort and only 2 great finishes by Saviola and Crespo let Argentina escape with a win.
Sven, Sven, Sven: Inexplicable move to pull Owen in 55th minute leads to disarray. Playing 5 midfielders England looked slow and shoddy in 2nd half. Being England they blamed the 90 degree temperature and the sun in Frankfurt for their performance, (or lack of).
Overheard in England dressing room: Wonderboy and great English hopeful Wayne Rooney is told he can play in the next game if he gets a cortisone injection for his broken toe. David Beckham on hearing of this replies "if that fat kid is going to get a new car, then so am I."
As for Day 3 I'm headed back to the outside seats to watch S&M-Netherlands and will be rooting for Serbia out of friendship. If they manage a good result I think we should start referring to ourselves as the United States and America to try and capture some of the same luck as Trinidad and Tobabgo and Serbia and Montengro. Respect the power of and. Enjoy the games.