World Cup Tonight
Yes, I'm actually awake and in front of the television, waiting for SportsCenter to end and the game to come on. I feel a bit silly, actually, and I probably won't make it all the way through the game. But I feel the need to express solidarity with my sister and her family, who are crowded around the telly in Brighton (I just received some pre-game analysis from my four-year-old niece, who says that England will win, because "they've been winning"). Plus, England and Brazil are arguably the two best teams left in the tournament, so I'd like to see this live rather than on tape.
Here we go...
A hot and sunny day, which should favor Brazil, one would think.
Immediately a corner for England, but nothing comes of it.
The teams are just feeling each other out and getting warmed up at this point. Neither is playing with any urgency. England manages the first shot, but it's a weak header by Heskey.
Seventh minute now. Brazil has started probing the English defense. No real danger yet, but hints of things to come.
Tenth minute, and once again Heskey looks inept, misplaying a long Beckham pass.
Thirteenth minute, and England has had a fair amount of the possession. Brazil is just passing around in its own end.
Fourteenth minute. A free kick for Brazil deflects off the English wall, leading to a corner, then another. Seaman badly misplays the second, but it goes through the box.
17th minute. Yawn. This is not helping me stay awake.
19th minute. A dangerous combination from Rivaldo and Ronaldo, but the shot is right at Seaman.
22nd minute. This is still a rather characterless game. The players seem to be conserving energy in the heat.
23rd minute: Goal, England! A long feed to Owen at the top of the box; the Braziliam defender goes the wrong way, and Owen drills in the shot.
27th minute, and the pace is picking up at both ends.
34th minute. Internet Explorer has crashed twice on me. Thanks, Microsoft. Heskey had a near miss on a header a few minutes ago, and Brazil came right back with a chance but couldn't convert.
38th minute. I just noiced that Beckham is wearing long sleeves. In 90 degree heat. Is he insane?
40th minute. Heskey is down, having taken an elbow in the face. The teams take a short breather.
45th minute. Another crash, taking with it a long post about Seaman's injury. There's going to be a lot of stoppage time.
Stoppage time: Goal, Brazil! A brilliant run by Ronaldinho, who feeds Rivaldo for a beautiful shot just inside the left post. The announcers are blaming Beckham for giving the ball to Ronaldinho.
That's the half. Brazil is lucky to come out of this tied; England, meanwhile, must be feeling rather frustrated at failing to keep the lead into the half. I'm going to switch from OS 9 to OS X (even though X is bog-slow on my two-year-old Powerbook), hoping I'll be able to avoid all the crashes.
47th minute. Here we go again. A free kick for England just outside the box. Beckham curls a kick into the box; a foul is called on England. Bah.
49th minute. Goal, Brazil! Unbelievably perfect free kick by Ronaldinho from about 35 yards clears Seaman and his ponytail and just nips in under the crossbar into the corner of the goal. Terrible, terrible play by Seaman, and an outrageously great shot by Ronaldinho.
53rd minute. Some dangerous play by England in the box leads to a corner. It comes to nothing, but then Carlos fouls Scholes on the right side. Again some potential, but no decent shot.
57th minute. Ronaldinho, having made brilliant plays on the two Brazilian goals, gets a red card for throwing an elbow right in front of the referee. England has a man advantage for 30-plus minutes now. Ronaldinho takes forever and a week to leave the field. That should be two minutes of stoppage time right there.
62nd minute. Beckham goes down in the box. That should be a penalty--there was definitely contact--but it's not called.
65th minute. Blogger is making this difficult--it's unresponsive as hell. England is creating pressure but no good chances.
70th minute. England really should be doing better than this with a man advantage. Edilson comes on for Ronaldo.
72nd minute. The English fans are singing "God Save the Queen." Rivaldo gets poked in the eye and is booed--the fans seem to think he's faking (which would not be beneath him).
74th minute. Nice move by Mills in the box, but his shot is deflected.
77th minute. Beckham goes down in the box again, but this time it's a dive. Brazil then does a nice job of keeping possession for awhile. England is playing sloppy soccer; they'll need to pull together if they want to have a chance.
80th minute. Shearingham and Vassell come on for Cole and Owen.
85th minute. Scholes goes down just outside the box but doesn't get the call. It's getting a bit desperate for England now.
88th minute. England futzes around and loses the ball. Brazil smartly kills time.
90th minute. England is showing nothing. But here's a corner. Butt gets his head on it, but it's not a clean shot. Four minutes of stoppage coming.
Stoppage. Shearingham floats the ball ineffectually through the penalty area. England is panicky and is squandering time.
And that's it. A sad showing for England in the second half--they seemed deflated by the Brazilian goal just before the half. England could do nothing with the man advantage; they never seriously threatened.
My niece will recover, but I'm worried about my brother-in-law, who will be in despair through the weekend. Meanwhile, I have time for a brief nap before the US-Germany game begins.