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France vs. Spain (Halftime)

This is another great game, great European football. I've always associated that term with a clean, sharp style of play, and there's lots of it here. Spain are insanely energetic, and their passes are superb. I hate penalty shots, though this was well-deserved and well used. Barthez leapt out of the blue at one point to collect the ball for Spain (at 20-something minutes). It made my brain do a, "David Seaman!" for some reason. You've probably already noticed I like goalkeepers, and I've spent most of this World Cup either whinging about Kahn (because it is not Germany unless it has Kahn!) or mourning the loss of David Seaman (who is retired, and honorably so).

The French are a well-seasoned team, experienced, skilled and more than capable of holding their own. 1998 was an exam year for me, and 2002 was dead awful for France in general. Thanks to gory timing for all of France's matches in 2006, I've managed to miss every other match they've been in. It would be a total coup if they won this match and ended up against "a team called Brazil." It would be such a coup. Ribery's goal was amazing. Thierry Henry did good to pass when he did, and Ribery just wandered past the goalkeeper and got it in before the Spaniards could run him down. After that, the French snapped awake, resulting in five minutes before halftime of frenetic football. Great playing overall.

Refereeing in this match was also top notch. Referee and assistants were precise and called everything on time. The Thierry Henry handball that cancelled the free kick in the first ten minutes was an excellent call. Though it would've been good reason for a yellow card too, based on the replay, it was probably not intentional.

And finally, the commentator rocked, whoever he was. I suspect he's not an SBS commentating git for a couple of reasons. First, it's clear he watches UEFA, and keeps providing wonderful feedback on everyone in the most unbiased fashion. Second, he sounds horribly English, and reminds me of a commentator we got in Malaysia for 2002. (In Malaysia, all our World Cup coverage operates off English commentators -- I do believe we get the same transmissions as seen on local satellite TV -- and I miss them a lot.) Wherever he came from, he has reaffirmed my faith in World Cup commentary.

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Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
mekkavandexter
Jun. 27th, 2006 08:27 pm (UTC)
you make me sad that i am not at home and am at work, boo.
vampyrichamster
Jun. 28th, 2006 04:38 am (UTC)
*pets* Then you must imagine that my brain is currently fried, and that even my occassional all-nighters for the beautiful game has turned me into a gibbering zombie-person!
mekkavandexter
Jun. 28th, 2006 04:42 am (UTC)
hee, there is that! :)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )