Sunday 24th of June was another scorching day and I woke before nine after not getting to sleep until about 0300 as I was reading.
I was not too hungry so just had a jumbo sausage roll for brekkie. I know you good people like to keep up with my breakfasting habits (I said with my tongue firmly in my cheek).
After midday it was time to settle down for the second England game of the campaign against Panama. Everyone expected England to win comfortably against a tiny nation of four million inhabitants who had amazed everyone by even qualifying but I think that only the most optimistic of England supporters would have seen the manner of the 6 – 1 win.
If you are a UK resident you will have read or heard about it as the media have spoken of little else since. If you are not a brief precis is that England were 5 – 0 up at half-time, Harry Kane scored a hat-trick, John Stones the central defender was unlucky not to convert his two goals into a hat-trick and Jesse Lingard scored a superb goal. All sorts of records were broken but let’s not get carried away just yet.
Whilst watching the second game which finished Japan 2 – Senegal 2 I made my Father his tea as pictured. OK, it is all shop bought and I can do better but it would mean completely re-stocking a fairly bare larder so shop bought ribs, beans and oven baked chips (fries) provided us with a tasty evening meal. It was a decent enough game to watch but I don’t think either side has enough to progress too far.
The final game of the day ended Poland 0- Colombia 3. Poland were rubbish, there is no other word for it. Colombia were clinical in their finishing and are potential opponents for England in the next round.
After that it was my evening pilgrimage to the Monty for a few journal entries here, a couple of pints and the usual “craic” with my mates.
Again, I shall run straight on to the next entry as this one has been so brief.
Monday the 25th was a scorching day and with the forecast suggesting tht it is here to stay for up to two weeks. UK is apparently currently hotter than Athens and Miami. Unbelievable but I am not complaining.
The first event of note was the noise of a motorcycle pulling up outside and it was my kid brother although I really should stop calling him that as he is a retired man now. He is a member of the and he had been away for a few days with a few of his friends from the CNX Riders Club (UK), most of whom had come from the mainland. They had been “treated” to quite appalling weather most of the way over but fortunately it had been glorious for their trip with over-heating (the riders, not the bikes) being the major problem.
The magnificent beast you can see in the images is exactly 40 years old but it still looks pristine and sounds wonderful, it really has a beautiful note. Unlike some of his friends machines it is completely original and has never been resprayed or rechromed. For those of you not of the biker fraternity, a large part of the CBX attraction is the instantly recognisable logo (pictured).
As you can see, my brother even has a suitable keyring.
I really have to get him to take me for a run on it before I go, especially in this weather. If we don’t get the CBX out, we could go on his Honda VFR or huge BMW tourer, he really does like his bikes. I suspect that at my age the Beemer might be the most comfortable bet especially with my back!
After the “breakfast” snack pictured the first football match of the day was Uruguay vs. Russia. Russia are in the finals by virtue of being hosts and it is probably just as well as the general consensus is that they were very average coming into the tournament and probably would not have qualified on merit. Uruguay were 2 – 0 up in the first half courtesy of two set pieces, the first a superb Luis Suarez free-kick, and then Russia had further problems by having a man sent off after about half an hour. The game was being played in punishing 33 degree heat in Amara and it was always going to be difficult for the Russians after the dismissal and so it proved. With ten men they had a hard time and the Uruguayans put the final nail in the coffin right on the stroke of normal time with a third to inflict the largest ever Russian defeat in World Cup finals. Yes, they go through but they will need to get back to the form of the first two games if they want to go much further. Uruguay look a good side.
Due to the way the games are scheduled now this match was on simultaneously with the Egypt – Saudi Arabia game which the Saudis won 2 – 1. Perhaps the highlight of the game was a superb save by the Egyptian ‘keeper who is the oldest ever player to appear in the finals at 45 years and 106 days. Well played that man.
I really don’t know why they changed the scheduling half way through the group stages as previously I could (and often did) watch all three games one after the other but that isn’t possible now. Two games are played simultaneously at 1500 BST and another two at 1900.
After I had made and eaten dinner with my Dad it was time for a little lie down. It is undoubtedly a lot to do with my advancing years and a little to do with the heat but I need a little dozette most days. I woke up in time for about the last ten minutes of the first half of Portugal vs. Iran with the former leading 1 – 0. During the break I learnt that in the other game in this group, which was being played simultaneously as explained above, that Spain were 1 – 1 with Morocco and remarkably the North Africans had scored first.
In the second half, Ronaldo did what he does best and dived for a penalty but justice was served when the keeper saved from the same player. After that it just became niggly and Queresma behaved disgracefully with a most appalling piece of play-acting followed shortly afterwards by a vicious bodycheck that he was lucky only to earn a booking for. Another dubious VAR enabled penalty late in the game gave Iran an equaliser to earn a 1 – 1 draw.
News came through at 83 minutes that Morocco were leading Spain 2 – 1. Remarkable. The Spaniards did manage a late qualiser to finish 2 – 2 and top the group. Spain and Portugal both go through from that group.
I rounded off the day with a wander to the Monty and a couple of pints with some mates before home, a read and off to sleepybyes.
Stay tuned and spread the word.