Friday, June 13, 2014

FIFA World Cup Opener - Brazil vs Croatia

This is the first soccer world cup that I am so unprepared for. I have no clue who is playing and who the favorites are. Ever since I got hooked on to the soccer world cup after watching some games in the Osmania University hostel in 1986 I have been watching this event more than I watch anything else. I even joined a job late because I wanted to watch the USA version for a whole month!

But this version in Brazil caught me unprepared. I was not following much - I am not a huge fan of the other soccer cups and leagues. I was not sure if I could do the owl shift and watch games from 130 in the morning to 4. In fact I crashed early last night but thanks to Shobhs got up and watched a fine opener between Brazil and Croatia and now i want to watch most of the Cup again.

I got most of the Brazilian team and recognised its past stars too. The own goal by Marcelo brought back visions of Paulo Escobar's unfortunate own goal for Columbia and its tragic consequences - he was shot dead in a bar room brawl soon after Columbia exited the World Cup. Marcelo showed no signs of pressure or cracking up and played hard after that lapse though. The pressure on the home team to deliver showed on their faces, none more so than Neymar Junior, and did the young man deliver. The first, a most opportunistic but well placed goal to the goal post just eluding the very capable Croatian goal keeper and then a penalty under pressure to equalise. The hardworking No 11 Oscar kicked in a delectable third goal and sealed it for Brazil. With these two up front Brazil looks in good hands, but its defence looks ragged at it always has been.

I loved the experience and am up to a month of waking up at nights now - will reschedule all my stuff to work around the world cup. After all its my favorite sporing event. Nothing like an old passion to make you wake up and feel life again.

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