Here is some good advice when you have travelled to the other side of the world.
- Try to get back into a regular rhythm of sleep as soon as possible to reduce the pain of jet lag
- Avoid coffee and excessive alcohol
- Avoid heavy, stodgy food that will keep you up
So it probably wasn’t wise to decide to head out to a bar in Melbourne at 1.30am to watch this game, having not slept for a couple of days due to travel. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but so too is beer, football and hundreds of screaming Australian girls. Irresponsibility wins hands down. But I had missed a whole day’s worth of World Cup action travelling yesterday (hence no updates) so I was determined to get back into the World Cup swing, albeit watching the games all through the night.
This promised to be a fantastic, colourful match with a couple of the best supported teams in the tournament clashing in Port Alegre. The Australians knew that defeat would almost spell curtains, whilst the Dutch knew a win would almost certainly take them through. AND can we talk about beer? No shortage of outstanding brews on “home turf” for this one.
1. The Australian Adrian Chiles – We all love Adrian don’t we? His cute face, his knack of asking a question and then answering it himself and then THOSE shorts. Having watched a few games across the world this week on TV we don’t know how lucky we are. I mean, take the Australian Sports anchor for their World Cup coverage – Lucy Zelic. Highly respected as a sports presenter, knowledgeable about the game and not wearing shorts. British TV, best in the world.
2. THAT volley – If I was still a little sleepy then Tim Cahill’s volley woke me up and the whole of the Central Business District here in Melbourne. The chap next to me got so excited he gave me a big hug when it flew in off the bar. “Believe” he said to me, throwing a pint of Red Spice Ale down my white T-Shirt. One of the goals in World Cup history?
3. Hoof it – The Australians are frustrating to watch when they defend, neatly summed up by their fans in the bar who added a soundtrack of “no, No, NO…just bloody HOOF IT OUT” every time the Dutch broke. All three Dutch goals came from defensive indecision and sometimes winning games is as much about being functional as it is being technical. Bring back Lucas Neill I say.
4. Dutch fans blending in – The camera panned round the stadium and for a brief few seconds it appeared that a big bit of the stadium was empty. It wasn’t. It was the Dutch fans, dressed in orange who had taken on the appearance of chameleons and changed a fetching colour of orange in the hot sunshine. Nice tan lines.
5. Time to say goodbye – The good thing about the World Cup is wall to wall football for a month. The bad thing is sometimes results make games meaningless. The surprise win by the Dutch over the Spanish meant their victory tonight means they only need a point maximum versus Chile to go through. That is assuming Spain do not win their game on now versus Chile. If the Chileans win, then both Spain and Australia would be on their way home less than a week into the tournament.
Beer World Cup
Back at last….Only 17 different Australian beers on offer in the bar I watched this in, compared to two Dutch beers (Heineken and Grolsch). The best of the Aussie brews, the Cahill to relate it back to the side, was a Red Spiced Ale which was, as my new learned Australian friend told me was “bonza”. He was right. As good a contest as it was on the field, with the Australians just taking this one.
Australia 4 Netherlands 3