These middle games were always going to be a challenge for me as I was due to essentially spend twenty four hours in the air, and miss the Friday night games completely. However, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, and the fact that every country in the world wanted to see even the most random games, I was able to watch this one cruising at 37,000ft between Melbourne and Kuala Lumpur. Beggars can’t be choosers when you are so high above the earth’s surface and whilst the rest of the cabin chose to sleep, I grabbed a gin and tonic, laid back and watched the clash of Central v South America.
Neither of these two really set the world alight either in their friendly games against England a few weeks ago in Miami or in their respective opening games. But both would have targeted this game as the one to win in the race for second place in the group. France’s demolition of Switzerland earlier in the morning/afternoon/evening meant that a win here would give someone a foot in the second round.
1. Flags on socks – It’s the little touches that make all the difference and the flag of Ecuador on their red socks makes them one of the winners in the World Cup so far. Add in the big H on the Honduran shirts and you having the makings of the kit of the tournament – which would be a great idea to present at the end of the competition.
2. That goal could be Costly for Ecuador – I wonder how long a World Cup commentator has had that line up his sleeve? Finally, Ian Darke was able to deliver the line, pausing for dramatic effect after the Real Espana striker scored Honduras’s first World Cup goal in 32 years.
3. The other Valencia – All the talk before the tournament was of Antonio, but it has been Enner who has grabbed the headlines with his third goal of the tournament so far. Neither goal was what you could class a good goal, although if I was watching BBC’s coverage I am sure Lineker and Shearer would have called them “classic centre-forwards goals”, i.e benefiting from poor defending and deflections.
4. We all love a good story – Apparently Valencia came from a poor family and had to milk cows to get money to buy his first pair of boots. Heart warming stuff when you hear it once, but when it is repeated every time he touches the ball it does get a little bit BORING.
5. Fouls in front of the dug out – We all love these…especially when one of the players ends up in the opposing dug out and all the handbags come out. The Honduran bench weren’t best pleased with Valencia’s tackle on Garcia that led to a little spat and scenes similar to his sending off versus England two weeks ago. He used to be such a nice man too. Over 30 fouls in the game broke up the play far too often.
The Beer World Cup
No surprises I struggled to find a beer from either country on an Emirates flight so instead we substituted a Tiger Beer for Ecuadorian Cerveza Umiña and a Amstel Lite for Hondurian Cerveza Salva Vida. Not a particularly fair way of doing things but completely within the FIFA spirit we felt.
Ecuador 2 Honduras 0
The Kit World Cup – Day Nine
Nike – 24
Adidas – 18
Puma – 18
Lotto – 6
Marathon – 3
Burrda – 3
Uhlsport – 1