far too much writing, far too many photos

Brazil and Germany (both powers of long standing in world fútbol) advance, England and the U.S. are out of the Cup. The U.S. team acquitted themselves decently, but they were at the limits of what they could do against a team as solid as Germany and simply could not get over the hump.

Tomorrow: the remaining two quarterfinal games. ¡Venga, España!

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Another note from an Irish friend currently living in Stoke-On-Trent, England — this one re: today’s Cup games:

“As I am at work, I only heard some commentary on the BBC, but they sounded like the U.S. played pretty well, and even compared them to Ireland, in that they were spirited and trying to play good quality ball. A 1-0 defeat is no disgrace at all, and I hope that the American public see it that way. The U.S. have made huge strides this time out, and look to have a good development program. They certainly deserve all the acclaim they receive.

“As for the English… most of them feel let down by the performance of the team today, and amazingly enough, many are contrasting the English lack of passion and spirit to the way Ireland and the U.S. played.

“The return home for the English team will also contrast with Ireland’s. Ireland received a hero’s welcome, with thousands at the airport and city centre, and on to a party in the Phoenix Park. England will come home to derision in the press and probably boos at the airport. I prefer our attitude.

“So, we have Brazil, to play either Turkey or Senegal, and Germany to play either Spain or Korea. My prediction is Brazil to win, with either of the other 3 against them. Spain v Korea, for me, is a real head v. heart game. My head says Spain have the quality and experience, but my heart says Korea have massive support, great spirit and nothing to lose. Germany have failed to impress but are still in the semi’s, which is scary, really, so being honest I would love to see Korea go through. I think it would be great for world football, though not for Spain. We’ll see.

“That’s it for now, back to work.”

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