Click, Click . . . five goals missed as real challenge begins
Mary Hannigan rises to challenge of trying to watch two matches at the same time
Brazils’ Fred, a favourite of the RTÉ panel, celebrates scoring his team’s third goal during against Cameroon at Estadio Nacional. Photograph: Reuters
Day Whatever It Is and the real challenge began: trying to watch two matches at the same time. Granted, you could view one on the telly and the other on the laptop, but you have but a single set of eyes – unless you’re Cyclops, who had a rough time of it yesterday. And, inevitably, you’ll have them trained on one game when something sensational happens in the other.
And something sensational did happen too, Trevor Steven telling us, presumably after the event had occurred, that Dirk Kuyt had “literally sacrificed himself for the team”. He was always a selfless fella, not least in his Anfield days, but this was, surely, beyond the call of duty. Mind you, Netherlands v Chile v Australia v Spain wasn’t entirely a do-or-die combo, the latter two already with their bags packed – and stand up anyone who didn’t predict Spain would be pointless going in to this ding dong? (Woah, a Mexican Wave). Still, you’d prefer not to miss a goal, in an okey dokey live kind of way.
36: “Over in Curitiba, Villa has scored for Spain.” Click. Too late for even the replay. Back to Sao Paulo.
69: “Over in Curitiba, Torres has scored for Spain.”
Click. Too late for even the replay. So you decide to stay in Curitiba, just in case.
77: “Over in Sao Paulo, Fer has given the Dutch the lead.2
Click. 82: “Over in Curitiba, Mata has made it 3-0 for Spain.” Click. 90: “Over in Sao Paulo, Depay has sealed the win for Holland.
Remote control in bin. Five goals, divil a one seen live.
Any way, the day began with Tony O’Donoghue and Kenny Cunningham taking us back to the day before, the former appearing on screen in red pants and a shirt so shiny that Kenny was left blinking like he was staring at the sun, but he recovered in time to dismantle Jimmy Magee’s Greatest Spanish Team of All Time, axing Pique and Ramos and bringing in Puyol and Nadal - “defenders who could actually defend” – and dropping Alonso too. “Michelle for me.” Come lunchtime you can only assume Jimmy and the Dunphy man teamed up to ensure there were no chips left for Kenny in the RTÉ canteen, the whipper-snapper showing no respect at all for his Montrose elders.
He got on way better with his Algerian taxi driver in Dublin, who was so grumpy after his country’s performance against Belgium Kenny was lucky his trip to Montrose didn’t take in Multyfarnham, but that 4-2 win over South Korea would, you’d imagine, have had him dancing in the bus lanes.
Meanwhile, word came through that Diego Maradona had made an obscene gesture on telly, directed at the president of the Argentinian Football Association, Julio Grondona, after the latter had put Messi’s late late late winner against Iran down to the fact Maradona had departed the stadium before it was scored. An unseemly squabble, Diego now branded as his country’s Brendan O’Carroll, whose rudeness, a caller to Liveline declared yesterday, had “crossed the lubricon”.
Crossing that lubricon, too, was Lee Dixon with his admiration for Chile’s Alexis Sanchez (“Look at the nuts!”), which had Gordon Strachan and the lads guffawing back in the studio, where, mercifully, they had all changed in to long pants after yet another Copacabana shorts-fest.
No shorts at RTÉ, John Giles and Co’s legs hidden from view ahead of the Brazil v Cameroon game, Gilesie’s preview again appearing to feature a mention of the Gestapo playing for the hosts, when we’re guessing he means the Gustavo man. Nazis in Brazil? Game time. Not thrilling, but 2-1 at half-time for Brazil, which left the RTÉ panel giddy with excitement about the home team. Eamon: “Just terrible, hopeless, they’ve got progressively worse through each match.” Ronnie: “Embarrassingly bad.” And several of the guns were aimed at poor Fred. Second half. Early Doors. 3-1.
“He’s not going to miss from there – even Fred,” said Ray Houghton, apparently – we were over in Recife for the first 50 minutes watching Croatia and Mexico do everything but score. If only they had a Lubricon to send in a decent cross.