6.15.2006

SPAIN v. UKRAINE [4-0]

We Got Taras Shevchenko Place Going Nutz

HIGHLIGHTS

Can't say that Spain are my favorite team in this tournament, for obvious reasons. Just looking at coach Luis Aragones makes me ill. Which is not to say that the players are of the same mindset, but we all need our reasons to root, for or against, yes?

And despite Andriy Shevchenko being Chelsea-bound, I've got to say I'm riding for the Ukranians. Remember, this is a country that suffered for decades under Stalin (forced famine in the 1930s, forced the Russian language on its people and, though Stalin was long gone by then, forced omission from the '94 World Cup when Russia decided they'd represent the C.I.S. themselves) only to see a presidential candidate poisoned in 2004. And, erm, Chernobyl. Karma -- which should be coming around -- one hopes is a better crosser of the ball than the Ukranian wingers. And for the bookish looking for a reason to lean, "Sheva" shares his surname with the Ukraine's most famous poet/personality/person, Taras Shevchenko, now 150 or so years passed.

But it may be all for naught after a 4-0 sacking (3-0 for purists who know that penalty, the first of the World Cup, was B.S.) A shocking red card. Sure Fernando Torres' goal was one of the best scored so far, but only because it came after Carlos Puyol's dogged, skillful run.

Francesc Fabregas Soler = "Cesc." Awesome.

Little victories: At least there's a team that took a worse beating than the U.S.

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