Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The television captures a village in Ghana watching a battery powered black and white television to see the match. Why could the camera crew not loan the good people a color monitor, goes through my mind.
Ghana is living the dream as large as you can live it. They shuddered the finances of the soccer bookies by progressing to round two. Today they can give a knock out punch to the same bookies, if they beat Brazil.
"Not even thought about loosing to Ghana," says the commentator, quoting Ronaldinho.
Brazil is counting their chickens, before the eggs are hatched.
Not too surprising they build there first attack too quickly, and the linesman raises his offside flag.
Ghana tests the waters with a high cross over the Brazilian penalty box. A chanceless effort, but the crowd loves it.
Four minutes into the game, Brazil times their attack precisely. Ronaldo runs from offside while his teammates turn the play. Ronaldo receives a tailored pass, and faces the keeper of Ghana for a one on one. The keeper comes of his line, closing the gap. Ronaldo smiles, he fakes a shot, dribbles past the keeper, and taps the ball in the goal.


"Brazil beats the offside trap," shouts the commentator.
Brazil relaxes and loosens the leach on Ghana. Ghana reacts with a shot from forty meters.
"That had some pace on it," says the commentator.
Another striker of Ghana tries a bicycle kick in the Brazilian penalty box, he shoots air. A longer toenail could have revived Ghana's dream. In the twenty-third minute Ghana kicks the ball trough an opening in the Brazilian defense.
"A huge gap," calls the commentator.
The strike that follows is one foot wide. Nevertheless, Ghana found the Achilles heel of Brazil, their defense. Ghana is playing like Brazil, and Brazil is fed the leftover counters. Before the match, these were meant for Ghana.
However, Brazil beats the offside trap one more time.
"Ghana is getting burned on that," says the commentator, while two Brazilians strikers are chairing the ball between them. They know the keeper cannot cover both of them.


"Picture perfect counter attack," says the commentator.
In halftime, the coach of Ghana receives a red card, so the television informs me. Why was I watching beer commercials, crosses my mind.
It does not seem to hurt Ghana. They fiercely fight the Brazilians, and continue to advance. Within ten minutes of the second half, the match heats to an eye-gluing battle.
"Opportunities knocking," shouts the commentator while Ghana blasts the ball, from twenty-five meters, over the crossbar.
At crucial moments, Brazilian egos fumble away ripe chances. The Brazilian strikers take shots at the goal instead of passing the ball. Personal greed keeps Ghana in the game.
However, eighty minutes into the match, Ghana receives a crushing blow. The referee hands one of their players a second yellow card, and sends him off with a red.
The ten remaining players bravely fight the eleven Brazilians, but one breaks free.
Roberto, for Brazil, breaches the offside trap one final time. He juggles the bouncing ball over he keeper and rolls the ball over the pitch into the goal.


"He only had to tap it in," says the commentator.
He tapped in the final nail of Ghana's coffin. They put up a good fight, but Ghana goes home.
Nobody stops Brazil.