Yemenity2010's Blog

Happier Days, Not So Long Ago…

Posted in Blog Entry in English by yemenity2010 on 30/06/2014

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World Cup is over for Mexico, since yesterday. Healing from the wounds, Mexicans could look back to their victory last Monday, when they defeated Croatia 3-1 and qualified for the second round. OK, that’s already history. And the disappointment from being Robben-ed in injury time against the Dutch will likely stay for a while. However, when they do have a reason to celebrate, they do know how to celebrate… At least judging from these scenes in central Mexico City a week ago.

 

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When Mexicans Go Dutch

Posted in Blog Entry in English, Tema: Latinamerika by yemenity2010 on 29/06/2014

Somewhere along the border. The one between the United States of America and the United States of Mexico. We’re south of the border, visiting my wife’s family after a few days in the metropolis known as Mexico City. More on that experience later, preferably accompanied by some pictures, which I haven’t gotten around to uploading so far.

Preview of possible coming attractions: we watched part of the World Cup game Mexico-Croatia the other day at the Zócalo, the grand plaza in the historic centre of the Mexican capital. Then we got to see joyful fans celebrating the victory at another historic monument, El angel de la indepencia. And when Mexicans celebrate, they celebrate…

Now, halfway through the game against Holland in the second round, spirits seem high as well, even though we’re not surrounded but thousands of fans this time… And it just got higher. Mexico just took the lead through a magnificent effort by Giovanni dos Santos. Which means, if this stands, the manager Sr Herrera might get a raise. Apparently he earns less than all his colleagues in this World Cup.

Apart from that, there are some nice surprises in this tournament. Colombia advancing to the quarterfinals for the first time by defeating Uruguay, who apparently lacked some bite, in the absence of the controversial attacker Luis Suárez, sent home after… well, you know the story. Costa Rica could do the same, if they do what every football fan in their right mind would want them to do; send the Greeks back home this afternoon. I mean, Greece? How did they get this far?

Still feeling sorry for Ecuador, who really lost their best chances of advancing in the last seconds in their opening game against the Swiss. Who, by the way, also deserves a ticket back home sooner rather than later. Algeria, another positive revelation. France, obviously in a completely different state than they’ve been in the last big championships. And more entertaining to watch than I remember seeing since… 1986, maybe?

Could the heat be affecting the Dutch more than the Mexicans? Topic raised in this household, in this border town where the heat is something you almost wear as a second skin this time of year. Fans and air conditioning help  you breath more easily indoors. Breathing, yes… It´s getting harder every minute here while the Dutch keep on trying to break the Mexican defences, not least the heroic goalkeeper Ochoa, who already made some legendary saves in this tournament.

…but even couldn’t save Mexico in the 87th minute. The Dutch are back in the game… And more than that, after being awarded a penalty, seemingly as a gift, two minutes into injury time. Dammit. So close and so far away, as they say. Whistle blows; Mexico 1. Holland 2. It doesn’t seem quite fair. And the deciding penalty executed by Huntelaar had a certain taste of compensation about it, since the Dutch had already complained about two possible penalties they didn’t receive. This last one, world class striker Arjen Robben really went down easily, right?

Should I take off my Mexican soccer sombrero now?

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Mexican Marksmen and Flying Dutchmen – World Cup Is Here Again!

Posted in Blog Entry in English by yemenity2010 on 14/06/2014

footballfans-quito-2006Sunny days. World Cup. About to start my vacation soon. Good combination, all in all. Although, the weather tends to change rapidly here in Sweden even in the summertime. And even of it turns out to be a really good summer weatherwise, I’ll probably miss out on most of it. On the other hand, it’ll probably be warmer still where we’re going. And exactly how many World Cup games I’ll be able to watch is a little uncertain. But I shouldn’t complain. We’re off to Mexico, my wife’s tierra de origen – homeland, if things go as planned.

A crucial World Cup match with uncertain outcome. One of the teams has already entertained the world and become international darlings. They also start out well enough, getting the upper hand with the help of a penalty shot. Just before the break, though, an individual mistake results in the opponents being able to equalize. And, in the second half, the game has completely changed. The opponents manage to score four times, and move on to the quarter finals. Where? When? What? Who?

We’re talking about Denmark and Spain, somewhere in Mexico, summer 1986. It’s been a while and my memories might not be as accurate as I would wish. The red and white world-charming Danes, previously beating Uruguay 6-1 and Germany 2-0, lost momentum and were eliminated by the Spaniards. You know, the ones who never, ever used to win anything. Until this past decade when things turned around and they established themselves as the ruling masters; champions three times consecutively; FIFA World Cup 2010, UEFA European Championships 2008 and 2012. Yesterday they were on the receiving end of a thrashing eerily resembling the one they generously inflicted on the Danes 28 years ago. Oh well, you probably know this already. By now the reigning champions’ defeat by the Dutch is already the stuff legends are made of. Or nightmares, if you’re Spanish. It could just possibly be the best game we’ll get to see in this tournament. Even though there are still a few to go…

mexican-tshirt-2011Before that, we spent the Friday evening celebrating the Mexican victory over Cameroon. ‘Only’ 1-0 in the end, but of course you’ll have to take into account the two Mexican goals mysteriously annulled by the referee in the first half. Since they happen to be competing in the same group as hosts Brazil and Croatia, those three points could be of some importance… Latinamerica in general seems off to a decent start, with Chile beating Australia 3-1 (not without trouble) and Colombia – at the time of writing this sentence – seemingly controlling their game against Greece, with a 2-0 advantage in the final minutes. Wait, make that 3-0. Amen. I’ve never much liked the Greek national team. Their general MO seems to be boring the resistance into submission. How they managed to actually win the UEFA Championship ten years ago is still something of a mystery. Tomorrow it’s Ecuador’s turn, playing Switzerland. Having lived in the Andean country for three years (2003-2006) I still have a lot of affection for their source of national pride, El Tricolor. Even if few experts put any faith in their opportunities of advancing from the group stage.

Anyway, further reports on the World Cup – and the Mexican adventure – are absolutely part of the plan this summer. But any guarantees are difficult to give at this point. Anything can happen…

More or less unrelated news: Yes, even our household has become addicted to Netflix. Partly because of their original productions such as ”House of Cards” and ”Orange Is the New Black” (a title now quickly becoming associated with the already mentioned Holland footballers, usually dressed in said colour). But also for the opportunity to catch up on previously unseen seasons of ”Breaking Bad” and ”24”, the controversial and frequently over-the-top but undoubtedly exciting drama series concerning counterterrorism in a cold, hard post-9/11-world. That in turn reminded me of a satirical cartoon with religious implications, from Sacred Sandwich. If you really want results, whatever the situation or purpose – it takes a Jack Bauer to make it happen. If only…

Photos: Ecuadorean football fans preparing for a game in Quito, probably sometime in A.D. 2005; Mexican t-shirt, on display in the city of Querétaro, late 2011. 

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