Sunday, June 27, 2010

Germany beats England 4-2

At halftime, the Germans I watched the game with were not happy. "If we don't win this game by a few goals, we'll never hear the end of this," one said. "I don't want to win like this," said another.

After Germany won the game by a few goals, the Germans I was with were pleased to still be in the World Cup, but not convinced that the referee's obvious mistake (good God, how far does a ball have to be behind the line?) did not matter. "Germany was able to play defensively because they had a lead," one German friend said, "and the two goals in the second half were counterattacks based on a strategy we could not have pursued if the game had been tied."

I see now that England's coach agrees:

The game was different after this goal. It was the mistake of the linesman and I think the referee because from the bench I saw the ball go (in).... The goal was very important. We could have played a different style.

The German coach also agrees:

What I saw on the television, this ball was behind the line.

Not exactly a fair game. Interestingly, it does not seem that either coach is calling for video reviews in soccer.

On the streets of Freiburg after the game, hundreds (if not thousands) of people streamed into town from Eschholzpark, where loads of people watched the game outdoors on giant screens. When a streetcar approaches, everyone rushes onto the tracks and sits down and begins singing. One popular song, in commemoration of the French, is:

Allee, Allee
Alle, Allee, Allee
Eine Strasse mit vielen Bäumen
Ja, das ist eine Allee

I don't know how (perhaps it is my New Orleans upbringing), but I actually found two young ladies riding through town on top of a car in first gear who were are interested in flashing the crowd. I'll try to get some photos up over the next few days ;-)

It's fun being in the winning country. Sorry about that crap decision, England.

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