Wednesday, June 28, 2006

It's all Park Ji Sung's fault

Following the English penchant for laying blame on everything from dry grasses, frivolous girlfriends, the scorching German heat for their less-than-stellar performances on the field, it's time now for the Spanish to look for a scapegoat for their demise in the World Cup 2nd round.

Spain have gone into the tournament looking like the regal conquistadors of medieval yore, boasting somewhat threatening names like Torres, Iniesta and Pernia. They conjured a majestic 4-0 win over Ukraine, followed it up with a gritty come-from-behind 3-1 win over Tunisia, and rounded up Round 1 by fielding a team of reserves against the luckless Saudi Arabians---for all their money in the world, their search for a replacement for the 37-year-old Ali Daei have so far been futile.

The stage was all set for Spain to impose their latin influence on the latter stages in the world cup. Such a young team, averaging 24 years of age, and such boundless talents like Fabregas and Torres, who run the fields like the wind, they are the neutral's favourite.

But for a quirky change of fate in the other group match. France was casually strolling to a victory against the Koreans, which would most probably give France the top table position, steering France and Spain well clear of each other's path. 83min--Park Ji Sung had no right to be there, but pop the goal he did into the French net. 1-1. Spain has no chance against France. It was written in the stars.

So was it youthful naviety? Was it Raul the not-so-golden boy of Spanish football? Was it Alonso who inadventently headed the ball back to his own goal? Did the Spanish backline play too far out? No, it's all Park Ji Sung's fault.

Anyway, what's a World Cup without some Spanish tears? Ahh....some things, comfortingly, never change.

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