Thursday, June 15, 2006

England can redeem their ticket to the second round with a win in this game. Trinidad can blow their world cup dream to a new level, even with a draw. The atmosphere in the stadium leaps to extreme height, and not only because of the tropical temperatures
"It used to be 'Bent it like Beckham', now it is kick it like Crouch," says the commentator. Whomever the English fan favor as their top player, they stand behind their men. When the God saves the queen echoes trough the stadium, several players of Trinidad swallowed.
Trinidad answers with an anthem supported by countless drums on the stands, and England shares a similar moment. This is the world cup, and considering their draw against Sweden. Trinidad has paid the ante to be here.
"What will a Trinidadian anthem be without steel drums," says the commentator.
"The players are promised specially aged rum, if they win the game," he says. I remember a colleague of work telling me how much the English players are paid, it is a lot.
A few minutes in the game Beckham shows his performance in the first game was not a freak event. However, the shot of the free kick curves too much of target. He needs his accuracy.
"I am very surprised that England cannot create more pressure on Trinidad," says the commentator, while Trinidad takes a free kick, about 20 meters from the English goal. Trinidad lacks precision, and the ball goes three feet wide of the left post.
England counters, and follows the advice of the commentator. The crowd loves it. So do I.
Trinidad shows they have a right to dream, and hold on. You have to love that too.
England rides on the chants out of the crowd and claims the ball, tormenting the goal of Trinidad.
Still they hold on. In the 34th minute Trinidad stopped the heartbeat of many English fans, and gave it to the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
Trinidad curves a corner to the far post. The header of the striker puts it three feet wide, but better aim would have put the ball into the net. England is losing control.
The steel drums sometimes make it out above the sound barrier produced by the English fans.
England regroups, and creates potential lethal chances. They stay only potentially dangerous. Lampard volleys a ball meters over the crossbar, from the penalty box, in front of open goal.
In the last minutes of the first half England escapes drama through the eye of a needle. A player of England volleys the ball, with a near bicycle kick, of his own goal line. He denies the dream to Trinidad, surely the queen is going to knight this guy.

The first half leaves the game scoreless.
The second half starts with a yellow card for the keeper of Trinidad, for time wasting. Maybe an unnecessary effort, England cannot organize themselves.
“Have not seen Owen much the last couple of games,” says the commentator, trying to find somebody to blame.
“I hear the drums of Trinidad, and nothing of the English fans.”
Trinidad is fueled, and is able to take some shots.
Beckham brings football nearly closer to home with a well-placed curveball from a free kick, 30 meters out. Owen lacks the speed to make it in time to the spot were the header should come from, he miss the ball. In the 58 minute he pays the price, Sven replaces Owen for Rooney. The crowds awakes. This change of players might bring Sven back in the hearts of the English, or, if this goes wrong, forever break the love between them.
“Could be an absolute shocker, developing here,” says the commentator in twenty minutes into the second half.
If Trinidad can hold on, he would be more then right. Moreover, Trinidad deserves to dream. They hold of a strong experienced English team, while they counter unexpected. Although a win for England would mean entering round two, a draw will get them with one foot in. And a somewhat shocked England still can join the Trinidad in celebration.
Nevertheless, the carnival in Trinidad and Tobago is canceled in the 86th minute.
“A dynamite cross,” calls the commentator another curved cross from Beckham. Crouch, not Rooney, does what Owen could not, and heads the ball in the net.


Trinidad dream is crushed, but not their pride. The man of Trinidad and Tobago gave the English hell. But moments later, England puts foot on the pride of Trinidad and Tobago too. Gerard, in stoppage time, fires the ball for the second time into the goal of Trinidad and Tobago.


Trinidad is in tears. They still have a chance for round two, but at the moment, it will give not much comfort to most of the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
Symbolically the ball goes in the English goal, a minute before time, but the play was made after the referee blew his whistle. And he blows it again, seconds later, to put the dream of Trinidad on life support, and bring football closer to England. “Football is coming home,” chants the crowd.