Tuesday, June 11, 2002
Senegal qualify for next phase after an amazing game against Uruguay. After being 3-0 down Uruguay pulled it back to 3-3 and then contrived to miss the easiest chance of the game. Very good news, potentially, for England. As well as Senegal have done surely they have reached the limit of their ambition.
Ireland also qualify ,having scored 3 goals against a lively a but useless Saudi Arabia. This is the first time that Ireland have scored more than 1 goal in any world cup. My countrymen appear to have gone batty over the Ireland achievment. I don't get it, and I speak as one who only ever knew Irish people when I was growing up. Every last one of them would first cheer loudly, then piss themselves laughing, if Nigeria beat England tomorrow . I don't mind that they are through, and I am pleased for all my old Irish friends, but really, I couldn't care less.
The big news of the day is Denmark beating France, thus speeding them towards the departure lounge. Many words will be written about the demise of France, I have never felt they are as good as their record suggests , and while the early departure is a surprise, the fact that they achieved little isn't. A large slice of humble pie never hurt anyone.
Germany, having lost the plot, and being lucky not to have lost 2 goals in the first half, eventually overcame Cameroon and go through. Unlike Portugal and England though, they do not appear to have improved much. They won't go much further.