I will be the first to admit, that I am not a huge European Football (or Soccer) fan, but I do enjoy watching games of interest. I enjoy the World Cup, the Olympics, and also some European and Latin American league games. Mostly, because I find the skill level to be much better which to me, makes the games more interesting. Since watching my friends play in college, I have not attended many soccer games other than a few Columbus Crew (MLS) games, which I attended mostly to drink a few beers.
I do not agree with several aspects of the game, most notably the offsides rule (results in low scoring games) and also how player’s often times pretend to be hurt to try to get a foul call. It is impossible to be on the ground for 5 minutes and then just get up and continue playing. I was brought up playing basketball for coaches where if you were hurt, you had to get off the court quickly so the game can keep playing. Since being in Brazil, I have seen many soccer games on tv, attending the games of the great "Bernardo" at the SPAC (see yesterdays blog post), and do hope to attend a local progressional game before heading back to the U.S.
However, this game, was a game of large importance to the company I am working with in Sao Paulo, Tecno Logys. The Founder and CEO, Valerio, roots for the team from his home state, Internacional. What seems like the rest of the company, roots for the popular Corinthians, located here in Sao Paulo.
As the game was being broadcast in Portguese, I had no idea what the announcers were saying. Therefore, I decided to make my own commentary for the match. I have also included some relevant media/videos for your enjoyment.
5 minutes - Corinthians has dominated the ball possession thus far but Internacional had the first breakaway opportunity. The lob pass was too far and the goalie intercepted the play.
8 minutes – Corinthians comes right back at Internacional and puts a shot on goal. My early thoughts are that Corinthians appear to have a stronger attack formation and control the ball very well.
9 minutes - The first corner kick comes as again, the Corinthians are pushing the pace of the play.
12 minutes – Internacional pushes the ball down the other way and with some brilliant footwork, get the ball into the box but the forward makes a mistake and loses the ball out of bounds. Tough luck there as that looked to be a sure goal.
17 minutes – Corinthians continue their assault and have a free kick near the left side of the box, but the goalie makes a great read to end the rally.
18 minutes – Internacional comes right back down the field in the flash of an eye to put a shot on goal with another great display of ball handling and footwork. The shot goes wide and Corinthians are back in possession.
22 minutes – There is a sea of red chanting something in Portuguese as they react to a call by the referee. I wish I knew Portuguese because I am sure it is not friendly words.
25 minutes – Internacional is building momentum with their attacks and has another shot go wide right.
27 minutes – WOW, what a great attack that comes up again just wide right for Internacional. The crowd is going crazy with air horns, chants, and waving their red flags.
28 minutes – A corner kick is deflected out of bounds by Corinthians so another corner is coming. The second corner is a bit of the mark and a long shot is caught by the goalie.
29 minutes – Another ferocious attack from Internacional with the left footed shot slamming off the goalie and heading out of bounds. Yet another corner is played by Internacional but again comes up unable to capitalize.
32 minutes – Another shot on goal by Internacional coming from a long range powerful kick that bent back in toward the goal but missing just wide. He almost "Bent it like Beckham".
33 minutes- Corinthians pushes it back the other way in a hurry and have a great opportunity to put a shot on goal, except their striker falls down. The instant replay shows he trys to draw a foul and is given the yellow card for faking it.
35 minutes – A Corinthians forward falls to the ground after some light contact and it appears that he is dying. This is what I was talking about earlier . If you want another example, it’s similar to what LeBron James does everytime he drives to the basket and misses the shot.
38 minutes – Fancy footwork comes up short for Internacional once again as the ball tickles out of bounds.
40 minutes – The game is tied, 0-0. Explosive scoring today in today’s match.
40 minutes – Corinthians get back on the attacking end of the game and press the defense and are awarded a corner.
41 minutes - The corner is defended well and as Internacional heads back the other way the matches first red card to a Corinthians player for a “tackle”.
42 minutes – Play slows with some exchanges out of bounds. The camera crews scan the Corinthians crowd, outfitted in their customary black and white colors.
44 minutes – Two players go for a header and an Internacional player ends up on the ground screaming in agony. The replay shows a brutal collision with the player’s head getting snapped back into the ground. They bring out a cart and take him to the locker room. This guy is actually hurt and I hope he is okay.
45 minutes – We are now in stoppage time with Internacional again trying to mount one last attack on goal in the half.
Halftime – After two minutes of stoppage time, it’s the half. Score is still 0-0. Both of these teams coud use the young star "Bernardo"
2 minutes - Second Half begins the same way the match started. Corinthians on the attack.
4 minutes – Internacional controls the rock and begins mounting their attack. Yes I realized I just used a basketball term in a soccer reference.
9 minutes – Just as I was about to lose interest in the game, the Corinthians pushed an attack and with a beautiful cross, the striker put a header toward the far corner of the goal. The Internacional goalie made a terrific save.
11 minutes – Internacional back down the field, a great lob shot and the forward goes to put it into the goal and the goalie comes out and tackles him. Surprising no call on that exchange and the goalie is down. Here comes the medical staff.
15 minutes – Internacional has taken over the pace of the game and is controlling the ball. The Corinthians backfield defense is stellar and not allowing any good looks at a shot.
19 minutes – A breakaway opportunity is negated by a hand ball as the striker tried to corral the ball with his chest.
21 minutes – Another great defensive stand from Corinthians results in a clear out.
22 minutes- GOLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!! A brilliant cross and header puts the home team up 1-0.
23 minutes – Corinthians come right back at the home team and control the ball near the box. A large collision results in another player down on the ground wincing in pain. He appears to be ok after taking two minutes to get up.
25 minutes – Sounds coming from the crowd are reminiscent of a large terydactyl.
26 minutes – A great opportunity for Corinthians comes up short as the Internacional defender clears the ball.
27 minutes – A foul on Internacional as Corinthians pushed the attack. A free kick from just outside the front of the box is coming. This could tie the game up right here.
28 minutes – A well played ball, which appears to be deflected off the hand of an Internacional defender, no call and we head back the other way.
30 minutes – There appears to be a bit of urgency by the Corinthians, they push the pace of play even harder with only 15 minutes remaining.
31 minutes – The Corinthians striker appeared to have a clear path to the goal but lost the ball ending the opportunity.
32 minutes – Internacional goes right back down the field and had a breakaway but the opposite field striker is called for offside. Again, a rule that makes no sense.
33 minutes – Yet another player carted off the field. I am sure he will be back in about 5 minutes.
35 minutes – Fresh legs into the match for Internacional and it immediately plays dividends. Free kick from the right side of the field. Great play by the defender to knock the ball away. A corner coming.
36 minutes – The corner kick is misplayed and is pushed the other way by Corinthians.
37 minutes – Internacional steals the ball and two touch passes and a deflection out of bounds, is awarded a corner kick.
38 minutes – Internacional continues to push and the shot on goal is caught by the goalie.
40 minutes – Free kick for Corinthians after a foul is well played but is knocked away by Internacional.
41 minutes – Another corner for Internacional, the kick is long and well played by the goalie.
42 minutes – With only 3 minutes remaining, the home team appears to be stalling a bit with taking the ball out of bounds trying to take up the time.
43 minutes – Corinthians pushed the ball into the zone and a tackle by Internacional results in a yellow card. That’s his second, which is a red card. He’s headed to the bench.
44 minutes – After the bad foul, Corinthians have a free kick from straight away. This smells like trouble.
44 minutes – GOLLLLL!!!! The goalie misplays the ball and it winds up in the corner of the net. We are all tied up with 1 minute to play.
45 minutes – The teams look like they are playing for the overtime session. The broadcasters announce we have approximately three minutes of stoppage time.
47 minutes – Another free kick for Corinthians, this time to the left of the box. The kick is well played and the header is caught by the goalie.
We are headed for Overtime.
Actually, it appears the game is over. Apparently I don’t know the rules, I am pretty sure in the U.S. it goes to Overtime.
The fans are awesome, however at the end of the game the Corinthians were happy while the Internacional fans headed for the exits after giving up a goal in the last minute to end in a tie.
And that is all she wrote folks, Internacional controlled the game until the last minutes allowing a late goal to end the game in a 1-1 draw. After 90+ minutes of soccer, it ends in a tie. Another thing I don’t understand from my American viewpoint. All games should either be won or lost, there should be no ties! The good thing about the tie is that at work this week, Valerio, the Internacional fan, and the other 99% of Tecno Logys who are Corinthians fans, will all be in good spirits after good showings from their teams. I hope you enjoyed my broadcasting because it will be the last time I do it, despite really enjoying the game. Time to turn on the NFL ames being shown on ESPN International that is in Portuguese. I don’t understand the words, but I do understand the rules. But I will admit, this soccer sport is starting to grow on me.