Saturday, June 24, 2006

Mexico stumbled to round two, while Argentina stormed to it straight out of the fence. Earlier today, we saw how a German train ran over a shaky contestant. Will Mexico be able to what Sweden could not, and stop a freight train?
Mexico takes the kick off, and sends the ball high into the Argentinean penalty box. A defender clears it for the first corner kick. An Argentinean defender deflects the header, over the crossbar. Mexico starts blazing.
Argentina counters but underestimates the Mexican defense, they take the ball from the dribbling Argentinean striker, on the edge of the box.
In the fifth minute, Mexico rocks the world. A high ball to the edge of the Argentinean penalty box is extended to the other edge. A Mexican striker receives, looks, and fires. The ball shoots into the top right.


The television shows the people in Mexico City break out the champagne, in masses.
A surprised Argentina sharpens up their game. They take a free kick, from thirty meters. The ball is deflected of the Mexican wall for a corner. The corner is deflected, for another corner. This time an Argentinean striker stretches his leg to the ball, while a Mexican defender stretches his head to the ball. Either the Argentinean leg or the Mexican head made contact with the ball. Even on the repeat, it is unclear who should get the credit.
Nevertheless the ball disappears again in the top right, this time in the Mexican top right.


Mexico is startled and the match finds equilibrium, the game moves to the midfield.
In the twenty-second minute, An Argentinean striker lobs the ball over the defense, ten meters of the Argentinean goal. His teammate beats the offside trap and lobs the ball over the Mexican keeper. To his relieve, the ball bounces two feet wide of the right goal post.
Mexico answers with a long range shot of twenty-five metes, which the Argentinean keeper taps over the crossbar. The teams are more creative and the match bounces from counter to counter. It is a miracle neither country cannot put a second goal on the scoreboard, before the halftime.
The second half starts slow. Mexico breaks the ice in the fifty-third minute.
"What a great ball to the back post," shouts the commentator, while the Argentinean keeper blocks the flick-through shot from close range.
Mexican does an excellent job holding down the Argentineans, challenging possession, limiting passes, and blocking shots.
In the fifty-six minute, the keeper of Mexico taps a hard strike over the crossbar.
"The best save of Sanchez so far," says the commentator.
Minutes later, he makes another one. He dives, and as if he is pitching a baseball in mid air, he throws his right arm at the oncoming ball, punching it next to the goal.
"The noise in this stadium is deafening," says the commentator, while Mexico successfully traps Argentina offside.
Argentina throws in their secret weapon in the eight-third minute. The coach sends the nineteen-year-old birthday-boy, Messi in the match.
"Messi draws four players to defend him," shouts the commentator while Messi already has his foot on the ball.
Second before the end of stoppage time, Messi puts the ball into the Mexican net. The linesman saw him offside, and the game goes to overtime.
It takes eight minutes for Argentina to breach the balance. Rodriguez, for Argentina, accepts a high ball on his chest, dropping it for a volley.


"An unbelievable strike," shouts the commentator. "What a fantastic effort."
Last world cup this would be it, a golden goal, the end of the match. Today in Germany, we play the full two times fifteen minutes, like the old times.
Two minutes into the second half of overtime, Mexico pauses the Argentinean party. A Mexican striker beats the defense and the keeper. He rolls the ball over the pitch, only to miss the equalizer by two feet.
Messi shows he is going to be the next Maradonna, he out dribbles three defenders and passes the ball through traffic to a fellow striker. No shot follows because the referee whistles for offside. However, the Argentinean train seems to have a driver.
Mexico threatens to derail the train until the end whistle, nevertheless Argentina holds score. Mexico cries, while Argentina moves on to clash with another freight train. Argentina plays the Germany in the quarterfinal.