africa week 4: part 2
still sick today, but getting better. pretty much did nothing today. I’m still sort of on vacation since Matthew is on vacation. this morning was semi-productive. I unpacked, did some laundry, and cleaned up my room a bit. and then I watched “lady in the water” which I hadn’t seen before and liked. nothing like a good movie to take you away.
well, we’re halfway through our trip. but it sure seems like more than that. after about another week of work, we are planning on doing some serious traveling. Stephanie gave her last week’s notice for next week, and I will soon too. hopefully our last minute planning will take us to cool places.
watched the Ghana/uruguay game at a local bar called east Africa pub. despite being drunk out of their wits, there was obvious excitement in the air among the locals.
this was a huge huge game for Ghana. if they won, they would be the first African team to reach the quarter finals of the world cup. not only that, they were africa’s last hope. so put that all together, first ever world cup in the continent of Africa, the last African team left, and the chance to be the most successful African team ever. no pressure, Ghana.
recap. the match was nil - nil until Ghana scored a desperation goal at the very last second of the half. uruguay evened the score in the second half. yet again, at the very last second of the match, Ghana was awarded a penalty kick to clinch a win.
buzzer beaters are very very rare in soccer. in fact, you can’t really call them buzzer beaters because nobody but the head referee knows the exact time the game will end. so you really don’t know it’s a buzzer beater until after the play, and the referee officially decides it is the final play. I’m no soccer historian, but I’ve personally never seen one before, not even on espn. this game had 2.
this penalty kick was a potential buzzer beater. in their first 3 matches, Ghana had scored all their goals from penalty kicks. they made it this far because of their success in these opportunities. the poor guy missed it high off the goal post. this was without question the most important play in the history of Africa, the match was practically gift wrapped, and he missed it. what a heart breaker. after the match, my friend Valerie overheard someone say, “see you in 4 years if we all haven’t died from AIDS yet”.
in all fairness, the game ended in a shootout where the uruguay goalie saved the day. but the thing that will be remembered most will be the missed go-ahead penalty shot. and I will never forget being here when it happened.