Thursday, June 29, 2006

last 16

... and now my rantings on the second round of the WC.

Germany deserved every bit of their 2-0 victory over Sweden. They're taking their promise to the world that they're now a force to be reckoned very, very seriously, and are a treat to watch.

Argentina and Mexico nearly gave me a major heart arrest with their psychotic performance. While I truly respect Mexico for their obvious improvements since that shameful game against Italy the last time (you know, the got-the-lucky-goal-so-let's-just-play-it-safe-for-the-rest-of-the-match-by-passing-the-ball-amongst-ourselves-in-our-half, sheesh!), I am even more elated that my favourite team has gone through.

England put me to sleep yet again with their oh-so-bosan display against Ecuador, but gotta admit that my hubby's free kick was a pure beauty.

Portugal and Netherlands, well what can I say? 16 yellow cards+4 red cards (tourney record so far, me reckons)=overflow of drama! Not gonna take any sides 'cause both were equally dirty.

Now, I've said this before and am gonna shout it again: THE REFS AT THIS TOURNEY SUCK! And no other game so far exemplifies this than the Italy-Australia clash. The red that caused Italy to have only 10 men was uncalled for. But more blatantly unjust was the 93rd-minute penalty awarded to the Azzurri, when it was clear that Fabio Grosso's tumble over Lucas Neill was no fault of the Aussie defender. I'm not saying that Australia deserved to win that match more than the Italians. I mean, so what if the former were more resilient, right? What I am saying is that the Socceroos definitely didn't deserve to lose in such a shocking manner. Boo.

Can't comment much on Switzerland vs Ukraine, because I didn't even bother watching this one. Which is mightaswell, since reviews said that it was a blah affair.

Happy to see that Brazil is getting their act together, upping their football levels a notch since their lacklustre 1st-round showing, but it was sad to see Ghana perish so easily after they impressively demolished the Czech Republic. Even sadder was them being so persistent with the (so-called) offside traps. Hello? Your opponents are only the five-time world champs. Of course they're not gonna fall for your lame tricks!

And finally, it's disappointing to see Spain add another chapter to their long history of underachieving as a national team. With that much talent, it's almost pathetic, really. All said and done regarding the French, I'm glad to see them coming on form only for sentimental reasons--it is Zidane's final competitive tournament, after all.

Tomorrow is Germany-Argentina. I sure hope and pray that the referees will not live up to their bad reputation of biasness. Come on-lah, ref, it really isn't that hard. You just gotta let the football do the talking.

Monday, June 19, 2006

totally super

The 6-0 goalfest for Argentina/thrashing of Serbia & Montenegro was especially twinkling in my list—as well as Diego Maradona’s, who couldn’t contain his euphoria—of wonders, being that I am part Argentine (for serious). Each of the goals from Esteban Cambiasso (31st minute), Hernán Crespo(78'), Carlos Tevez (84'), Lionel Messi (88') as well as the double from Maxi Rodríguez (6’ & 41’) spelt sheer skill, talent and tactical greatness. Of course, the competitor part of me couldn’t help feeling deeply sorry for the Serbs for their humiliating defeat. How could I not, since we’re talking about a team which, in their whole World Cup 2006 campaign, only conceded ONE goal. Tsk tsk.

Of course, there was the shocking 2-0 demolition of the #2 FIFA ranked Czech Republic courtesy of Ghana. Ghana! The unlikely debutants whopping the asses of one of the biggest footballing forces of the world, simultaneously recording an impressive first win for an African nation at Germany’06. Great stuff.

Then there’s the amazing sweeping header by Alberto Gilardino, which gave Italy a short-lived lead over a determined-to-overcome-their-pathetic-0-3-start USA side. Before long, the Americans managed to level but not without the help of opposing defender, Cristian Zaccardo. And within 60 seconds of that bizarre own goal, the Azzurri found themselves one man short when Daniele De Rossi viciously tore open Brian McBride’s face with his elbow. USA followed suit—twice within a period of two minutes—and so it was 10 men in blue vs 9 men in white. Not to forget the controversial disallowed goal that almost gave the USA the three points they so desperately wanted. Phew! Such a huge dose of drama in just one football game, innit.

Brazil disappointed yet again with a mediocre performance. They were made to work very, very hard by Australia, who continued their brilliant display. To be fair to the Samba Kings, Mark Schwarzer was tested many a time, plus fantastic shots that were denied by the Australian woodwork. Having said that, however, the Socceroos also made sure to give Dida and his defenders major scares. In the end, experience prevailed over perseverance, and it was the yellow sea of Brazil that were celebrating the 2-0 result.

As for France, well, Thierry Henry gifted his sorry-looking team with a superb 8th-minute finishing, ending a long World Cup goal drought since Emmanuel Petit’s successful strike at France’98. Disappointingly, Les Bleus carelessly allowed Park Ji-Sung’s hard work to convert into a goal, ending the night with a 1-1 draw. Boo France, hooray Red Devils! (Btw for you less learned lot out there, Manchester United and South Korea national football team—both of which Park plays for—are associated with this same nickname. Talk about amazing coincidences, huh.)

What a wonderful weekend it was for footie lovers, indeed.

Friday, June 16, 2006

cannot kongsi raya?

The Ulama Conference 2006 committee chairman said on Tuesday that the gomen should review “kongsi raya” celebs and open houses. Why? Because apparently, this concept is in danger of contradicting Islam and its beliefs.

The Star reported that “the ulama’s ruling followed the National Fatwa Committee’s decision that celebrating the festivals of other religions could erode the faith of Muslims and lead to blasphemy.”

Okay, first and foremost, I’m not even sure that Datuk Seri Harussani Zakaria was correctly quoted, given the biased nature of our press.

But, if whatever the papers have reported is true, then shame on you, Datuk Seri. Because thanks to you and like individuals, Muslims the world over are suffering the nasty consequences. Jeered for supposedly being closed-minded. And, worse still, tortured for supposedly being uncompromising in our ways.

Don’t get me wrong. I truly and utterly respect the rules of our religion. That we should steer clear of things that are syirik, like practicing black magic, believing in horoscopes, and attending Sunday school. These would shake our faith, yes.

But throwing “kongsi raya” activities in a country which prides itself of its muhibbah nation--God forbid!? I truly doubt so.

Having said that, however, I do have reservations about Muslims taking advantage of religious celebrations to party the night away. You want to go clubbing? Fine. You want to drink? It's your prerogative. But please don't lift those alcoholic beverages and say "cheers" to celebrate Hari Raya. Or cite "Bismillah" when you're breaking fast... with beer.

It is these kinds of display that are giving the ulama a cause for worry when it comes to us more liberal Muslims.

Anyways, I slightly digress. The point I was trying to make is that there's nothing blasphemous with "kongsi raya," as long as no religious taboos are committed.

After all, sharing is caring innit.

day 8

England did an Australia. After a lacklustre 84-or-so minutes against a pumped-up Trinidad & Tobago side, Crouchie and Stevie G proved what exactly they're made of dangerously late in the game, when they scored a goal each for their country.

And my star of the night? Darling Beckham, who kept producing those beautiful bending balls that he's so famed for. Eh, I'm not saying this just because he's my hubby (yes, people, Posh is his second wife). But I reckon amongst a sea of bland English footballers last night, their el kapitan was the one who kept it alive for them.

I would also give snaps to Spurs's Aaron Lennon, whose fresh legs gave his team fresh hopes in the second half. And Rooney? Yeah, he played. Yeah, he did give England that sting that was so badly needed. But of course, since he's freshly recovered, he only managed to cause tiny problems to the opposition. In any case, welcome back, Wayne.

And tonight? Looks like I won't be getting any quality shut-eye. Just look lah at the fixtures...

Psychotic, innit.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

day 6

Spain made me a very happy camper when they blasted four goals to the back of Ukraine’s net last night. Only thing, though, this win was marred by am imbecilic move by the ref, who flashed a red to a truly undeserving Vladislav Vashchuk. Undeserving, I say, because the mild shirt-tugging happened outside the box. Plus, Fernando Torres didn’t even fall down. At most, it was a yellow card, for serious. Bad referee, bad bad bad.

Deeper into the night, I was delighted to be proven wrong. Silly me thought that the Saudi Arabia-Tunisia face-off would just cause yawns. How wrong was I! Both sides showed great skills, grit, and perseverance. Enough to make a 1-0-at-halftime match turn into a pumping 2-all draw at FT. Purely exhilarating stuff!

Anyways, round 2 of the group stage kicked off last night, with Germany pulling a late winner against bitter rivals Poland, who failed to get any goals in. And tonight, England will meet Trinidad & Tobago. Over in Germany, the kick-off will be while the sun is still up, and thus I bid Eriksson’s boys the best of luck as they’re going against a Caribbean side that’s unfazed by extreme heat.

By the way, it seems we might be able to catch Wonderful Wayne in ball-kicking action tonight. Sven has declared the young striker as “match fit” for tonight, defying the his team’s fitness coach’s opinion that it will be another week before Rooney is fully fit.

While I can’t wait to see Man U’s golden boy terrorise on the pitch, I reckon his national team coach is being ultimately careless and selfish about this. I mean, it will take only a slight trip for Rooney to get himself back in a rut (god forbid).

But worse, what if he kena kaw-kaw? It could mean he might never be able to kick a ball again.
And that, ladies and gents, would be a downright dirty shame indeed.

If that were to happen, the people of the world had better find shelter, because few is greater than The Wrath of The Sir…

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

senyum kangaru

Australia kicked-off their World Cup campaign with a brilliant albeit chilling start last night, winning 3-1 over Asian football bigwigs, Japan.

The Japs, who secured a debatable goal in the 26th minute thanks to Shunsuke Nakamura, had their fans’ cheers and celebrations rudely truncated when they were careless to let one pass in the last 6 minutes of the game.

Obviously shaken and stirred, they allowed a second goal from Everton’s Tim Cahill just five minutes later. And disappointingly, yet another hit the back of the Japanese net courtesy of John Aloisi in the 92nd minute.

Granted, the Aussies seriously deserved their goals—hey, they had at least triple amounts of shots as compared to their opponents—but the Japs played really well. And elated as I am that my underdog Socceroos escaped with kangaroo smiles (OZ! OZ! OZ! Oi! Oi! Oi!), I’m also disappointed that the Japs were defeated in such a manner.

Oh, well. Can’t wait to see both sides facing-off against defending champs Brazil. For those who’re equally as interested, here are the fixtures for those games:
BRAZIL vs AUSTRALIA Monday, June 19 @ 00:00
JAPAN vs BRAZIL Friday, June 23 @ 03:00

Friday, June 09, 2006

wise words

"It’s not always rainbows and butterflies
It’s compromise that moves us along"

-- Maroon 5

Thursday, June 08, 2006

36 hours

... away to the first match of this year's World Cup, woohoo!

For the benefit of my gila bola readers, here're the kick-off times for this weekend's fixtures:
Sat, 10 June

Sun, 11 June

Mon, 12 June
00:00 MEXICO vs IRAN

Click here for full listings. Note that all hours reflected in there are in UK time. Add 7 hours to convert to local time.
Oh by the way, it's been reported that Rooney was all smiles after leaving the hospital in Manchester yesterday. Let's keep our fingers crossed that this means we'll be seeing the young lad in action soon enough!

Monday, June 05, 2006

living by your own words

"Guilt is a strong emotion, to those that feel it. It's a potent learning experience and helps you stop repeating otherwise damaging overt anti-social behaviour if continued would definitely lead to ostracism, or worse.

I suppose when you are younger and don't have as deep an understanding of that there are repercussions to your actions that will affect others or yourself, if not now that most definitely later. Guilt is the realisation that such repercussions could have been avoided only if you hadn't screwed about half as much.

Realisation is such a strong word, which I believe many do not exhibit or experience enough in this world. People have a tendency to act and not care, not realise that they could have hurt someone or in fact just did.

This realisation, if taken positively, builds the foundation of supporting experiences necessary to live a happier life removed from avoidable bad experiences, because, well, you learned to avoid them by not doing them in the first place."
You know, you ought to remember your own words and live by them. perhaps then and only then will you stop hurting others with your "unthinking" actions.

Because you know, a heart that has been shattered time and time again, might be left with little strength to ever heal completely...

kau hancurkan hatiku

ku katakan dengan indah
dengan terbuka
hatiku hampa
seperti nya luka

kau beri rasa yang berbeda
mungkin ku salah
yang ku rasa cinta

tetapi hatiku selalu meninggikanmu
terlalu meninggikanmu
selalu meninggikanmu

kau hancurkan hatiku, hancurkan lagi
kau hancurkan hatiku 'tuk melihatmu
kau terangi jiwaku, kau redupkan lagi
kau hancurkan hatiku 'tuk melihatmu

membuatku terjatuh dan terjatuh lagi
membuatku merasakan yang tak terjadi
semua yang terbaik dan yang terlewati
semua yang terhenti tanpa ku akhiri

-- peterpan

ada apa denganmu?

sudah, lupakan semua
segala berubah
dan kita terlupa
dan kita terluka

dan aku, sifatku
dan aku, khilafku
dan aku, cintaku
dan aku, rinduku

ku tanya malam dapatkah kau lihatnya
perbedaan yg tak terungkapkan
tapi mengapa kau tak berubah
ada apa denganmu?

hanya malam dapat meleburkan
segala rasa yang tak terungkapkan
tapi mengapa kau tak berubah
ada apa denganmu?

-- peterpan

back in the saddle again

Last Saturday, my all-ladies futsal team were in full tourney action after being inactive for a few months. And by inactive, I don’t just mean zero participations in tournaments. I mean, not even trainings. And, worst of all, for some of us no futsal whatsoever for over a month!

Anyways, gotta say that I had a really great time as we went into it with little expectations of winning (read: no pressure), but ended up earning the fourth spot… so, yay!

The bigger shock was us walking away with medals, big tins of MILO each as well as 500 buckeroos! Not bad for an invitational tourney with zilch registration fees, huh.

(This, just when our funds are running thin… alhamdulillah.)

Anywho, I’d like to say a big, fat muchas gracias to our lovely guest players: Chris (Jujubabez), Wann (Crony FC) & Zue (Just Daisies). It was a dream come true for me to kick balls with you girls, particularly Zue as I’ve always wanted to play alongside your talent.

Speaking of being elated, I was also pleasantly surprised that my team mate with the most powderful shot--but somehow tourney-shy, tsk tsk--finally come out of her shell. Cam ya INDAH GILAK bah main, baby dayak… Iboh lupa: “Agik idup agik ngelaban,” hehe :)


Friday, June 02, 2006

brangelina & gwengavin

Last Friday, my favourite funk-ay lay-day Gwen gave birth to a bouncing baby boy. Elated for Mrs Gavin Rossdale!

What I’m not too hot about, however, is his name: Kingston James McGregor Rossdale. I mean, come on. Kingston? So what would be his nickname, King? Ton? Stone?

But Gwen & Gavin ain't got nothin' on the entity widely known as Brangelina. Their baby girl, who also arrived last week, was christened Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt. I really don’t know what’s worse there. A first name that sounds like a Namibian house pet, or a surname that’s nothing short of snicker-worthy.

I tell you, these Hollywood peeps are so hungry for so-called “originality,” they overlook blatant stupidity, innit.

Jolie-Pitt! Jolly pitt! Jolly armpits! Nyeh nyeh nyeh nyeh nyeh nyeh nyehhh…

Thursday, June 01, 2006

¡¡¡hola, hola, hola junio!!!

June's finally here! Meaning, it's just days away till I get to stuff meself silly with shot after shot after shot after shot (pun fully intended) of footie fixes, awh-yeah!!!