Sunday, 27 June 2010

200 Words on Slovakia v. Italy

When Pandora opened her pithos, she released all the evil spirits of the world, leaving Hope trapped inside. The joy of Slovakia's fans was extinguished and replaced with disappointment when their team conceded a goal in the dying seconds of their first-ever World Cup game. Agony continued against Paraguay - even if La Albirroja played without their goalkeeper, they would still win 2-1.

Despair took over - fan forums were filled with posts, posts were filled with anger. Slovakia's presence at the World Cup was described as a matter of pure luck, Weiss's coaching skills were questioned, many players labelled as hopeless. Weiss's outburst of rage lead him to swear at Slovak journalists.

Pandora must have reopened her pithos on Thursday and it certainly contained more than just Hope. Most match reports focused on Italy's shambolic play, overshadowing their opponent's performance. Slovakia delivered played like a real team. Rookie Kucka was one of the best players on the pitch; veteran Štrba kept playing despite suffering a knee injury which later on required twelve stitches; the often-criticized striker Vittek scored two goals. It was a moment of great pride for every Slovak - those, who made it happen, deserve one big "ďakujem".
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