Last night the Spain-Belgium
soccerfútbol game was on tv. I watched about thirty minutes of it before deciding that it was late and I needed to get to bed if I was going to get up for my 8:30 bookbinding class (conclusion in that regard: close soccer games are too exciting to watch before bed; I don’t go to sleep). I like watching good soccer. I don’t really understand it, not in the knowing-the-rules and following-the-refs sort of way that I understand field hockey and fencing, but it makes a lot more sense to me that American football or baseball.
Analysis of team play:
Spain has a really solid passing game and good footwork. Also, their communication is pretty amazing; they kept slipping the ball right to each other through tight openings, with either a really good sense of where the rest of the team was, or where the ball was going, or both. Catherine would have kissed them. Actually, I’d be willing to bet that Catherine would have been willing to kiss several of them even if they hadn’t been exemplifying her favorite method of play.
Belgium plays very defensively. They seemed to have almost a wall of defense, and while Spain moved the ball up the field, they weren’t getting past the defense, and they needed three or five passes sideways or back for every move forward. They were also had really good control of the ball in the air; whenever Spain tired of working the ball on the ground and tried to loft it into the box, the Belgium defense headed it back out again almost always to one of their players and often halfway back down the field.
Spain’s weakness was Belgium’s other strength: the breakaway. Spain’s defense, while good, didn’t have quite the same solidity as Belgium’s possibly because most of the team was up working the ball or being a passing option, unlike Belgium’s defense which was entirely concentrated on blocking the ball. But Spain’s ball control was good, and Belgium didn’t often get the chance. However, while Spain dominated the ball a lot, they had difficulty getting the ball into the box.
At first I thought that Spain also needed to stop falling down and taking Belgium players with them, because it got them carded and they lost possession, and then I realized that it was raining pretty hard. And then I remembered that there had been a report yesterday morning about the field being a swampy mess, and I instead became very impressed that people were staying up as well as they were.
I didn’t see any goals, but there were some notable plays. Spain had one amazing save where the goalie was out of the goal completely, and it looked like a sure Belgium point, and then a defender flew out of nowhere to block the ball.
There was one point where I was very confused that it wasn’t a Belgium goal; two Belgium players made an incredible breakaway; it was just them vs. the Spain goalie. And the goalie went for the ball and wound up down, outside the box (not the little box around the goal; the big box around the goal), so that the Belgium player had a clear shot, which he of course made. The internet tells me that the ref called it as off-sides, which video proved that it wasn’t. The fact that off-sides is a rule we don’t have in field hockey, and it wasn’t actually off-sides, anyway, explains my confusion.
How long are these games, anyway?
If Ivan (one of Pepi’s sons) had been here, I could have discussed the game with him (Ivan is a big-time fútbol aficionado), but since Pepi and Ana don’t actually care, and since my sports vocabulary is limited to, “ball, goal, game, team, and player,” I figured that I would ramble about it here, instead.
I did not get nearly enough sleep last night. I did go to bed at 10:30, but got up again at 11:30 since I hadn’t fallen asleep yet and didn’t seem likely to in the near future. And then I got up at 7:45 this morning to go to my bookbinding class. Speaking of which, I did not fold any more paper today; I put the folded sheets into nested sets of four, and got them all to line up properly with no gaps at the folded bit (and did that take a while!), pressed my stacks of pages, measured the spots for the cords and the sewing, and sawed holes in the pages for cords. Yes, sawed; after pressing my pages, we put them in a vise and sawed four ridges along the spine. Only we did that part wrong; the teacher delegated a more advanced student to look after Rachel (one of the other PRESHCO girls showed up today) and I when she went on her break, and he thought we were doing a different kind of binding. I was aware that what he was telling me to do/doing to my set of pages was not what the teacher had told us to do, but he didn’t listen or didn’t understand when I tried to tell him that I was pretty sure that we we just supposed to put cords in the two middle holes, and the end holes were only for thread. Apparently the critical word was sew; when he questioned Rachel and she mentioned sewing he realized that he had told me the wrong thing. However, I’m not sure that it would even have helped if I’d talked of sewing; he seemed to be under the impression that my Spanish was as nonexistent as his English, and my comments seemed to receive more of a, “Oh, isn’t that nice, it’s learned tricks!” response than any actual attention. But my book isn’t ruined, it’s just not as good as it would otherwise be, and as the teacher said when she got back, it’s just my first book. I’m pretty sure that I did it pretty well the first time, before he “fixed” it for me, though.
I forgot to mention that there’s yet another beverage on the List of Alcohol that Miriam Doesn’t Like; a few weeks ago I tried a sip of almond liquor. I imagine that drinking almond extract would be a similar experience; the stuff was so crazy-strong that you couldn’t even taste it.
I have other things to say, but my fingers are getting tired, so I’m going to stop for now.