30th of June 2006 >> A mad day in my life

Friday 30th June 2006.

One of the most eventful days I had experienced in the recent past, days of interviews or international travel not included.

World Cup Semifinal day. At work early. In a blue official world cup tee(somehow co-workers assumed I am supporting Germany ;-)). Great Hyderabad weather, humming to classics of Manu Chao(Qué hora son, mí corazón..). Pay day Friday. As Morpheus would put it: Fate, it seems has a strange sense of irony. The ebb and flow in the life of a ho-hum tech-worker.

First up,I get a mail that I won a USD 250 worth mp3 player in a contest at work :). This was totally unexpected. Wow!!!. But I already had a couple of those albeit much cheaper and simple specs. After some digging up, I discovered that I can choose something for the 250. I always coveted an iPod Video. But at 300 bucks is out of my range. Finally I have decided to brigde the delta between 250 and the actual price of black iPod video 30gig. :). Yay!!!

Then the big game of the afternoon. We(our team at work, the Saands) scheduled to play our Quarterfinal of the MS Cup. This was always going to be a tough game. Opponents had a well balanced team. After an unusually busy day at meetings, we were left with about an hour to munch some lunch and play the game at 3pm IST.

We worked on our strategies a bit(discussed at length the previous day) and went to do some warm up and lazy excercises. At 3pm just after lunch there isnt much you can do :). Nice weather held up so atleast it was pleasant out there.

Took the field and the Saands continued their trend of slow and measured starts. We had a penalty given and taken back due to the indecisiveness between the Ref and the lineman. :S. That shows Germany is not the only place were Bad refs are wrecking havoc ;)..

After a goal-less first half, the Saands got more aggressive and we scored first. Usually that is enough for us to close out the game. But 2-3 minute period of blase and indecisive football and we gave up the equalizer. Took a good part of 5 min to get back into rythm and duly scored the 2nd.

2-1 Saands. About 10 min to go. We didnt repeat the mistake and I rung in the changes to give us a more compact/defensive formation on the pitch. Its a great feeling making these changes and also playing yourself in between :)). Fútbol Rocks. Ravito >> The Coach, The Player. je je !! I am so full of it.

Thats how it stayed fulltime and we are into the semis. This was a tough game and a testimony to that is the 3 yellow cards we received :). Its war out there.

We took some pictures. Btw, we had our pictures published in the Hindu Hyderabad edition and the Deccan chronicle last week ;).

Lineman Ravito:)

Game over. But one of us had to do lineman/referee duty in one of the next Quarterfinals. I did the lineman duty. Frankly it was a bit boring as the game was so one-sided, I didnt have much calls to make. But sure was fun with the flag in the hand :)).

Craziness in Goethe-Zentrum

In between all this a friend of mine from the German classes (who also speaks spanish btw) wanted to watch the Argentina X Germany game in a pub or some other place. We hit upon this brilliant/crazy/loco idea of watching the at the German Center, but support Argentina and chant/shout in Español. Yay!! And they were screening the big game on a big screen in the German Center. Since we had the plan of going somewhere, I had my Argentine jersey(which i stopped using once i switched to the green of México:)). Lets see, to add some more color to the day, i decided to don it if i were to go to a public place to watch the game.

So there I am in the Argentine jersey at the German Center. Vamos Vamos!!. The game was a beauty for the tactical wizards. The first half was as close at it could get to a classic chess game between equals. There was German author/poet watch the game with us. I met up with some old friends there and there were about 30 people watching the game. First half ended goalless but Argentina scored early in the 2nd half. The hall erupted when Ayala sent that ball into the net. There was some mild taunting going on, especially after that goal. For every move and counter move you had people oooh and aaah. and applaud.
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The German dude erupted in joy when Germany equalized through Klose in the 80th min. The folks supporting Argentina were visibly nervy from then on, especially cos of the changes made by their coach, which meant Argentina will play all of extra time without Riquelme or Saviola or Messi. Once it reached the penalties, I knew Germany was going to win. There was the air of inevitability to the Argentines and an air of cold-nerves-of-steel to their German counterparts. Sure enough Germany won the PKs in no time and the German dude and the director of the German Center were celebrating. I left quickly after as it was getting late and I was on the wrong side of the city from where I live. More importantly, I had to get back in time to watch Italy play :).

And Italy duly won, albeit with surprising ease against Ukraine.

Started off with some good news, followed by more positive vibe with a win the quarterfinal, the lineman duty and then watching Germany x Argentina in ‘enemy territory’. It didnt go as planned as Germany won, but heck all México must have been happy that Argentines are sent home :). Works for me.

We have our semifinal on the 6th. and the final or 3rd place game on Friday the 7th. Go Saands!!

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