Karl's Corner - 06/16/2002
06/16/02 sportin' life
the last in a series of reports from our intrepid weezer sports reporter in Japan and Korea, where Rivers and a gang of fellow soccer enthusiasts have gathered to soak in the World Cup...
(re: 6/14) USA vs. Poland. What a nasty game for the U.S.! Poland scored TWO goals in the first five minutes, and the hearts of the Rivers posse sank and stayed there for the next two hours. After the first goal, there was almost a moment of redemption when USA's Donovan scored a goal, but it ended up not counting because of a foul, which was very disappointing, and very distracting; just minutes later Poland sneaked another goal past Friedel, and it was all over. Ugh! (Well, not "ugh" for the Poles!) All expectations were that the US would win this game, because Poland hadn’t been playing terribly well up to that point. By half time, Rivers and the gang were still hopeful that the US could pull through at least for a draw. But then Poland scored AGAIN, and the score was 3-0. Donovan did manage to put one through during the second half, making up for his earlier goal that was outjudged. But the boys couldn’t pull it together in time to win the game. In the end, though, there was a strange twist of fate!
Nearby, The Korea game vs. Portugal was being played simultaneously. If Poland won and Korea lost, Korea would have advanced to the second round because their and the U.S.’s record was tied, and Korea had scored more goals. At times, the chants for Korea drowned out supporters of both the U.S. and Poland! It was a little aggravating at first to the team supporters, but then reports began to trickle in from the Korea game. During the first half, the Korean crowd went crazy as one of the Portuguese players was removed from the game for a foul. Then, Korea scored and everyone went wild, including the U.S. supporters. A win for Korea would mean that the U.S. would advance, regardless of the outcome of the USA/Poland game. So the U.S. supporters began joining the Korean fans in wishing victory for their national team. Another Portuguese player was ejected during the second half, putting Portugal at a huge disadvantage. The Korean defenders held them off, and Korea defeated Portugal (one of the favorites coming into the World Cup--they scored the most goals during the entire European qualifying phase), 1 to nil! As soon as that game was over, the Korean fans took off from the Poland/USA game, which was still in progress. People were already cheering the U.S. advancing, probably partly because they wanted to forget that this game ever happened! Poland’s victory was a little bittersweet, but they played an excellent game and really showed off their talent. Everyone was happy, though, and they made a lot of Polish friends that night. Rivers even befriended a Polish fan, and traded his American flag for a very interesting Polish hat...
As a result of these games, the group’s standings had Korea in first place and the U.S. in second place. In the next round, this means that the US will take on old rivals Mexico, while Korea has their work cut out for them against Italy. Nobody predicted that these games would end this way!
Now everyone has returned to the USA, as weezers got some stuff to do! Everyone involved in the World Cup 'crew' agreed that it was an amazing trip, and gave big ups to Rivers for masterminding the whole thing.