Friday, June 20, 2008

Euro Trash Day 14: Wow. Just... Wow.


Holy shit.

Unreal.

Oh my god.

You're kidding me.

You're fucking kidding me.

We leave any out?

Probably. What happened today wasn't unreal. It was completely real. Unexpected, yes—I think Tommy Smyth had even said something like, "Well Turkey are out"—but it totally happened.

And here's the thing. It was actually kind of boring. For 90 minutes, Croatia had, what, two good chances (and you just knew they would pay for missing that sitter that Olic sailed off off the crossbar at about the 18th) that weren't the result of a massive goaltending blunder.

For long stretches of the second half—and we're talking like Mesozoic long—Turkey didn't even look like they were interested in scoring. "Hey, one point for the draw. We'll take it."

Uh, doesn't work that way anymore in the knock-out stages, kids.

So when Turkey's back-up keeper, Rustu, came off his line in the 120th minute for the sole purpose of what looked to be giving Luka Modric the chance to put the ball on Ivan Klasnic's head, Turkey were, ahem, cooked.

And for the second time. Remember how they were eliminated by the Czech Republic in the last game of the group stage?

That's why what happened next was so unbelievable. There shouldn't have even been enough time for it to happen (seriously, where did 74 seconds of stoppage time come from?). But a greedy ball across midfield to a couple of players who were way offside for Croatia gave Turkey the ball and Rustu did what he could, specifically: kick it long and pray.

A head, a bounce, and a Semih Senturk strike later Rustu, and all of Turkey owe one to the supreme being of their choice.

When it went to PK's did anyone think Turkey wouldn't win? Okay, after Modric missed his first kick did those people still not think Turkey would win? (But hey, Spurs, you've got a young player who is already a seasoned choker, nice going).

And if you just saw the highlights, it wouldn't make for a compelling watch. A couple of goals. Two missed PK's and a save. I'm certain of this because it's what SportsCenter led with on the heels of the surreal turned real. Twenty seconds, there's your recap. Now here's some news on Pac-Man Jones. Awesome, huh?

No.

That's the thing about futbol, you have to endure the whole thing for the parts of it to make sense and to matter. You can't just give away the ending. Only after the build-up in the narrative do you care that the chick in The Crying Game is a dude, or that Bruce Willis himself is dead.

Oops. Spoiler alerts. Sorry. Rosebud is also the sled, by the way.

Okay, so long parts of the match were boring, but you can't take a shortcut to get the drama. Sorry, you just can't.

Anyway, Turkey are bulletproof. Yeah, they're down about five players to cards, a couplathree more to injury, so they look dead before they even take the field against die Germans. But, as noted, Turkey have already been eliminated twice and, yet, here they are, one win from a spot in the finals.

I'm guessing they are going to warm up for the semi with soccer balls made of kryptonite.

8 comments:

Ian said...

I thought cards were cleared after the group stages?

The NY Kid said...

Psst. The whole thing takes place in the snow globe of an autistic child.

And Soylent Green is people.

Precious Roy said...

Ian: I thought so, too. But TFA tipped me off that it was after the quarters that they clear.

ΓΌ75 said...

Worst, most capricious rule ever. Clearing them with two games left is crap. Either do so after the groups or don't do it at all.

/not just because I'm a newfangled Turkey fan.

Andrew said...

Oh, fuck me, Turkish!

Ian said...

U75 - Makes sense in that UEFA doesn't want a big name to miss the finals...I guess

Mike Georger said...

guys im all rested up, i wont be sleeping through todays game.
unless i just really feel like taking a nap, then ive gotta let the cards fall where they may

Ian said...

Georger - I suggest developing an affinity for the BMP, a la Mutu.