Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Winning ways

Some footballers suffer what you could call ‘the curse of the classic goal’. What do I mean by that? They score a goal so timely and technically superb it sets a standard they will never again equal; it becomes a monument in whose shadow they play out the rest of their career. Tonight I’m reminded of David Platt and his stroke of brilliance in the last minute of extra time for England against Belgium back Italia 90. It’s fair to say he probably never matched that moment. I’m reminded by the blaring horns, revving engines and enthusiastic singing and chanting outside that undoubtedly means Bosnia Herzegovina have beaten Belgium twice within the last week, on what could quite possibly be the road to their first Fifa World Cup.

Tonight’s 2-1 triumph added to a 4-2 victory on Saturday would itself provide a comfortable goal difference but given that they dispatched Estonia 7-0 they share the same goal difference as Spain, who top the group, although Bosnia Herzegovina have scored five more goals than the European Champions so far. But what of England tonight? We were working so we didn’t get to follow the match live. But now, picking through the early reports, it seems that despite a patchy performance England have finally learnt to win. Far be from me to grumble in the face of statistics, which, we know, never lie! Also winning 2-1 tonight, England top their group with five straight victories and a goal difference one better than that of Bosnia Herzegovina.

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