Thursday, June 19, 2014
We’re one week into the Brazil World Cup and so far it has lived up to the hype and expectations that had surrounded the tournament since it was awarded to the South American country in 2007.
We’ve seen it all; shocking results, wonder goals and exciting, attacking football. If you put the questionable commentary aside the tournament has been the spectacle it promised to be and as usual, the World Cup brings out the best of the world’s fans.
England faces a tough test tonight in their match against Uruguay at the Arena de Sao Paulo, 8pm kick-off.
Despite the threat of Luis Suarez I predict that England will win the game 2-1 with goals from Sterling and Sturridge. Call me an optimist, but I feel this new look England team are enjoying playing under no real expectations and have the quality to at least make it out of the group stages.
The people of Norwich have given their opinions on the World Cup so far and how England will do tonight.
Brian, coffee van man (on Brigg Street), Old Catton: “I’m not massively interested in the World Cup. I don’t think there’s been a lot of hope surrounding England. A lot of people have been putting them down. But I do hope they do well tonight.”
Chris Springall, 66, City Host Volunteer, Wymondham: “I have enjoyed the World Cup so far but it’s been tiring with the late kick-offs. The style and quality of the goals has been the best bit of the tournament - Cahill’s for Australia last night against Holland is the best goal so far. I think England will win tonight.”
Lewis Brennan, 19, shop assistant, Norwich: “It’s been a good World Cup to watch with the underdogs winning games. There’s been a good atmosphere but I don’t think it’s as good as South Africa 2010. It’ll be a tough game, I think England will win tonight and then make it to the quarter finals.”
John, 50, North Norfolk: “It’s been an exciting and entertaining World Cup. I didn’t expect Spain to go out in the group stage. I think England played well and were unfortunate against Italy, I think they’ll win 2-0 tonight and make it to at least the quarter-finals.”
Andy the clown, 42, family entertainer, Lowestoft: “I don’t do football. It spoilt the wedding I was a DJing at on Saturday, it got to 10.30 and people were leaving and at 10.45 everybody left crowded round the TV screen. Saying that, I would obviously like them to do well tonight and get as far as they can.”
• MY TOP 5 WORLD CUP MOMENTS SO FAR
• Tim Cahill’s goal, Australia v Netherlands: Australia may be out of the tournament now following their 3-2 defeat to the Netherlands but Cahill’s beautiful first time volley on his weaker left foot will be remembered as one of the best World Cup goals ever.
• The Netherlands putting five past Spain: The Netherlands showed to the world that they are ready to reach their second consecutive World Cup final but this time win the trophy. The men in orange stunned everyone watching with their opening group game against Spain, as they annihilated the reigning champions.
• Spain’s demise: Spain had won three consecutive major tournaments prior to Brazil – Euro 2008, World Cup 2010, and Euro 2012 – which was unprecedented but went out of this year’s tournament in the group stages. Bad goalkeeping, out of form and unfit players meant that Spain looked out of sync and became the fifth defending champions to be knocked out in the group stages. They say success comes at a price.
• Van Persie’s diving header, Spain v Netherlands: While many expected him to volley the cross from Daley Blind, Van Persie flung himself and scored a wonderful diving header to equalise against Spain. The incredible header helped the Netherlands beat the 2010 champions and sparked an internet trend with people paying homage by replicating the goal and posting their videos online.
• Raheem Sterling: He is now being called the new symbol of England. A new symbol of hope maybe? England played well against Italy, but Sterling was a cut above the rest. A youngster who plays with no fear, he has managed to replicate his Liverpool form for England and has made himself the first name on the team sheet for tonight’s game.