That wild-eyed look? A mixture of joy and fear
This is turning into a Dutch opera. With heroes like the fantastically named Giovanni van Bronckhorst, assorted villains like Diego and Robinho, a steadily rising plot line thick with tension, and a rapt audience of millions, the only thing still left to be decided is whether it ends in operatic tragedy or joy.
Last night's Netherlands vs Uruguay match raised the bar again - not so much for the quality of play, where the Dutch still haven't put on a complete 90-minute effort - but in terms of passion on the field and in the streets of Amsterdam.
A brief summary:
- The venue was a small neighbourhood pub, with outdoor screens and the best seats in the house thanks to an Aus-some friend. The gezelligheid of watching the game as though you were sitting on your front porch with 100 friends in a cozy neighbourhood is undeniable.
- The Dutch dominated the play early, with some decent chances on offense and the defense relieving the opposing players of the ball as easily as taking candy from an Uruguayan baby.
- I wonder: What's it like, Giovanni, to score one of the greatest goals in World Cup history? That shot will be replayed for the next century.
- The Dutch let up for some reason and after 20 minutes straight in the offensive zone, Uruguay ties it up. Uruguay - Forlan. Dutch - Forlorn.
- Halftime - a quick stroll down the block in search of food. Chicken sates with peanut sauce. Magnifique.
- A nervy second half with two more excellent goals by the Dutch, and some unwanted close calls in the waning moments.
- The choppy ending to the game, with the referee obviously owning a side business in Holland selling heart medicine and defibrillators, kinda mutes the celebrations momentarily. But then...
- A 5-minute walk to Museumplein to check out the madness before hitting the town. (Videos of the scene have been made and posted to YouTube... for some reason they are not working however. Tips are welcome as to where else I can post them, as they take forever on this site. I will update with a new post once they are viewable).
Even Beesie was nervous before gametime
Time to water the tulips