Tuesday, June 29, 2010

6/29/10 – Spain vs Portugal

                 Yesterday morning Dave, Jamaica, and went on a run along the beach under the surprisingly warm "winter" sun. We have been very fortunate with weather thus far, experiencing quite a few days in the mid 70s with plenty of sunshine. It is winter here in the southern hemisphere, and apparently average highs are mid 60s and average lows are mid 40s, so we consider ourselves lucky.

                We watched the games yesterday at home. Brazil and Netherlands both avoided upsets so Dave and I will see the two teams clash in Port Elizabeth on July 2nd! I'm so excited to see the top ranked team in the world, Brazil. Dave and I will both be cheering for Netherlands, however.

                The weather this morning was windy, rainy, and gray; however Dave woke me up with some news that brightened my day. He has been logging on to the ticketing website every few hours to check for more tickets, and he finally managed. The five of us who are still here will be going to the quarterfinal match in Cape Town featuring Germany and Argentina! This is likely going to be the game of the tournament. Both teams are in top form with Germany coming off a 4 to 1 thrashing of England and Argentina managing a 3 to 1 win over Mexico. We will be seeing the best player in the world, Messi, who plays for Argentina. I can't even express how excited I am to see this game. I'm excited to see the individual players on both teams, but I will be hoping for a German victory!

                We just got back from Cape Town and our knockout phase game between Spain and Portugal. Our seats were the farthest from the field in the entire 65,000 seat stadium, but we were actually able to see the tactics of the game better than when I sat close. Seeing Spain for me was absolutely unbelievable. Xavi, one of my favorite players in the world received the man of the match award as Spain beat Portugal 1 to 0. Spain looked very good against Portugal, who had just beat North Korea 7 to 0 and tied Brazil. I'm still so overwhelmed at each game, thinking about how fortunate I am to be here and watching the best footballers in the world.

                Tomorrow is the first day since the tournament began on June 11th that there is no games scheduled to be played. Weather permitting we will take advantage of the break in soccer to visit Robben Island. Robben Island was formerly the prison that held Nelson Mandela before he became president of South Africa and lead the nation out of Apartheid. The prison is now a museum and a historically important monument that commemorates South Africa's greatest hero and anti-apartheid leader. I am very excited for the boat ride out to the island and the inclusive tour. The tour runs as long as the sea is not too dangerous, so hopefully the wind will not be blowing like it was this morning.

                Hope everyone is well back home. Feel free to ask me any questions or make comments if you want!

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