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Dublin: 5 °C Friday 28 February, 2020
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Soccer - FIFA World Cup 2014 - Group C - Colombia v Ivory Coast - Estadio Nacional Colombia fans kiss a replica World Cup before the start of today's game. Source: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport

BOA NOITE, BUDDYS!

We’ve another bumper evening of World Cup games to enjoy, kicking off with Colombia and Côte d’Ivoire at 5pm before Uruguay and England’s key clash provides the filling in a Group C sandwich. 

Email us at sport@thescore.ie, tweet us @thescore_ie or with the hashtag #ScoreWCHangout, post a message to Facebook, or leave a comment below.

Let’s go.

Greetings from Brazil!

The daily FIFA media briefings that drop into my inbox are a consistent source of entertainment.

Today’s is inviting me to the Maracana for a seminar entitled “Football for the Planet: towards a sustainable FIFA World Cup”.

The focus being an overview of how FIFA might reduce the negative environmental impact of their profitable little football jamboree.

Shame I’m in Fortaleza otherwise I could go along and make a few suggestions, like not forcing massive, new cookie-cutter stadiums upon cities that will never, ever fill them again.

Or not awarding the tournament to tiny Gulf states, which require the production of huge air-conditioned stadiums at a massive environmental cost. Not to mention loss of human lives.

Had the governing body ever heard of the strange land of “Self Awareness” they might have awarded it the 2022 World Cup ahead of Qatar.

England’s World Cup fate hangs in balance this afternoon against Uruguay in São Paulo but, from this remove, I just don’t get the sense that there is the same angst as years past over the fate of Roy’s Boys.

Are they too nice?

Were expectations set so terribly low by English FA Chairman Greg Dyke and his charming throat-cutting gesture when England were drawn with Luis Suarez’s 2010 semi-finalists, Italy and Costa Rica?

Either way, this sea-change in how the England team are perceived is deserving of a new anthem to replace the tiresome Great Escape, which that brass band plays ad nauseum.

At first I thought Green Day’s “Nice Guys Finish Last” would be suitable, but that’s a bit too grungy for England’s fans.

Source: GreenxxDay/YouTube

So, how about Euro Dance classic “Move Your Ass” by Scooter, which of course contains the classic lyrics, “It is nice to be important, but more important to be nice”

Source: Kontor.TV/YouTube

But in the end I stumped for The Shins’ “Caring is Creepy”. I reckon it would sound class played on a couple of trumpets.


Source: Stefan Hammock/Vimeo

Personally I want those scrappy English Lions to get through, but has anyone any other suggestions for an alternative anthem?

As discussed in this morning’s letter from Brazil I have watched a lot of matches from outside pubs thus far.

So this afternoon is a rare treat, with my host kindly allowing me to tune into Colombia and Costa do Marfim on her giant telly.

I am not wearing my Colombia jersey today but I am not sending photographic evidence.

I got some sun yesterday, but let’s say it did not hit me in a consistent fashion. #blotchy

Source: Mikey Stafford/TheScore.ie

The ball’s not that big, he’s just very far away

Lively enough start to proceedings in Brasilia, but then it always sounds lively with Brazilian commentators.

If a team wins possession in the opposing half, no matter how unthreatening the situation appears, they adopt that pitch Gary Neville achieved when Sergio Aguero won the league for Manchester City back in 2012.

Source: nahid choudhury/YouTube

Anthony Ryan reckons Uruguay are a good bet at 6-1 to win to nil this afternoon against England and I’d be inclined to agree.

I would love to see Wayne Rooney play in a central position and smash in the World Cup goal that his obvious talents deserve, but Uruguay (not withstanding their bizarre showing against Costa Rica) are usually a well-drilled bunch.

I’ve spoken too quite a few Uruguay fans since that defeat and none of them could explain what happened. It came out of nowhere, they say.

One reader suggesting World in Motion by New Order, but I reckon those trumpet-botherers are already aware of that anthem and if they wanted to adopt it they would.

Methinks they’re struggling with John Barnes’ rap solo.

Source: chopperg1966/YouTube

First of all an apology but primarily a word on Brazilian hospitality.

If my updates here are a little slow it is because my host is on her laptop opposite me trying to book us tickets on a bus to Recife this Sunday.

They may not do uncongested broadband, but they sure are helpful. Anyone experienced a 13 hour bus journey before?

My trip from Drumcondra to Terenure on the 11 often used to feel like it took half a day, so I wonder how I will cope.

I have long dancer’s legs, you see.

We like to don our Mystic Meg wigs for the day’s big game and here’s what I’ve come up with:

1-1

Daring, I know. Sorry Anthony, but I can see Wazza breaking his World Cup duck. I’m a romantic at heart.

And here’s what the lads in the office said.

Sean 2-1 Uruguay
Ben 3-2 England
Niall 1-1
Murray 2-1
Eamon 1-1
Steve 2-0 England

What about you? Let us know in the comment section below.

It may still be 0-0 but already things are going better for Colombia that 1994, the last time they went to a World Cup with a hint of optimism.

I’m sure all you TheScore.ie readers are familiar with ESPN’s “Two Escobars” documentary but for any of you who have not seen it, here’s a taster.

Source: DocumentaryTrailers/YouTube

A heart-breaking and infuriating film.

So Suarez starts for Uruguay.

That is good news for fans of football and it will be fantastic news for fans of cataclysmic Twitter meltdowns should the Liverpool phenom score the goal that puts the home country of his loyal employer out of the World Cup.

All we’ll need is for him to wink while doing so and the internet will explode, sending us all back to poking each other with sticks for entertainment.

Source: kcon1791/YouTube

In Brazilian advertising news, Pele was just been on plugging Head and Shoulders.

Is there a Wikipedia age dedicated to his endorsements?

If Suarez does not break the World Wide Web today someone should look into that.

SlyLad, that sly dog, is asking why Teofilo Gutierrez, who brought us that remarkable piece of miscontrol, is starting ahead of Sevilla’s Carlos Bacca or Jackson Martinez, Porto’s goal machine.

It is a fair question. From what I’ve heard and read Gutierrez was a good sidekick to the now knacked Radamel Falcao but has not set the World Cup alight as the main man.

I’m a big fan of Martinez but Bacca’s story is so heartening, the antidote to “The Two Escobars”.

Selling fish on streets of Puerto Colombia less than five years ago, he played full-time for the first time at 23 and now, here is he, at a World Cup and earning lots of dosh scoring goals for Sevilla.

For the countless numbers of you out there wondering what I get up to in the evening when I’m done watching football through the windows of bars the answer is, “watch bizarre Sao Joao festival talent contests held on local basketball court” naturally.

Today is the public holiday proper and there will be another youth group/speech and drama outfit taking on last night’s mesmeric performance.

Think West Side Story meets Bollywood meets Mass.

Bonkers.

Source: Mikey Stafford/TheScore.ie

Oh my word Gradel, what a chance. A bit like poor Tioté he seemed to lose his footing a little there, or his nerve. One or the other.

A draw here will still keep Ivory Coast on course for a second round spot going into their final game against Greece. It is not looking great for the other African nations though.

While Algeria still have a shot after defeat to Belgium, Cameroon are going home as they arrived, in a fug of controversy, Ghana have to get something against a rampant Germany on Saturdayand Nigeria are also in a tight spot.

Here comes Drogba though…

A few people have been asking about my language skills.

My Portuguese is so limited as to be irrelevant beyond being able to politely ask for a beer and say thanks really sincerely.

Thankfully my girlfriend, Adelle, is a fluent Spanish speaker and the two languages have a nice symbiotic relationship.

A Spanish speaker can understand Portuguese but not speak it and vice versa, so we get by as a team.

Very few Brazilians have any English so when I am on my own I rely on pointing and a life spent playing acrimonious games of charades with my family at Christmas.

Drogba’s introduction did precede a goal but at the wrong end.

Source: Fernando Vergara/AP/Press Association Images

 

Some header by Rodriguez, who almost burst his second ball of the afternoon, and we get another chance to see that synchronised celebration.

Should the football not work out for Colombia I think they’d have a shot in the Fortaleza Sao Joao Tops of the Towns

Game on Wayne.

Gervinho’s done a good goal there, to the surprise of Arsenal fans.

Still, it looks like we’re going to see some more of Juan Cuadrado in this tournament, which is great news, the Fiorentina winger is just fun to watch.

Quintero’s deserved that goal too.

It’s not just because I’m here, is it? This is a particularly good World Cup, ain’t it?

Tomorrow’s World Cup Hangout will be hosted by comedian Jarlath Regan and, thanks to our friends in Budweiser, we’ve another smartphone to give away.

To win and be as happy and Kevin Doyle – not that one – just email sport@thescore.ie with a picture of where you’ve been watching the World Cup or who you’ve been watching it with and we’ll pick a winner tomorrow.

Going back to Cuadrado, this is interesting.

In the space of two games he has got within one goal of one of the all-time greatest Colombians in therms of assists.

His hair is not in the same parish of awesomeness though.

Regardless of how this one finally finishes both Japan and Greece know it is win or bust this evening in Natal.

That’s 11pmIrish time.

Be honest, how many of you guys are going to stay up after the England game to watch that one?

I wonder has the torrential rains, floods, landslides and sink holes in Natal made the news back home? There is some pretty catastrophic damage there.

England personnel unchanged at least, but it will be interesting to see if Rooney plays more centrally as some have been suggesting. Is that fair on Sturridge, who didn’t have a bad game against Italy?

That’s tough on the Ivory Coast but they did leave it a little late to rouse themselves.

They did, with that late flurry, raise some serious questions about the Colombia defence but the South Americans have one foot in the second round and look like being a match for anyone.

Brazil may not be rocking anyone’s World Cup but the supposed minor (or miner, geddit?) players in South America, Chile and Colombia, could kick over a few apple carts.

Well, that’s it from me. I’m off to find a pub on the sunny side of the street in which to watch England and Uruguay.

Enjoy it guys and I’ll chat to ye in the not too distant future, even if I am four hours behind… You know what I mean.

Don’t forget to send your pictures in for the chance to win that new smartphone too when Jarlath Regan hosts tomorrow’s Hangout.

Tschau for now!

About the author:

Mikey Stafford

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