TODAY -

Games some peoples played

Donn Morgan Kipgen *



When the mighty INCAS and AZTECS introduced the round-shape ball game with a 3 or 4 feet basket as the goal scoring target about 3000 to 4000 years as "national game", hardly would they imagined that the Spanish, Portuguese and the English traders and settlers (would) reintroduced as a refined and well-organised game called soccer or football about 2500 years later. Portugal took football to present day Brazil whereas Spain introduced soccer in Argentina, Mexico, etc, British settlers took it the United States.

In fact, the Spanish and Portugeuse took it all the way into Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, Peru, Bolivia and the Carribean Islands amongst others. Since then football has engulfed the whole world and lots of things have taken in and off the pitch—some good, some bad and some ugly. But then the game still goes on.

In the 2010 World Cup, the tall Brazilian sweeper Maicon sprinted down the North Koreans left-flank and drilled the ball into the far post net, a remenicence of the stunning volley of the "flying-Dutchman" Marco Van Basten goal past the then USSR's goal-keeper Dmitri Kharin in that memorable Final Match of the 1988 European Cup, after a 12 yard fantastic header from the star-skipper Rudd Gullit which Holland won 2-0.

Well, the 4 yard twisting blinder-volley by the Englishman David Platt swinging past between the Belgian Keeper Jan Marie-Plaff's right hand and the outstretched legs of three Belgian defenders, plus that of the "golden boots" of the opportunistic English striker gary Lineker and another Centre forward on that 1990 World Cup pre-quater final game. Lineker (pr. Lee-ne-Kah) scored another 4 goals to add to his highest goal scorer, ie, 6 goals, including a hattrick against Poland, in the memorable in Mexico '86 wherein he played with a bandaged to his dislocated right hand wrist.

Mexico '86 was an incredible gift from neighbouring designated host Columbia due to a shocking internal financial and law & order problems! The alternative host Mexico were knocked out in the entertaining 2nd Round Match by the eventual finalist West Germany (tie-breaker) after a legitimate field goal scored by Hugo Sanchez was outrageously disallowed by the referee due to off-the-play "foul" by one of his team-mates, disregarding the new offside and advantage clear goal-scoring rules.

In 2002 World Cup, the host South Koreans beat Italy in the pre-quarter final's extra-time golden goal after the referee disallowed an amazing 30 yards' free-kick goal from Francesco Totti for 3 probable reasons which were not pointed out till today—a off-the-ball "foul", an inaprobable off-side, or even an indirect-free-kick without signal but the Korean goal keeper did touch the swinging and bouncing ball which was not even touched by other 20 players in the field!

The South Koreans reached the Quarter Final by beating Spain after a Carlos Puyol heading goal from a Jaochim (pr. hwa-kee) delicate chip right from or on the corner line was disallowed by the referee saying that the ball was already out of play! In 1982 World Cup, the French captain Michel Platini agreed to "withdraw" their 3rd goal against Kuwait after a justifiable protest that their defenders suddenly stopped right on their tracts just before Manuel Amoros blasted in the ball; though the French added on another two goals. The Kuwaiti players said that they stopped playing since they heard a loud whistle which they assumed was blown by the referee to signal an off-side since one of the French players was thought to be on off-side position!

In the 1966 World Cup match between England and Argentina, the hard-pressed referee was flabbergasted to realise that the hot-headed Argentine player which he officially sent-off a good 5 minutes earlier was still moving around inside the playing field; there was no Yellow nor Red Carding system at that time.

The great Alfredo di Stefano played both for Argentina and River Plate FC and later for Spain and Real Madrid FC. When Argentina was at the 5th non-automatical World Cup-2010 qualifying spot in South American continent, with just 4 decisive matches left, coach Diego Maradona personally persuaded the Spanish-bred Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Hiquan to represent Argentina, the rest is history.

Hiquan scored a hattrick against North Korea in South Africa-2010, just like the results of the enormous faith put upon young Maradona by the coach Carlos Bilards in 1983 to built a tough but highly versatile team for "the then Columbia-1986 World Cup" qualifying rounds, with a captain's arm-band, disregarding the popular Daniel Paserella (pr. pa-sa-re-ya) who captained Argentina to the 1978 World Cup trophy.

The talented 17 year-old Maradona was totally left out of the squad who unfortunately ended the thrilling Espana-82 with a red-card against Brazil. Maradona repaid BiLardo with 3 stunning solo goals in the quarter-final and semi-final matches and imperiously captained Argentina in Mexico-'86 with 3 precision goal-scoring assists" to beat West Germany 3-2 in the thrilling final match.

Saudi Arabia's Saed Owairan scored the 3rd best solo goal in 1998 World Cup when he ran past 5 Belgian players in a 45 yard slalom run, just like what Maradona had done twice against Belgium and the best one against England in 1986 World Cup. The fastest goal in World Cup Final was scored by Johann Neesken Holland in a 1st minute penalty in 1974, wherein the first German goal-keeper himself when he retrieved the ball entangled at the back of the net!

However, Franz Beckenbeaur and Gerd Mueller literally blasted in decisive goals to beat Holland by 2-1 to lift the trophy. Those Magnificent Flying Dutchmen, sans the great Johann Cryuff, were unluckily once again beaten 3-1 by the cunning host, Argentina, in the 1978 World Cup Final Match in the well-contested extra-time.

If only the versatile centre forward Rossenbrink slotted in the ball from 2 yards' distance to an open goal in the 89:50 minute, in the right hand side of the hapless and beaten Argentine goal-keeper, Holland would have deservedly won the 1978 FIFA World Cup trophy in honour and justification of their revolutionary all-position "Total Football" exhibition in the highest level of World's football history.




* Donn Morgan Kipgen wrote this article for Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on July 10, 2010.


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