Thursday December 18, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
17o C
10o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
A great performance

Greece's Theofanis Gekas reacts after missing during a penalty shootout in their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game against Costa Rica at the Pernambuco arena in Recife, on Sunday.

By Pantelis Boukalas

Sure it’s hard to stomach your national team getting knocked out of the World Cup on a penalty shot that didn’t make it into the net, but that’s no reason to follow the usual course of sinking to the deepest depths of despair after reveling in the heady heights of exaggerated confidence. There is also no need to engage in the other national sports of sneering comments and pointing fingers. As hard as it may seem, we could try the middle ground, however banal that may be.

The game between Greece and Costa Rica on Sunday night for a spot in the World Cup top eight belongs to the collectible category, as there was much to be learned in the way that it unfolded. And if the excitement of the moment did not allow for a more profound understanding, then the days after should offer time for reflection on the messages delivered by the game – a stage on which a performance that even the most ingenious would characterize as melodrama dipped in hyperbole unfolds in stark realism.

A very long 90 minutes, the frenzy of overtime and the ending with penalties did not look like a random performance but the script of a play that could be called “The Round Goddess,” as Greeks like to dub the soccer ball. In this performance, the goddess wrings us dry emotionally through a game that allowed the usual cliches shouted from the blue-and-white stands to come to belong to the Costa Ricans. The first of these cliches were, of course, those regarding the unique spirit of the team and its special abilities to win. But to quote another cliche usually heard on television, the Costa Ricans did indeed have soul and they proved it by winning after holding the game at a tie, one man short, for an entire hour.

Another thing that soccer fans all over the world have in common is the unfair motif. When they lose, they blame it on the referee, the ball itself, society at large, life, destiny, God, whatever. But in Sunday’s game, if there was one side that could complain about the refereeing it was Costa Rica, which was not awarded a penalty after Vassilis Torosidis knocked the ball with his hand in the area in the 55th. Of course, it was simply a case of the referee not seeing it happen. Had the situation been reversed, we would never have heard the end of conspiracy and other ludicrous theories.

Up until the 91st minute, the Internet was abuzz with Greek bloggers and fans pouring vitriol against the Greece players and their coach, calling them worthless, slow, losers, dullards and so on. Once the team tied, they all became heroes again, the Greek spirit rose anew and the God that looks over Greece got back to business – at least until Theofanis Gekas’s foot touched the ball for the losing penalty shot. And then, of course, the sarcasm returned. Now that is unfair.

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday Jul 1, 2014 (10:02)  
To keep Turkey democratic, tie it closer to EU
Greek stocks and bonds suggest government may fall
High stakes
The secret is out
Universities ask state to reverse mobility scheme
Rectors representing the country’s largest universities on Wednesday appealed to the government to take immediate action to relieve operational problems at the institutions that have been ca...
Thessaloniki metro off track again
The troubled project to construct a metro system in Thessaloniki, which is already several years behind schedule, could be set for another blow as the consortium building the underground tra...
Inside News
Stores will open on Dec 28, but traders aren’t too happy about it
It has emerged that commercial stores will be officially allowed to open on the last Sunday of the year, December 28, as the Development Ministry submitted an amendment to its multi-bill in ...
More Britons and Americans eyeing Greece for vacations
Greece enjoyed the fifth-biggest increase in Google searches from the UK market this year in the category of emerging holiday destinations, according to a chart published by the world’s bigg...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Pappas helps Greens overcome Aris
An impressive Nikos Pappas averted an upset by Aris and ensured Panathinaikos retained its perfect record on Tuesday, one day after Olympiakos thrashed Panionios at Nea Smyrni for the Basket...
´Wee Jay´ and idol Georgios Samaras receive Greek sports journalists´ award at Athens gala
A 10-year-old Irish fan of Greek striker Georgios Samaras was in Athens on Monday at the invitation of the Greek Sports Journalists' Association, which honored outstanding achievements in sp...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Stores will open on Dec 28, but traders aren’t too happy about it
2. More Britons and Americans eyeing Greece for vacations
3. Vodafone and Wind to bid for Forthnet
4. Credit line conditions laid out
5. Bourse index recovers some lost ground
6. Piraeus ambitions one step closer as China signs Balkan bullet train deal
more news
Today
This Week
1. High stakes
2. Leftist SYRIZA leading ND by 3.2 pct, survey shows
3. The secret is out
4. Poll gives SYRIZA clear lead
5. Greek political fallout a worry, but financial contagion seen limited
6. Samaras seeks Parliament’s backing to stop SYRIZA threat
Today
This Week
1. Juncker warns Greeks against voting 'extreme forces' into power
2. Romanos and the dilemma
3. Samaras summons bond vigilantes with euro exit talk
4. A friendly yet firm message from Pierre Moscovici
5. East Europe scrambles for energy after Putin kills South Stream
6. Anarchist Nikos Romanos ends hunger strike
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.