Thursday October 23, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
22o C
16o 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)  
Defusing a crisis
PM needs to step up
Careful what you wish for
Taking care of our key industry
Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire suspect arrested over bail violation
Police in Dimitsana, in Arcadia in the Peloponnese, on Thursday arrested Stella Antoniou, who is facing charges of involvement in the urban guerilla group Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire, fo...
Highway traffic to be disrupted on Corinth-Patra route
Traffic was expected to be disrupted on a section of the national highway between Corinth and Patra in the Peloponnese from Thursday evening to early Friday morning for roadworks, it was ann...
Inside News
Solidarity tax to be extended for two years
Greek taxpayers will continue to pay an extra solidarity tax on income in the next two years, but at a 30 percent discount compared to current rates, it emerged on Thursday. The emergency ta...
Spanish unemployment lowest since 2011 as economy grows
Spain’s unemployment rate fell to the lowest since the end of 2011 in the third quarter as its economy turned into one of the fastest-growing in the euro region. Joblessness fell to 23.7 per...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Roberto´s heroics make Kasami´s goal count
Pajtim Kasami’s goal and Roberto’s heroics in goal saw Olympiakos claim one of the biggest wins in its history on Wednesday downing Italian champion Juventus 1-0 to boost its chances of reac...
SOCCER
Third-division Iroditos punished heavily after fan death
Greek third division team Irodotos has been docked 15 points and ordered to play 10 matches behind closed doors following the death of an Ethnikos Piraeus supporter, the Hellenic Football Fe...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire suspect arrested over bail violation
2. Highway traffic to be disrupted on Corinth-Patra route
3. Solidarity tax to be extended for two years
4. Spanish unemployment lowest since 2011 as economy grows
5. EU requests clarification on Italy´s ´breach´ of budget goals
6. German survey props up European shares
more news
Today
This Week
1. Strong winds hamper sea travel
2. TBEX brings together 800 travel bloggers in Athens
3. Cyprus president to sit out EU summit due to high blood pressure
4. Arrivals show increase in January-June 2014 period
5. Samaras to represent Anastasiades at European Council meeting
6. Nissan recalling 260,000 vehicles globally with Takata air bags
Today
This Week
1. Coalition shooting itself in the foot
2. Istanbul skyscraper casts shadow over Greece's banking ambitions
3. Greece’s closed society is central to its current malaise
4. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
5. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
6. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.