Our neighbourhood was eerily and pleasantly quiet this morning, and it was not because of the G20 activities going on downtown Toronto.
During the Brazil-Portugal game there was absolutely no one on the streets and due to the scoreless draw there was only muted reaction immediately after the game, even though both teams advanced (usually one cannot escape the audio clues of a goal or a win for the Portuguese or Brazilian teams). One of the reasons may have been that neither teams’ fans yet knew which Group H team they would face in the round of 16.
As a fan of the Swiss team, my spirits were still high before the last group matches this afternoon. A knock-out game against either of the big lusophone soccer powerhouses with all their household names would have been a wonderful reward for surviving a group with all Hispanic opponents.
Unfortunately, it was not to be. Switzerland would have made it through to the next round with a 2-goal win against Honduras, regardless of the score in the Chile-Spain game. The Swiss, with their wonderful defence, were simply not able to switch over to a really creative and offensive game. Despite having the bulk of possession, the scoring chances were few and far between and, in fact, Honduras may have pulled off a win if not for another stellar performance by Swiss keeper Benaglio.
Now we’re left licking our wounds and pining for the next World Cup in Brazil. By then maybe some of the young Swiss players who won the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2009 with seven consecutive wins will have matured and display some of that attacking flair on the senior team. So it’s not all bad!
On a side note, I would have gladly continued to fly the Swiss banner on our car even after elimination, but in a telling mishap, about one hour after the final whistle in Bloemfontein, the flag accidentally got knocked off our car window on Dufferin Street and was immediately crushed into the hot asphalt by a motorcade of cars decorated with Portuguese flags.About Philipp Gysling