Now that I’ve finished my first week of work at camp, I can go back to my 2010 World Cup blabber.
Tuesday, June 29, I woke up looking forward to seeing a Japan victory. Both Japan and South Korea have awed netizens by entering the Round of 16. However, South Korea faced an early exit, and my last bit of hope went to Japan. Tuesday, they were due to play Paraguay, an important game for both nations which had much to show on the world stage.
It was about 11:40 am, and as I ambled past the television at the Rinx, I noted the score: 0-0. This was near the end of the 90 minute game. It looked like they were going for overtime soon. Then, after 12 pm, I snuck back to the television again, only to see 0-0 again.
See, I was on the job, even though I had nothing big to do. As a day camp counselor, I work all day, from 8-4:30 pm, with kids and teenagers. I cannot take breaks or look bored or sit with nothing to do, or even something to do (like reading for pleasure). But I was getting bored and tired. Around that time, I had pool duty. Pool deck duty gets boring when you have the friendly feminine visit. So I ran off and sat at the indoor cafeteria area, trying to look busy fidgeting with my scratched-up, bandaged ankles from uncomfortable hockey skates. When I saw division heads walk by, I bent down fudging with my feet, head down. Then, I realized I’m defeating the purpose of watching the World Cup, so I moved to the side bench and stopped messing up my band-aids. This way, I can semi-hide against the wall.
Now, soccer is not fun to watch when the TV’s muted and silent; you miss the yelping commentators and the buzzing audience in the background. Anyway, I sat there, for like 20 minutes, watching and praying for a good game. After overtime, score was still a disappointing, yet hopeful, 0-0, because now it was going to be penalty kicks.
One by one, the kicks went in. When it was Komano’s turn, 4th one up, the ball clipped the crossbar and bounced out. And just like that, Paraguay’s 5th man got the ball in and game was over. Paraguay won a close game, with just a shimmer of luck. After a long 2+ hour game, Komano’s mistake and misfortune condemned Japan to a 0-0 (5-3) defeat to Paraguay.
Funny thing, I was not the only one glued to the television; I was the only girl there watching, amongst kids in hockey gear and other hockey camp counselors. When Paraguay won, I swore I heard those guy cheers and arm pumps. Guess I was the only one rooting for my Asian cousins. Then I went back to sulking under the basking sun, disappointed and bummed that Japan lost on such a close, hopeful game. They’ve played so well, with so much expectation placed on Japan and Paraguay to enter the quarter-finals. There was only room for one team, and that was not Japan (or South Korea) this year.