MARC ILES' WORLD CUP SIDESHOW: Argentina v Holland had me counting the ceiling tiles

Not even Lionel Messi could keep Marc Iles awake

Not even Lionel Messi could keep Marc Iles awake

First published in Sport
Last updated

THE ceiling of my hotel room has 3,618 little squares on it; I know that because I counted them during the Holland v Argentina semi-final.

After the playground football we witnessed on Tuesday night, 90 minutes of this tedious, nervous, defensive football felt like 900.

You notice I didn’t include extra time, and that’s because I didn’t see it. I fell asleep and woke up as the Argentines were celebrating winning the shootout.

It wasn’t the first time I had fallen asleep at a crucial time in this World Cup but as the most exciting thing on the pitch was Ron Vlaar having a good game against Leo Messi, it was a foregone conclusion that my eyes would start going at some point.

I’d entertained myself by engaging in a bit of banter with the Wanderers fans on twitter, flicking through a guide to Copenhagen, counting a few ceiling tiles; I even drew a graph.

But after spending most of the day travelling to Denmark to watch the Whites, I couldn’t hold out and missed the most exciting bit of the game, which sums up my luck entirely.

Oddly, one of the Wanderers fans tweeted: “WAKE UP @MarcIles it’s penalties” as if he knew I had lost the battle with my eyelids.

Thanks for the effort, Lee Simpson, but the “boing” noise that signals a new tweet on my laptop failed to stir me.

How did he know I was asleep, anyway? Perhaps I errantly pressed “zzzzzz” on the keyboard with a flailing hand?

Three different Danish terrestrial channels covered the game offering three very different styles of commentary. There was a laid-back pair, an overly-enthusiastic pair and a commentary team that sounded like they were arguing off-mic with Mark Lawrenson for most of the first half.

It didn’t make for easy viewing. My Danish extends to a few words, one of which is so hopelessly mis-pronounced, it made the receptionist burst out laughing yesterday. I will have to remember the word “Undskyld” the next time I play Scrabble.

The result leaves us with an Argentina v Germany final, effectively a repeat of Italia 90. I just hope it produces a better game.

I shudder to think what Pro Plus or Red Bull might cost here in Denmark but I’ll make sure I have got a job lot in, just in case.

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