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

The Bolton News: Not even Lionel Messi could keep Marc Iles awake Not even Lionel Messi could keep Marc Iles awake

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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