So much for my predictions. My sympathies to all of my friends in Britain. England and Portugal played to a scoreless tie for 120 minutes before Portugal advanced to the semifinals on penalty kicks, 3-1. England played valiantly despite losing David Beckham to a leg injury in the 52nd minute, and Wayne Rooney in the 62nd minute to a red card for stomping on a downed Portugese defender (pictured above). Once again, England has a big problem when a World Cup match is decided on penalties.
So now my buddy WelshSoxFan can rest easy for the next four years.
And in a shocking upset, France knocked defending champion Brazil out of the Cup with a 1-0 victory in Frankfurt. Thierry Henry scored for France, and they will now play Portugal on Wednesday for the right to go to the World Cup Final in Berlin next Sunday. Germany takes on Italy in the other semifinal on Tuesday.
I watched most of the Brazil-France match at Professor Thom's, which felt like a totally different place, as the Red Sox fans weren't there, and it was filled with soccer fans. Most of the crowd was definitely pro-France. After I left, I ran into a group of French fans on 14th Street near Union Square waving a giant French flag. They had just been to Nevada Smith's for the match, and was letting all of New York know who won their match. France is on one of those incredible rolls (like the 2004 Red Sox?) and who knows, might just take the World Cup.
Viva La France!!