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Post details: How The Inch Stole Christmas

How The Inch Stole Christmas

OK, the big wait is finally over. Today at noon I took my Czech flag and accompanied by three colleagues I went to the McKeever's Irish Pub for some Lunch & Soccer. The patrons frowned at my flag profusely, but I was glad I brought it with me, for three times in that game I had an opportunity to jump on the bench and wave it vigorously.

About the game: I think most of the commentators got fooled by the crushing score. The US team didn't play that badly. And when the Americans take on Italians this weekend, my vocal cords will be on their side. After all, soccer in this country needs some serious victories if it wants to get ahead of the Spelling Bee in the sports popularity rankings.

And despite the solid defense and efficient midfield of the Czech side, the pivotal moment of the match came at the feet of the US captain Claudio Reyna. His shot from 25 yards beat the Czech goalie, but bounced off the goalpost back into the field. From the way it got deflected it was apparent that should the ball hit the post one inch to the right, it would have landed in the net.

You think that losing 3:1 wouldn't have made much difference? Well tied at one a piece, the swinging momentum would have given the Americans their wings back and Tomas Rosicky might have been too busy defending to show any sparkling moments in the offence. From 25 yards, an inch is a width of a hair. One inch to the right and Santa Claus could have been stuffing a star spangled stocking.

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