some family photos... and a football nightmare!
thank you everyone for your friendly comments, and your very kind words about my family. I took some photographs today of my mum and dad so that you can see them (my sister didn’t want to be photographed – I think she’s too shy... maybe next time I’ll manage to include her as well). We stayed indoors today as the weather turned cold and rainy, and many of the photos didn’t come out too well, but I think two of them are clear enough to see, so I will copy them below.
Now, the main news in Poland for the last 24 hours has been the football game we played with Austria yesterday (as part of Euro 2008 Cup). Poland qualified for this competition for the first time in history (we don’t have a very strong national team...), so everyone was very excited about it. We are in one group with Germany, Austria and Croatia. The first game was played against Germany on Sunday, and we lost 0:2, so yesterday’s match was really important: had we won, we would have reasonable chances of going further; had we lost, we would have practically no chances left. I went to the city yesterday evening to watch it with crowds of other fans (I’m not a big football fan myself, but on such occasions everyone is, I guess). There were TV screens in every pub and every restaurant, with the biggest screen built in one of the central squares of Poznan, and I went there (I regretted not taking my camera with me). The game was really exciting: for the first 30 minutes, Poland played really badly, and there were countless chances for the Austrians to score – but they didn’t (we have a fantastic goalkeeper, Artur Boruc – if it wasn’t for him we would have lost the game badly). Then, all of a sudden, we made one quick counterattack – and we scored a goal! After that, we started to play a lot better, as if this one goal had given us a lot of self-confidence. Everyone watched the game with rising spirits until the regular 90 minutes ended. Then the referee ordered 3 minutes extra time („stoppage time” they call it), and... an almost impossible thing happened: after a minor foul commited by one of the Polish guys in the penalty area, the referee stunned everyone by ruling a penalty shot, which gave Austria a goal in the very last minute...
Well, you can imagine the shock and the sadness of everyone over here. Being so close to winning, and then ending with a draw (which is no good for anyone, really) in this most unbelievable fashion is quite upsetting – so upsetting for many Polish fans, in fact, that the referee – Mr. Howard Webb from the UK – apparently had to be given a police escort, just in case...
Ok, 3 a.m. it is here, what a surprising regularity... take care, you all, I’ll write more soon.
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