Friday, June 29, 2012

Happy Trails #143-130 (Catching up on 2012's Eliminations)

143: Tofa Samoa
Why They Lost: A very young side, Samoa may not have had quite the experience to keep up with Tahiti and New Caldonia, or to stop themselves from yiedling 24 goals in 3 matches (this despite their triumphing over fellow minnows (American Samoa, Cook Islands and Tonga)
Fear my adorable WRATH!
Who/What We'll Miss: Traditional Samoan tattoos (or Pe'a) would have been guaranteed to freak out a few opponents and add a little non-Ronaldo based color.

142: Lukim Yu Bihain Papua New Guinea
Why They Lost: The rapidly improving Kapuls have a number of players playing in Australia's major league, but seemed to be hard pressed to break through a tough group including a superior New Zealand squad
Who/What We'll Miss: The chance to explain that the Kapul is the local (Tok Pisin) word for Cuscus which is a local variety of 'bout that for some zoological factoids!

141: Sa Moce, Fiji
Why They Lost: A this often popular squad was stymied in their quest for another round of action after ceding a vital goal to Papua New Guinea and seeing the Solomon Islands snatch a draw against New Zealand
Not sure if this is a cheer or yawn
Who/What We'll Miss: Vijay Singh going nuts-o in the stands.

140: Mbae mi lukem yufala Vanuatu
Why They Lost: Vanuatu had a good chance to slip through a wide open Group A, but a 4:1 loss to Tahiti in the final match meant their downfall.
Who/What We'll Miss: With the vast majority of their team and coaches plying their trade in Vanuatu it'll be a shame that we can compare the "Vanuatu system" to the "Spanish system" (probably would have been a draw).

139: Sampa Jumpai Indonesia
Why They Lost: Poor scoring punch was the end of the day for Indonesia, just three goals saw them fall flat with zero points in their group (the second half game winner by Qatar spoiled their one chance for points)
Who/What We'll Miss: The chance for a reunion of the 1938 World Cup team (back when they were the Dutch East Indies, and Prince as Pre-Boron-Symbol-Prince)

138: See ya, wouldn't want to be ya, Singapore
Why They Lost: Time for penetrating analyses "if you give up more goals than you score it's hard to win," Singapore gave up 20 and scored 2...draw your own conclusions.
Who/What We'll Miss: Luxurious high rise mansions peering over the national stadium means everybody's got a seat in the city state!

Place goes crazy when Tajiks in tha house!

137: Khar Naboshad Tajikistan
Why They Lost: Continuing a popular theme of this's all about the goal scoring...Tajikistan got 1 in their six matches. Unless you get a lot of nil-nil draws hard to move on that way.
Who/What We'll Miss: Would be pretty sweet to watch a Tajikistan match at the Boulder Dunshabe Tea House

136: Allah Yisallimak U.A.E.
Why They Lost: A slow start stung "The White" losing to Kuwait and Lebanon gave them a lot to get done against a far more powerful Korean Republic team.
Who/What We'll Miss: Hamdan Al Kamali, the wunderkind of Gulf-State soccer is a promising player on his way up the ladder at Lyon.
Shirt badge/Association crest
135: Sawatdi Thailand
Why They Lost: In it up until the end (and with the good fortune to play Oman in their final match) the War Elephants could not come up with the goals when they needed them and ended up at the bottom of their group.
Who/What We'll Miss: The excuse to wear my Teeratep Winothai jersey and this great federation logo (winner of our Happy Trails, coolest federation symbol award...that's not an elephant to piss off)

134: Mas as-salaamah Saudi Arabia
Why They Lost: The Saudi Golden generation is long gone and it may be a while before we see them back in a World Cup; only one player plays in a European league (Defender Osama Hasawi--and even that, is only recently)
Who/What We'll Miss: The tumultuous chances to fire a bunch of coaches and yell about the failures of the team...making the "Green Eagles" federation the world cup equivalent of the Steinbrenner's clan

133: Annyong hi-Kashipishio North Korea
The 1st 2010 Finalist to be Eliminated
Why They Lost: They foolishly trusted decadent Western based players to infiltrate the hard-working mother land's true sons. Such mistakes will not be repeated and those who have been corrupted shall undergo intense reeducation to repair the damage they have done to the home land and to the great and glorious Kim Jong-Un (People's Sexxiest Man Alive 2000-2013)
Who/What We'll Miss: Writing paragraphs like the above

132: 'Ilaa-liqaa Kuwait
Why They Lost: The hard luck Kuwaiti national side, stymied in attempts to qualify for the world cup over the past 3 decades after a debut in Spain '82, was stuck just outside the promised land of another round yet again. They had the chance to qualify in their final match, but the Taeguk Warriors of Korea were just too much and Kuwait headed home for another long four years.
Who/What We'll Miss: The utter irrationality of a team called "The Blue" despite the fact that their flag contains White, Green, Red and Black.

Heck, I'll sing the national Anthem if you want!
131: Zai Jian, China
Why They Lost: Quite possibly because they had not yet paid Didier Drogba and Nikolas Anelka enough money to pretend that they are Chinese.
Who/What We'll Miss: The ever rarer feeling of being better than China at something (even if it's kicking a ball on a field)

130: Allah yisallimak, Bahrain
Why They Lost: Needing a big win over Singapore (and a Qatar loss to Iran) to move on, Bahrain got their big win (10-0), but Qatar drew, so no luck for the Big Red Machine. But hey! At least that 10-0 victory (over a team that allowed just 2 goals in the previous leg and was sitting its most experienced players) seems so incongruous and sketchy that Bahrain is the recipient of a FIFA INVESTIGATION!!
Who/What We'll Miss: The chance for Bahrainis gathering together to watch sport peacefully...OR...gathering together to watch sport and overthrow a tyrannical government.

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