Monday, 10 September 2012

Week 4 Results: The sweet, sweet taste of (infuriatingly mild) success!


Yes, you did read that right... A successful weekend for The Grambler!  Not only did I manage to reach a new record for correct predictions, but I also won a grand total of £1.75! I had previously stated that I would half any winnings with the Bobby Moore Fund this week but I'm feeling so darn generous that I'm just going to give the whole lot to charity.  That makes the grand total for the season so far... £1.75!  

Obviously, the only way that I won anything at all was by changing the rules slightly to place a different bet from the usual seven-folds coupon.  I think that this may be something that I shall do for the rest of the season following of a few hours of mathematical contemplation during which the following complex equation was formed:

(£1.75>diddly-squat)x
x

(Note: X=football)

Them resulty things:

Game 1: Lebanon vs Australia
Prediction: Draw (Nope)
The main bet was lost as early as Thursday night, as Australia eased to a victory over Lebanon.  This proved to be the perfect warm-up for the Socceroos as they begin their World Cup qualifying campaign against Jordan this week.  I wouldn't imagine that they would need too much practice to beat Katie Price at football... There is also a joke in there about her taking on eleven men but I intend to keep this blog family-friendly.  Tim Cahill opened the scoring early on; a man of many talents, Tim has a writing credit for a television show called 'My Gym Partner's a Monkey' amongst many other classics.  Matt McKay doubled the lead before half-time and Archie Thompson sealed the win in the dying minutes of the match.  Following this tie, Thompson went on to prove the importance of Twitter by informing the world that he was watching Cable Guy and that it was 'funny shiz'.  I shall sleep well knowing this.  Lebanon do not get much of a mention in any available match reports but they deserve credit just for having a manager called Theo Bucker, whose name can be turned into a cracking spoonerism suggesting someone lacking in the personal hygiene department...

Game 2: Albania vs Cyprus
Result: Draw (Nope)
I have found one minor problem with The Grambler tackling International games... When a tie like this pops up, it is virtually impossible to find a match review.  Albania's goals come from Sadiku, Çani and Bogdani with Cyprus given some hope via a Laban goal... That's all I know.  To fill you in on the rest of the details, here is some Albanian guy filtered through Google translate: "Good beginning of Albania's national team 2014 World Cup Qualifiers, which will be held in Brazil, as well as the first victory against Cyprus Country Team with favourable outcome 3-1 must be satisfied result for the Albanian national team and fans himself let us guide you around with such victories during the 2014 world Cup qualifiers will probably have the opportunity to be able to qualify for Brazil during 2014, for the first time and we enjoy all of the worldwide Albanian nation."

What he said.

Game 3: Holland vs Turkey
Prediction: Home win (Yep)
As James Hetfield once sang, "we're off to Nether-Netherlands."  Both teams had their chances in this game but Holland found their finishing touch (Or should that be Dutch?  No, it shouldn't.) that had clearly deserted them during this summer's European Championship.  The Oranje took the lead from the goal-machine that is Robin Van Persie as he headed home Wesley Sneijder's cross after seventeen minutes.  In what appears to have been quite a close match, Turkey had a number of chances to equalise and Holland had a number of chances to increase their lead.  It wasn't until stoppage time that Holland's PSV winger Luciano Narsingh sealed the win with a good finish on the counter-attack.  The most entertaining moment of the match must have come at this moment however (taken from goal.com): "Martins Indi stamps on Martins Indi's foot after the defender gives him a push in midfield".  The highlights of that incident must be hilarious!


Game 4: Russia vs Northern Ireland
Prediction: Home win
(Yep)

The luck of the (Northern) Irish was absent on Friday evening as they returned from Russia with love (in a tennis sense)...  Russia had been favourites going into this match and proved why with a solid performance and a 2-0 win.  The Russians took the lead on the half-hour mark as Viktor Fayzulin put the ball into the corner of the net, therefore giving sports journalists everywhere the opportunity to stick the word Viktor-y into their headlines.  Northern Ireland never created any meaningful chances and Russia failed to make the most of their possession until the 74th minute when Alexander Kokorin fell over in the vicinity of Craig Cathcart and a penalty was awarded in spite of the visitors protests.  (Incidently, it is never to early to think about Christmas shopping and what better way to let your children know how much you love them than with a jigsaw of a photo of Craig Cathcart taken seven years ago?  Yours for just £15.32!)  Roman Shirokov, who is not really a Roman, sent Roy Carrol the wrong way to finalise the Viktor-y for Russia, who then presumably danced the Trepak from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker.    

Game 5: Andorra vs Hungary
Prediction: Away win
(Yep)

In another match that seems to lack any kind of report in English, Hungary proved that they were more Hungary for the win.  You can either watch the highlights here or enjoy my slightly fictional account.  Hungary took the lead on twelve minutes when Roland Juhasz cleared the ball from his own line with an overhead kick only for the ball to find the net at the opponents end of the pitch.  Captain Zoltan Gera (as in football captain, not pirate) scored a penalty to the double the lead after some Andorran player did something naughty inside the box, to put the visitors 2-0 at half-time.  After the break, Adam Szalai kicked the ball really hard and it went waaaay up in the air and bounced off of an aeroplane and did a goal on the way back down.  The referee then suffered an LSD flashback in which he imagined that Tamás Priskin had scored a goal by picking the ball up with his teeth and flying into the net whilst rainbows shot out of his ears, and so awarded a goal much to the confusion of the Andorran players.  For the last ten minutes of the game, the Hungarians sat in the centre circle drinking tea.  As Andorra's Josep Gómes took a goal-kick, the ball bounced off Hungarian tea-lady Vladimir Koman and ended up in the back of the net to complete a perplexing victory.

Game 6: Luxembourg vs Portugal
Prediction: Away win (Yep)

A surprisingly narrow victory for Portugal at the Stade Josy Barthel (I initially read this as Stade Joey Barton and was slightly confused) placed them second behind Russia in Group F.  Luxembourg shocked the Portuguese by taking the lead in the 13th minute as  Daniel da Mota put a sweet strike into the top right-hand corner of the net.  Somewhat ironically, da Mota is in fact Portuguese but has Luxembourgian or Luxembourgish citizenship.  The underdog's lead was only to last for fifteen minutes however as Joao Moutinho took advantage of some comical defending to set-up Cronaldo for his 37th international goal.  The 'bourg would have been pretty chuffed at the break to be holding the 'guese to a draw, but a tactical change by Portugal for the second-half resulted in more confusion for the home side's defence.  Winger  Silvestre Varela was introduced to make the away side more attacking and it paid off in the 54th minute when Hélder Postiga scored an easy goal from yet another Joao Moutinho assist.  Luxembourg never really recovered after this and did well to prevent a higher scoreline.  This seems far too normal, here is a funny old man singing a song in Luxembourg.      

Game 7: Latvia vs Greece
Prediction: Home (Nope)

In spite of being poor (and not just in a footballing sense), Greece managed to do the job in Riga as they won 2-1.  However, it was Latvia who looked more determined from the start and were rewarded when they took the lead after forty minutes of play.  Aleksandrs Cauņa (pronounced [t͡sɑu'ɲɑ]) scored from the penalty spot with a penalty after Greece were penalised with a penalty.  A hungrier Greece appeared for the second-half, largely because they couldn't afford any biscuits for the break, and Nikos Spyropoulos levelled the match just before the 60th minute with a long range drive.  If I ever write a novel about a detective struggling to find the truth in a Dystopian future, it will definitely be called Spyropoulos.  Following this goal, Greece appeared to be in control of the match but were weakened when Giorgios Samaras was taken off injured shortly afterwards, probably a result of 'falling over under minimal contact whilst gesturing to the referee to inform him that every time he falls over it is a definite foul' one too many times.  But this set-back did not stop them from seeking a winner as Greek geek Theofanis Gekas literally waltzed into the box before literally rifling a shot into the net.  Literally.  Manager Fernando Santos was so pleased with the win that he passed a bag of Mini Cheddars around the dressing room for all to share.

Four out of seven results correct to set a new record for The Grambler!  Despite this, and actually winning money, I am money down this week as I did not get the full stake back from my Super Heinz.  However, as promised the winnings will go into my collection to be be presented to The Bobby Moore Fund at the season's end, hopefully via a giant novelty cheque.  I am learning more about the world of betting each week and will hopefully soon have a method that will guarantee the occasional decent return.

There are a number of international games taking place in the midweek so I am tempted to have The Grambler pick another coupon.  Mostly because I have nothing better to do with my time.  Keep an eye on this page, the Facebook page and that Twitter thing tomorrow afternoon for the outcome!


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