Thursday 22 February 2018

World Cup Diary: Road rules go up in smoke

They take a liberal attitude to road safety in South Africa. A two-hour trip back from Rustenberg last Saturday with an angry taxi man cursing loudly while belting it down the wrong side of the road was quite an experience.

But it takes second place in the bizarre road incident of the week competition. What fun it was to travel down a busy road in Johannesburg behind two taxis in parallel lanes veering close to each other, to the point where they were almost touching.

The purpose? One driver was having a smoke, and the other was in need of one. So a passenger was utilised to pass the cigarette out the window so the man in the left lane could have a drag. Remarkable.

trap told to go long

New Zealand striker Chris Killen believes Ireland should follow their lead and put Slovakia under pressure when the European Championship qualifying campaign pits them together in the autumn.

The All Whites secured a famous 1-1 draw on Tuesday by virtue of a late long ball that the Slovaks failed to defend. "Just put the ball in the box, they struggled with those crosses and long balls and that's what I would tell Ireland to do," said Killen (left).

"Like Ireland, we are all about heart and desire. We just kept plugging away."

Sound advice, perhaps, but then Giovanni Trapattoni's side have far more talent in their ranks than New Zealand.

bloody sunday prominent

It may have been 'Youth Day' in South Africa yesterday, with wall-to-wall coverage of that event and, of course, the Bafana Bafana game. Yet the British government's apology for the Bloody Sunday massacre was reported extensively, with the broadsheet 'Star' newspaper devoting almost the whole of page four to the findings of the Saville Inquiry.

Wish You Were Here

Esteban Cambiasso


The latest in our series of Argentines spurned by Diego Maradona.

Cambiasso, another star of Inter Milan's Champions League success, is an experienced midfielder capable of operating in the holding role and breaking forward with purpose. Alas, he is another persona non grata in Maradona's dressing-room, with Juan Sebastian Veron preferred. Baffling.

Afrikaan Word of the Day


This is a polite description for someone who looks like a woman from the back, but a man from the front. You'll find a couple of those -- men with long hair -- playing for Argentina today.

Bet of the Day

Argentina to win by 2 goals v South Korea at 10/3

Argentina could have scored more against Nigeria and have the quality to be more clinical at Soccer City.

Irish Independent

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