When the game ended I thought of the second round of the World Cup in 2002. Sweden played against Senegal and we should have won that game (remember Anders Svensson’s fantastic “helicopter-shot” in overtime, hitting the post). If we had beaten Senegal, the next hurdle would have been a quarter final against Turkey. Only in the semi-final we would have faced one of the giants of modern football, Brazil. Just like in 1994.
My conclusion is that we might have to wait a couple of World Cups until little Sweden will face such an easy path towards the semi-final as we did in 2002. That is a conclusion I declared with tears in my eyes when Camara scored that stupid goal against Sweden four years ago (something that my friend Vlad, who watched that game with me in Washington DC in 2002, just noted in a kind e-mail). Most naturally I hope we will face Trinidad in the quarter final and Tobago in the semi-final in 2010. But I am not sure about that.
In the meantime I will continue to follow the wonderful two weeks of football we still have in front of us. And I still think Italy will win, but I am too busy at work to verify that with Xbox research.
[Picture from Esbati’s blog, check out his very funny joke]