One Nil

Yesterday was magnificent. There was a wee football match in Glasgow with Scotland taking on the mighty World Cup finalists France in a Euro 2008 qualifier. Scotland won! 1 – 0! We were in the car at the time; our mate Steve had issued a last-minute invitation for a night out in Weegieland. I'd forgotten all about the match, but when we flipped on the radio to find Scotland had scored with just twenty minutes left to go, I got swept up in the agonising, hysterical countdown to the final siren. It was a historic victory, as the presenters on Radio Scotland breathlessly reminded us every seven seconds. The Scottish team hasn't enjoyed much success in recent years; the match reports are usually pretty grim. On a good day you'd get a "gallant in defeat" sort of headline. They have been rebuilding nicely under their new manager Walter Smith, but last night's victory was still a major upset. The presenter's voices were raw with pride and emotion. In Australia we're so confident about sport and victory is often expected; demanded. But when it happens over here it can be a magnificient surprise and everyone goes mad in the most joyous, infectious way. Forgive the paraphrasing here but one radio presenter rasped, "Everyone out there keeps saying we're crap! But we're no crap. We just beat France. So everyone, just stop saying we're crap! Because we're no!" Then another bloke got carried away interviewing Gary Caldwell, the Scottish goal scorer. "Hold on… I have to give you a cuddle first before I ask you any questions. Ahhhh… this cuddle is from all of Scotland!" Steve lives right near the stadium, so by the time we arrived the Tartan Army had flooded the streets. A singing and dancing swarm of blue and white; flags and kilts and Jimmy hats. People jumped out in front of our car, waving and cheering. And other folk just tried to flag us down. Gareth's car is a six-year-old silver Peugeot 406, which happens to be the same vehicle as a great number of taxis in this country. Ever since he got it a few weeks ago, we can't go anywhere at night without some drunk leaping out and waving their arms, then giving us the finger when we don't pull over. So we had a nice night out in Glasgow; it was impossible not to with everyone in such a good mood. "It's just so brilliant," gushed a woman on the train, clearly overwhelmed by the victory, "At best I'd hoped for a 1-0 win to France. That would have been a respectable gubbing." "Oh aye!" said her companion, "And now we're the best team IN THE WORLD!" "How do you get that?!" "Well Italy won the World Cup, but France beat Italy the other day, and now we beat the Froggies… so that makes SCOTLAND the best team in the world!" "Ahh," said Gareth. "I love the logic of ten pints."

you really need to capture these moments while you can!

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10 thoughts on “One Nil

  1. yeh… but we’ll do brilliant till we have to play italy (the real world champs) in our last game, go 3-1 up only needing a draw to go through… be pulled back to 3-3 with 20 minutes to go.. oh the tension … hold on till 90 the minute and lose the fourth in injury time … a penalty of course.. (a la australia in this years world cup)!!!

    ahhhhhhhhhh…. still, we’re used to it now .. you’re still learning…. hehe… its a remarkable talent scots teams have – snatching defeat from the jaws of victory…. still we’ll have a laff, get drunk and kiss italian policewomen …

    of course we could always get behind the British football team for the olympics? no? oh yeh cos we’d have to be with the english supporters surporting english players… maybe a ‘token’ scot in there..

    and why the f*** do we get the england game, the ireland game, on telly but not the scotland game!!! grrrrr

    meanwhile england will qualify cos the other teams play well against everyone but them… i dunno why but it does seem that way… another ‘portugal’ would be helluva sweet tho..

  2. Will the lead hold? Will the Scots advance out of their brutal group? Who knows? Who cares?!?! For now, Scotland is the king of the football world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Odds for Scotland to win were 16-1 and my husband had wanted to put $100 on it but I chided him for having such a crazy idea – “are you fucking nuts?!” were my exact words, I recall. And now, my punishment is to be looking at those $1,000 Ferragamo shoes from the wrong side of the shop window.

    Aside from that, three cheers for Scotland! Woohoo!

  4. I was at home, entertaining family visiting from Scotland. The boys had gone to the pub bright and early, SF time, to watch the game. Then we got a call, and I was steeling myself to console my SH (Scottish Husband). But, no, it was a victory! An amazingly suprising victory! And he said the exact same thing about being best in the world (don’t know how many pints, but certainly a few!). Great story about being there in Glasgow, though. Yippee!

  5. I know what you mean about Aussies winning and the climate of expectation.

    I seem to recall that at tsome Swimming meet when the aussies failed to win an event a lot of people behaved like the team had taken a shit in the pool.

    As a Scot and a weejie I got a real kick out of the winning, the surprise and the Bar room logic that could result in anyone thinkin, even for a moment that we had the best team in the world.



  6. Oh that sounds like such a great time! A bit like the Aussies winning a game in the world cup – must celebrate! 😀

  7. and kraine burst the bubble… well they were diving as much as the italians did in the last world cup… still it gets you important free kicks, sending off’s and penalties…

    do they really need to roll 5 times for a missed tackle?

    we should get the crowd to hold up boards with 5.9 5.7 5.9 6.0 etc depending how good their dive was

    still , england lost, so all not wrong in the world

  8. Ooh and so the bubble bursts!

    Beat France and get a spanking from Ukraine, so the natural order reasserts itself.


  9. Yes, Ukraine has brought reality back to the tartan army. I equate beating France to buying a lottery ticket. For a few days you can walk around dreaming about the “what-ifs”, but eventually the drawing comes and you don’t win. Well, I’m hoping Scotland buys us all another lottery ticket soon (maybe a win over Italy?). It’s kinda fun to dream about those “what-ifs”.

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