Euro 2016: SF – Portugal v Wales

Or Wales vs Wimbledon, Part II.

Losing two set leads was the fashion of the day on Centre Court on Mens quarter final day at Wimbledon.  After Marin Cilic had managed to squander two sets and numerous break point chances and match points on Roger Federer’s serve to eventually lose an epic encounter in five sets, Andy Murray decided to get in on the act.  Thanks in part to Andy’s sloppiness and Jo-Wilfred’s mercurial brilliance, Andy too frittered away a two set lead, plus a break in the fourth, to drag the match to a fifth set.  That meant he was still playing when the Portugal v Wales match started.  Thanks a bunch Andy.  So poor Wales were demoted to being ant men on my Samsung Mini again.

Thankfully, Andy is no Marin and Jo-Wilfred is no Roger.  “There is no way I am going to lose this match”, Andy shouted to his box, and he was true to his word.  He ran away with the fifth set, so the overlap between the tennis and the football lasted no more than the first half.  Fortunately, not much of interest had happened in the football, which was nothing new in a match Portugal were playing!

And here I have a confession to make.  At the start of the second half, I suddenly realised a bathroom break was urgently required, having sat through nearly 4 hours of Andy’s frustrating, dramatic, hair tearing adventures without moving.  Lulled by a false sense of security (well, nothing much happened in Portugal matches till the end, right?), I decided it was safe to quickly nip to the loo.  Bad, bad idea.  By the time I came out, Portugal were 2-0 up.  Wtf?!

And that was that.  Unlike Roger and Jo-Wilfred (at least for a while), there was no miraculous comeback for Wales.  Apparently it was Ronaldo who had made the difference, scoring one goal and making the other for Nani.  I didn’t need to see it to know that.  As I had written in the review of Portugal’s QF match against Poland, Ronaldo is always there doing it when it matters most.  Where would Portugal be without him?  Probably on their way home after the group stages.  Now Ronaldo is on the verge of achieving the one honour missing from his CV: winning a major tournament with Portugal.

As for Wales, what a fantastic achievement.  The semi final was a match too far, especially without the industry and creativity of the suspended Aaron Ramsey, but Wales can leave with their heads held high.  They gave it their all, which is all anyone can ask of them.

Still, it was a pity Wales couldn’t replicate the crazy comebacks at Wimbledon.  Wales 0 Wimbledon 1

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