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Slipperduke

The Camden Cad
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
4,333
Location
North London
There was a point last night where I was so bored I actually thought I was just going to stop breathing. Like a floundering man in icy water, my system was beginning to shut down on me.

To be fair, Switzerland against Ukraine never really hurled itself off the page at me. It always looked like it might be a bit tight, but you just don't know with these things. Ukraine, debutants at this level, would surely be looking to impose themselves, wouldn't they? And what about Switzerland? It’s been 12 years since they got to the Second Round. They'd be eager to improve on that with a relatively simple fixture. No.

Faced with a wall of yellow shirts, the Swiss gallantly lived up to their national stereotypes and refused to show any fight at all. Mundane Ukraine looked slightly confused by Switzerland's trepidation and, perhaps sensing a trap, decided to hide behind the half-way line.

The 120 minutes that followed should have carried a health warning. Five minutes into injury time, a friend called me up.

"I'm in a pub without a telly," he said. "What's happening?"

"Nothing," I muttered sadly. "Nothing is happening. Nothing has happened. Nothing will ever happen. This is as bad as it gets."

Now penalty shoot-outs are usually something to savour. They're a buttock-clenching display of nerves and guts, like the final gun-fight at the end of a Western. Someone has to win and someone has to lose. Obviously, it's horrible if your team is involved, but it's hilarious if you're neutral.

How Switzerland and Ukraine managed to make this boring is beyond me. First Andreiy Shevchenko stepped up to once again show off the bottle that has successfully kept the Champions League out of AC Milan's clutches for a few years now. Then Switzerland, anxious to maintain parity, threw their penalty away. A Ukranian, keen to hold on to the 0-0 scoreline, was callously let down by the Swiss goalkeeper who hurled himself out the way of his tame effort. And then the cherry on the cake. The Worst Penalty Of All Time. I shall spare the poor chap a mention, suffice to say he shaped to hit right, aimed left and succeeded only in scuffing it down the middle. Up in the Bavarian night sky, the sound of Gareth Southgate's laughter drifted across the wind.

Ukraine progressed in the end, but they took our innocence with them. Surely now, FIFA must see fit to eliminate both teams for dragging our game through the mud? Perhaps Ivory Coast can be re-instated? Or maybe Czech Republic? Or anyone?

It was a sorry night for football. As I write this, I hear rumours that support groups are being set up for those who had to watch the whole thing. There may even be commemorative wristbands, "Make Switzerland-Ukraine History."

Can you think of a worse fixture ever?
 

SUFCFARAWAY

Guest
2003 - Europen cup final. Ac Milan v Juventus 0-0 with Milan winning 3-2 on penalties.
 

Uncle Leo

This cook is an anti-semite
Joined
Nov 19, 2003
Messages
23,031
Location
NY Parks Dept
1991 European Cup Final - Red Star Belgrade played for pens against Marseilles from the off and got 'em. Red Star won the shoot-out 5-3.

A big shame was that so many wonderful players were on show that night - Waddle, Papin, Abedi Pele, Pancev, Savicevic - but it was such a poor game.

That's not to say that Switzerland vs Ukraine wasn't f%&king rotten though...
 

Matt the Shrimp

aka Harry Potter
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
19,929
Location
Lewisham, London
I'm pleased to say I opted to watch a spot of "Total Recall" on ITV2... Arnie, a lithe and youthful Sharon Stone... far more rewarding.

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DTS

The Business
Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
16,173
Location
In a world of my own.
Fully agree with comments. At one point I was considering putting two pens up my nostrills and banging my head down on a table to end the pain.

I can honestly say I dont think I have had to endure a more painful game since MK Dons came to town.

Even Gary Lineker couldnt make it sound interesting.
 

Matt the Shrimp

aka Harry Potter
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
19,929
Location
Lewisham, London
Oh, in terms of worse games of football... the one game that stands out like a beacon of awfulness is Southend v. Bolton, 12 Jan 1994.

Fewer than 5,000 souls made their way to Roots Hall to watch the most turgid, lifeless display of football I've ever witnessed.  It was as if Bolton were having a training session... they played neat little triangles, trotted about, were never challenged... and then popped in a goal in each half to guarantee the points.

No one sang, no one celebrated, and during the second half a mist enshrouded the ground like a funereal cloak.  The silence was deafening, split only by the shrill cry of the referees whistle to signify that this so-called event - more like a surrealist play choreographed by Ingmar Bergman than a football match - had finally drawn to an end.

When I leave Roots Hall, I may think "that was great", "that was crap", "that was irritating" or "that was a bit dull".

But after that game was the only time I think I've left the ground and thought "what was the point of that game, and what was the point of being here?"... Bolton 2 Southend Nihilism, if you like.

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The Fitter

Coach
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
860
Location
Shoeburyness
Ah glad I stumbled across this thread. An absolute stonker of a game.
My favourite comment, after both teams had missed their first penalty, they will have to decide this game on the toss of a coin.
 

Jonny_Stokes

National League Tour Guide
Joined
Apr 22, 2005
Messages
4,695
Location
The EFL
I watched a program about 'the memory of the heart' instead of extra time. It was fascinating.

Oh, and Kingstonian 0-0 Orient in the FA Cup has the been the worst game I've ever seen. That was live on TV too....
 
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