Went out on the town last night. With my lesbian friend. To Oxford St to check out a lesbian event. With the intended aim of meeting some females.
…and it turns out we got the date wrong, no lesbian event, and we ended up at a gay club watching drag queen shows and dancing with gay men.
I’m so bad at this.
So anyway…Asian Cup. As promised, I ventured back out to watch Iran vs Qatar. Now being a random group game between non-Australian teams, I figured it would be a pretty low-key night for me. Small crowd, no lines, no big deal, just rock up and pay $15 to watch an international game of football with a couple of people.
Well…by the time I passed the first few thousand raucous Iranian supporters, on my way to standing in a long queue with hundreds more raucous Iranian supporters, and then setting foot inside the stadium and seeing a 22,000 strong crowd…I began to see that I had misjudged the situation wholly and completely. The atmosphere was amazing. Twenty two thousand…and at least twenty thousand were raucous Iranians, going absolutely out of their tree all match long. This crowd was half the size of the Australian one the other night, but made like three times the noise. My favourite part was the moment about fifteen minutes in when some of the Iranians down by the pitch released the doves. Now, when I say “released the doves”, that isn’t a euphemism or code for something. They literally released doves into the air. These crazy bastards SMUGGLED LIVE POULTRY INTO THE STADIUM. So that they could release the doves. How utterly hysterical. I suppose though…they did win the game.
The Iranians – and the Qataris too for that matter – play a very different style to the Australian team. We’ve come a long way from the days where we used to just beat the crap out of people and call it soccer, but we play a game that relies a lot on the cross. Height at the back, pace on the wings, and lots of crosses for Tim Cahill to try to head home. Whereas watching the Iranians, say, I was so taken aback by how reluctant they were to ever put a cross in. They’d much rather cut it back, beat the man with tricks instead of pace, string passes together and try to walk the ball in. It took some getting used to, being as familiar as I am with our style of play, but it’s interesting to really see up close how different teams ply their trade.
It’s kind of strange to be watching and thinking about football so much in the middle of summer, but I am rather enjoying this. Next stop is Qatar vs Bahrain, which I am a maybe for depending on whether I can finish work in time or not. But hopefully I can get out there. Pretty sure there won’t be 20,000 screaming Bahrainians there, but what the hell. Asian Cup bro.