Tuesday, June 15

A New Zeal and Zest

New Zealand 1-1 Slovakia

Hemingway's in Yorkville pulls a Brazen Head and refuses to open for the 7:30 match. Although, I don't know how many Toronto Kiwis would make the trip to Cumberland this early: Even after years in TO they'd still be feeling that 18-hour jet lag.

Bounced at the bar, I head down to U of T's Hart House where in the Arbor Room's basement cafe a soccer sanctuary lies mostly undiscovered.

The massive screen, ample table room, surprisingly edible cafeteria food, slow-moving Hart House maintenance staff combined with U of T students and professors all make this a unique and unthreatening place to watch the Cup. Even that library-inhabiting species of U of T Aspergerati, who've made avoiding eye-contact and avoiding hellos a sort of Toronto art form– even they are out in force. This time it's to watch Slovakia dominate New Zealand, a World Cup 'minnow' if there ever was one.

A grand treat then, to witness the exploits of Kiwi Winston Reid.

A few minutes after preventing a goal against his side with a diving kick save, Reid wanders into the Slovakia zone with 10 seconds left in injury time and puts his header to good use, making New Zealanders all around the world very very happy.

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