The cup is over, and the victory belongs to Spain.
In the end, the game was not the game of the cup... it paled in comparison to other dramatic finishes we have seen in the past three weeks. It was defined by “almosts”, being "almost" this - "almost" that.
At any time any team could have won. Spain (hungry and talented) was pitted against Nederlands (steady and skilled) for the final that was what most final games are: an anticlimax after the victories that led up to it.
For the actual game, I stayed home to grieve... family concerns back in the States have me grieving today. Mario went across the street to Terry and Bonnie's to see the big screen game with a crowd. It was followed by a fireworks display from Soccer City in Soweto that could be seen in Northern Joburg...
This is the first time Spain has been in the finals, let alone clenched the "Holy Grail" of soccer... and the ocotpus was right. Spain defeated the Netherlands by a score of 1-0 to win its first World Cup title. Andres Iniesta scored the winning goal in extra time.
The game defining goal (a long-awaited pay-off) ended the nail biting apprehension of sudden death shoot-outs, like Ghana vs. Uruguay, was scored by a mid-fielder, Andres Iniesta... an unlikely hero, especially unheard of in comparison to the superstars that came to South Africa (Drogba, Reynoldo, Sneijder, Kaka) that could not deliver the cup for country in the end. Iniesta broke free inside the penalty area near the end of the game, took a pass from Cesc Fabregas and put the ball just past the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.
Inhiesta, in Spanish, means “ entangled, perplexed” which could sum up the play all through the game... the game of no absolutes. Two great teams, two worthy opponents, asking great questions in their pay: Whose ball is it?? Whose foul? Whose Cup? Who is more worthy?”
As I sat watching the game, my mind was preoccupied. We were meant to host a Cup-end party at our house tonight, but we had to cancel because of devastating news we received from home this morning. The news (which is the kind of family news we cannot share) derailed me, and we almost didn’t make it to church (NEVER before skipped since we moved here).
On the couch with my miniature Pinscher asleep beside me, I gazed at the TV, stumbling in and out of interest. The news from home made me vulnerable... it made me scared. It made me not want to be around people asking questions like “Are you okay?”, or “Is everything okay at home?”...questions that require a light two-minute answer that can’t be manufactured on the spot.
Should we be here in South Africa?? Are we meant to be home in the States? Where are we the most valuable? Is God really wanting us here? These are the questions that were running through my mind tonight... the ones that perplex me. The questions that make me realize that I am asking a question that has no simple answer.
I am inhiesta, or perplexed about everything meaningful tonight.
Beyond that, I am happy Spain won.