Sunday, December 18, 2005

liverpool vs sao paulo final club world champs yokohama

liverpool 0 sao paulo 1
played before a nearly full yokohama stadium (66800) with maybe 3000 liverpool and similar
numbers for sao paulo plus locals
the atmosphere as usual tends to dissipate in such a large stadium with the crowd well distanced from the playing area
the tournament means more to the south americans than the british & they certainly celebrated at the end (with the mandatory communal praying)
thats not to say that liverpool didnt want to win and in the second half particularly they showed a lot of spirit & desire though it seemed strange that crouch was not to appear until the last 15 mins - surely he would have caused the brasilians problems from the start ?
but liverpool had many chances anyway & should have had a least been level at the end
it was only in the first half that sao paulo were to show consistent (attacking) prowess
& you felt they were unduly pragmatic in the 2nd
the final presentations with mr blatter prominent seemed to (and did) go on for ages

overall a generally entertaining tournament with all games being close (except liverpool vs saprissa) played in v cold but dry weather in large stadiums before mainly quiet audiences
tickets easy to buy - only maybe the final would need some prior organisation & it looked like they had cat 1 (v expensive) tickets left
as you would expect in japan it is very easy to get around - the transport system is awesome

To encourage more local participation it would make sense to a) include a local team
b) move the event around different confederations c) merge oceania with asia in the sense of having one champion/particpant from that super-region

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