Ignacio Keil celebrates Spain’s win in the Soccer World Cup finals, while his mate Tim Escher is disappointed with a Netherlands loss.
Ignacio Keil celebrates Spain’s win in the Soccer World Cup finals, while his mate Tim Escher is disappointed with a Netherlands loss. Mike Knott

Agony, ecstasy plays out in Cup

TWO friends. Two opposing teams. One result.

For diehard soccer fans, Ignacio Keil and Tim Escher, 14, yesterday's World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands mirrored the agony and ecstasy of the real thing.

The 1-0 win to Spain made pulling an all-nighter all the more worthwhile for Ignacio.

“We watched horror movies all night to keep us awake until the 4.30am kick-off,” he said.

Argentina-born Ignacio began rooting for the Spaniards after his beloved home team was knocked out of the quarter finals after a 4-0 loss to Germany.

“Argentina was my favourite team and when Germany beat them I started going for Spain,” he explained.

Although the match went into overtime, Ignacio knew Spain would come out on top.

“I had a feeling Spain was going to win because they dominated the whole match,” he said.

“In the end it could have been anyone's goal. The Netherlands had a few chances but missed them all.”

Of Dutch heritage, Netherlands supporter Tim said he didn't cop much flak from his friend after the “very disappointing loss”.

“We were too tired by the end of it so we went to bed,” he laughed.

Bundaberg Spirit coach Ritchard Mitchell said the World Cup had had a positive impact on the community.

“First and foremost, it has gotten boys and girls interested in the game,” he said.

“It's been an absolutely magic four weeks of football.”

Mr Mitchell said although it hadn't changed people's attitudes to soccer, the game definitely united people and their countries.

“Football doesn't care about your race or creed or whether you're a man or a women. The ball can get a lot of people together,” he said.

“I love it, although rivalries are fierce.”

The coach said that both teams had played well, but Spain deserved the win.

“Netherlands have good football players, but Spain was the better side,” he admits.

“It's no disgrace to get to the final – it's a phenomenal effort.”

In four years time Brazil will host the next World Cup but for the time being, coach Mitchell says “we'll focus on our local soccer clubs”.



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