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Worldwide Ace » Unification

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Unification

23 June, 2010 (13:44) | Sports

Landon Donovan celebrates his game winning goal against Algeria at the 2010 World Cup.
Landon Donovan celebrates his game winning goal against Algeria.

Our arrival meant that there were six of us sliding into our seats, waves of anxiety and excitement shivering down our spines. It was almost a matter of pride arriving when the bistro was empty save for a smattering of staff and a handful of bleary-eyed fans huddling at the bar.

“Good work, boys,” the hostess said with a smirk. “You made it just in time.”

Perfectly on cue, the ball leapt from the pitch and the game was on.

The crowd slowly grew, tables sliding and chairs twirling to accommodate the late-comers. Passers-by with a moment to spare appeared in doorways and at windows, craning their necks and succumbing to the tension.

We watched, rapt, our eyes straining and hearts pounding. Every glance away, every sip and bite, was nervously timed, fear mounting that the moment everyone awaited with hope and trepidation would slip past unseen.

We waited, idle conversation flecked with nervous laughter. Children and parents cupped their glasses, knuckles white and brows furrowed. Some prayed, all yearned, our collective desire emitting into the ether in waves, as if it could cross the vast physical distance and bring us the outcome we desired.

Somewhere else, others were doing the same, hoping for an opposing end.

With the clock ticking away, the opportunity waning, it happened.

We clamored. We cheered. We cried. Hands slapped in a cacophonous roar, the potential becoming kinetic so fast that we virtually collapsed, our reserves emptied.

As the final whistle blew, we numbered perhaps fifty, our faces smiling, relieved.

For a moment, we were united. Not just the fifty of us together there, but the tens of thousands of us tucked into every corner of every bar, huddled around crackling radios and TVs, and entrenched in the stands a hemisphere away.

This was our hour.

This was the World Cup.

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