tuque /tūk/ n Canadian English, var. toque [19th c. Canadian French, from the French toque, from the Basque tauka] 1 A close-fitting knitted cap, often with a long tapering end or tassel or pompom. 2 fig Something quintessentially Canadian.
souq /sūk/ n from the Arabic سوق var. souk 1 An open-air marketplace. 2 fig A central meeting place for the circulation of news and ideas.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

World Cup underdogs overachieve underwhelmingly

Today's 11th-hour World Cup qualifiers were dramatic and, for the Tuque Souq, mostly disappointing. As we reported yesterday, Egypt needed a two-goal win over Algeria to stay alive, which they got in stupefying fashion when substitute striker Emad Moteab connected his head to a long cross and put the ball in the back of the net in the 5th minute of stoppage time, literally seconds before the final whistle blew. Algeria, hoping to complete the huge upset, were stunned, and now must face Egypt again in four days in a playoff to be held in Khartoum.

New Zealand notched a gritty, deserved 1-0 win over lil' Bahrain in front of 35,000 ripe kiwis. Victory was secured when Bahrain striker Sayed Mohamed Adnan telegraphed a penalty kick straight into the arms of the All Whites' goalkeeper in the 50th minute, which proved to be Bahrain's closest chance at a goal. New Zealand advance to the World Cup finals for the first time since 1982.

Dear Tunisia played as though under the influence of Triazolam in falling 0-1 to an overmatched but fully conscious Mozambique side. A draw wouldn't have been enough anyway, but the game was headed that way until Dario Khan netted a goal for the home side in the 84th minute, devastating the Tunisian faithful. The result allowed rivals Nigeria, 3-2 winners over Kenya, to edge Les aigles in Africa Group B and qualify for South Africa. It will be Nigeria's 4th trip to the World Cup, their first since 2002.

Morocco, already eliminated from contention, dropped a 2-0 decision to Cameroon, and so the latter will join Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria and the Algeria/Egypt winner, along with hosts South Africa, as Africa's representatives in the World Cup next summer.

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