The much hyped security check was brief and performed good-naturedly by Strathclyde Police, for whom this is a walk in the park compared to an Old Firm cup final day I presume (although thankfully it'll be a while before we are blighted with one of those again I reckon). By chance I had ended up in a nostalgic corner of Hampden for me, from where I watched Rangers defeat Partick Thistle in a Scottish Cup semi-final. It now turns out they were cheating that day with their financial doping chicanery, depriving my team of a cup final day.
|Hampden Park, Glasgow|
I was promised on my letter from the Olympics people that there would be a "great variety of food...from filling meals to tasty treats". Eh, no there wasn't. Considering I was locked in the ground for 5 hours to watch two games the options for eating were bloody awful, and the queues ludicrous. Scotch pie, steak pie, chicken curry pie, cheesy bean pie, crisps or Cadbury's chocolate. That was it. Fancy a cool beer to relax in this international sporting gala? Nae chance. Coke, sprite or coffee. Stretching things to describe that as "filling meals to tasty treats".
The crowd had filled up now to a respectable 37,000 by the time the game started, with the Japanese fans adding a fair bit of colour and numerous Spain tops being worn by Spaniards and Scots. Despite the chore of a couple of Mexican waves before the match started the crowd were all very jolly, buoyed along by the Japanese drumming section in the opposite corner from me. Spain looked from the outset to be struggling with the expectation on them, whilst the Japanese were attacking entertainingly and took the lead from a corner, turned in by Yuki Otsu. After that Spain struggled with Japan's counter-attacking play and after getting Inigo Martinez sent off for pulling down a free running Kensuke Nagai never looked like equalising. If they were better at finishing or made better choices with their final ball the Japanese could have filled their boots today, and as time went on it was clear that the crowd of neutrals were cheering them on. If Spain want to hold EVERY football trophy in the world game simultaneously they are going to have to pull their finger out. The Japanese had chance after chance to finish the game off and David de Gea had to make more saves than his opposite number.
|It was the Japanese fans celebrating today|
Japan 1-0 Spain it finished and I watched two entertaining games of football, my children had a fun day out and I'm looking forward to taking them back to Hampden next May when Partick Thistle come "to bring the Scottish Cup back home to Maryhill."
|My boys heading home from Hampden|