I’ve been watching a lot of the World Cup this year. I usually watch one or two matches every day while I’m feeding Ruby. My favorite team so far is, believe it or not, Angola.
Since I don’t know anything about Angola, here’s some choice tidbits extracted out of wikipedia:
- Angola, like many sub-Saharan nations, is subject to periodic outbreaks of infectious diseases.
- The earliest inhabitants of the area were Khoisan hunter-gatherers. They were largely replaced by Bantu tribes during Bantu migrations.
- Independence [from Portugal] was to be declared in November 1975. Almost immediately, a civil war broke out between MPLA, UNITA and FNLA, exacerbated by foreign intervention.
- The 27-year long Angolan Civil War ravaged the country’s political and social institutions.
- [Economic] growth is almost entirely driven by rising oil production.
- Catholicism remains the dominant religion, although recently an increasing number of churches are claiming more followers, particularly evangelicals.
Angola’s goalkeeper, Joao Ricardo, has been (imho) the MVP of the World Cup so far, and he hasn’t played with a professional team for nearly a year.
Angola is playing Iran right now (actually, the match is probably over, but I’ve got it paused on the Tivo). If Angola wins and Mexico loses, and if the goal differential works out in Angola’s favor, then Angola would advance. It’s a shame that doing so would knock out Mexico, since they’re my second-favorite team.
Also, I don’t see how it’s possible that Brazil could ever lose — and they aren’t even playing very well. Yet.
Update: Angola ended in a draw with Iran and so they don’t advance — Mexico does instead. Mexico even helped out and lost their game, but Angola’s defense let them down on a corner kick — and Ricardo was livid that no defenders were marking the posts on what would have been an easy ball to kick off the line. See you in four years, Angola…if oil companies don’t destroy what’s left after your civil war, that is.