1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 ASIA/OCEANIA

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 ‘Bring on your masses, bring on your wealth
New Zealand’s under no illusions, just pride in oneself.’

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 September 24th Eighty thousand subdued Chinese
tuned to sporadic applause on key, swelled the
workers stadium Beijing, to support their courteous
eleven, who left their mannerly manifest at their doors.
(As one would in chivalrous times.)

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 New Zealand looked good for its nil-nil draw,
one point gained on alien soil.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 Saturday October 3rd did see a fine day; returned
the Chinese for the consecutive game, thirty thousand patrons
to help the coffers along, thirty thousand souls to sing
New Zealand’s song, right on half time tactics
were rewarded with one, a goal to New Zealand ‘That’s
all it was enough,’ two games played three points gained
just four games to go, before knocking on Spain’s door.

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 ‘One dared to venture in thought now
confidence begins to reign.’

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 October 10th Kuwait, the giant of them all,
where even petrodollars command only small talk.
They! even arrive with insults to boot
New Zealand’s heard it all before.
‘The game is played out on the pitch and that’s where it
should stay’ but what happened at Mount Smart gives gross
insults to this day, an honest one-nil lead
at half time New Zealand looked like a championship side,
thirty thousand devotees had no conception of what lay
ahead, the next forty-five minutes gave one nightmares
instead, that unmentionable referee destroying all decent
and fair men, Kuwait the visitor left New Zealand for dead.
Kiwi’s first loss but surely not this way, one penalty one
goal, a two-one score line the records will say.

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 ‘That’s all the Gods of FIFA need, to abate.’

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 The six-week break that followed was needed
just to clear the air, a couple of friendly
games played to help the despair, November 28th
Saudi Arabia’s jumbo jet and their forty two;
players, cooks and physios and all of who’s who,
were the visitors, for this to be New Zealand’s last home game.
Twenty thousand plus thronged that Election Day,
hoping to see the all whites pave the way, after fifteen
minutes it looked just so, one-nil up and coasting home,
then drastically the wave began to ebb and halftime saw the
impetuous home side two-one down and deserved, it took a last
minute dramatic equalizer to save the day,
New Zealand now left only with two away games.

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 Permutations were now to be relied on before
New Zealand knew what their aim, if paladins were ever
needed it would be in these last two games, three points
the minimum a draw and a win, but worse news to follow the
win would have to be big.

11 Leave a comment on verse 11 0 Hark! does one hear the doubter, bay like sheep?

12 Leave a comment on verse 12 0 Kiwi had seen nothing till the stadium reached,
sixty five thousand showed relations that were breached,
antagonism stalking like a tropical simoom, hostilities akin
to a Hollywood lampoon. This 14th day of December will be
remembered for Kiwi kept his head, looking just to be prudent
for the job that lay ahead, Kuwait applied the pressure came
on with a roar but lionhearted Kiwi kept them on the wane,
only when it did seem safe did a renascent Kuwait score.
So halftime saw the Kiwi down yet looking ever so thorough,
encouragement from management aided they understood,
second half was a revelation two goals magnificently played
with only thirty seconds left three million were overjoyed.

13 Leave a comment on verse 13 0 Oh! that wicked final thirty seconds how cruel can fate be,
an argumentative decision gave Arab a chance to preen,
a two-all draw but still a chance to survive,
now that permutation dictates last game to win by five!

14 Leave a comment on verse 14 0 Five days later the somber mood had changed
Kiwi now just wanted to strive and win the game,
although no mention of the illustrious five,
deeply that’s what player had in mind.
What was to follow did indeed records create all five to
New Zealand on this ultra day, the effervescent strikers by
halftime had done the job to play off with China now was on,
one more goal to utopia New Zealand would go but a defensive
error and the team just go home, full time whistle the score
remained the same, a five-nil victory to Kiwi this record
breaking day.

15 Leave a comment on verse 15 0 An easy passage it was not meant to be
fourteen games played, more than any qualifier in history,
only one loss yet still not there
January 10th ninety minutes left for all that cared.
Sixth thousand packed Singapore’s national stadium that
night, two hundred million received the television rights,
odds were for Kiwi then injury did strike,
so local contingent made China favourite for the night,
so the scene was set only player could now act out his
Role-turning chances created into goals,
a stunning effort from Kiwi he earned his fame
a two-one score line gave New Zealand the game!

16 Leave a comment on verse 16 0 One of the world’s great sporting achievements there is
no doubt, from meager beginnings to a squad with plenty
of clout, just getting to the world cup finals it was all
about, to be rewarded with each ninety minutes of
tutorial periods from the well versed teachers of soccer.
‘Learn your lessen well.’ ‘So tomorrow’s children may

17 Leave a comment on verse 17 0 ‘Hark! does one hear the doubter, coo like a dove?’


simoom :
A strong, hot, sand-laden wind of the Sahara and Arabian deserts: “Stephen’s heart had withered up like a flower of the desert that feels the simoom coming from afar” (James Joyce). Also called samiel.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/saga-of-8182-part-ii/