Leg of lamb – NRC

Friday evening I was not ready for the press conference about the new corona measures, but for the World Cup qualifying match of the Dutch women’s football that came after. To pass the time, I scrolled through headlines like, “Bloodthirsty Orange Lionesses Prey for Revenge on Czech Women.” The debt of revenge on the Czechs had accumulated. The Lionesses had to avenge their own draw last summer and the elimination of the men last summer. Before long, the Czechs will be the new Germans.

For the time being, Hugo de Jonge and Mark Rutte were in the picture. When the tiki-taka with measures was over, the real battle could begin. The blades were sharpened, it was snowing hard in Ostrava, so we dragged on until the snow beat the blades and the race was cancelled.

Now the Dutch city centers could completely forget about it, I thought. Tightened corona measures and a canceled qualifying match. I went into the garden to secure anything that could get in the way. In the neighborhood where I live they like football and setting off fireworks. Although that actually applies to the whole of the Netherlands, but for some neighborhoods a little more than for others. Let me just say that this neighborhood is roughly the Duindorp of Amsterdam, a comparison with which I probably offend Amsterdam, and Duindorp.

At the place where the Lionesses would finish the Czechs, they now showed a travel program of a Belgian on Texel. So I came to see a farmer who keeps sheep and sells leg of lamb from a vending machine. The Belgian and the farmer spoke lightly about this, as if a lamb is not a baby animal and a leg of lamb is not his leg, a leg that was chopped off after the baby was taken from its mother and chopped into pieces.

No Lionesses, but stricter measures and then also indifferent drivel about legalized animal abuse. I started to hope that the corona-related demolition work of hooligans, wappies and other pandemic rebels would reach as far as Texel and Belgium. That didn’t happen. In fact, the inner cities were also spared.

On Saturday, the postponed Czech Republic-Netherlands started at 12:00 PM. I checked with the app group Haagse Neusûh to see if everyone was watching. “The whole of The Hague is still drunk,” replied the Hague. He clarified: “Because of the 5-1 of ADO against FC Dordrecht, not because of the measures.”

Within eleven minutes, the Czech Republic scored against the Lionesses. Not long after, they were menacing again as their numbers 5 and 10 took off across a vast field with no players. They reminded me of Hugo de Jonge and Mark Rutte, especially when they were overtaken by Kerstin Casparij who, fast as the virus, cleared the ball from their feet.

At the beginning of the second half, the Lionesses equalized, nine minutes later the Czech Republic ran out again. After a parade of missed opportunities, Stefanie van der Gragt managed to head it in reserve time. The Lionesses pulled out a draw, but it doesn’t change that they are most reminiscent of lambs on their way to where their legs are cut off. In the best case scenario, that will be Australia, World Cup 2023.

Carolina Trujillo is a writer.

Leg of lamb – NRC
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