FROM the setting of a Las Vegas bar I got ready to watch England’s opener against Italy amongst 100 or so other fans.
I was excited with the news of our line-up, but would have preferred to see Adam Lalana play instead of Jordan Henderson.
With Italy missing legendary goalkeeper Buffon, it gave me even more confidence of victory.
My pre-game prediction was an England 2-1 success and, being in the gambling city of the world, it would have been rude not to bet on it.
Sitting in the middle of the ‘Chelsea In America’ supporters group, we sang the National Anthem and football songs.
I jumped for joy and screamed like a girl when I thought Raheem Sterling had scored after only five minutes, only to be brought crashing down to earth as a replay showed it hit the side-netting.
England were playing well which was good to see – and my prediction seemed a formality.
But when Italy took the lead, it killed our momentum.
I thought Leighton Baines was exposed down the left and didn’t look like the man everyone says is good enough to replace England’s most capped full-back Ashley Cole.
With Baines having to deal with a two-on-one overload for most of the game, Italy’s winning goal came from a cross from his channel.
In order for us to progress, I want to see our top man – and captain – Steven Gerrard dominate the next two games in the manner he does when in the red shirt of Liverpool.
It’s not all doom and gloom though.
The way we played in general was good, and Spain lost their opening game on their way to winning the World Cup in 2010 . . .
- Latest Sport news
- Roger James bags brace as North Leigh beat youthful Oxford United to lift Oxfordshire Senior Cup
- FOOTBALL: Oxford City’s adies ease to cup final win
- FOOTBALL: Arran Gray’s hat-trick clinches North Berks League Division 4 title for Blewbury
- FOOTBALL: Superlative Kidlington make it perfect season in Oxford Mail Under 12 Girls League
- FOOTBALL: Chequers win dramatic Oxford City FA Premier Cup final on penalties
- FOOTBALL: Dan Bott’s brace helps Chipping Norton to finish fourth in Witney & District FA Premier Division
- FOOTBALL: Wayne Blossom shines with double as KEA secure Oxfordshire Junior Shield
- YOUTH FOOTBALL: George Corti’s four-timer is in vain for Botley Boys
- Roger James double sees North Leigh beat Oxford United to lift Oxon Senior Cup
- Michael Appleton aiming to convince Conor McAleny that Oxford United is best option for next season