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 . . .
11:00pm Tuesday 24th November 2015
PATRICK Hoban expertly struck an equaliser as Oxford United came from behind to draw with Newport County at the Kassam Stadium.
10:52pm Tuesday 24th November 2015
6:52pm Tuesday 24th November 2015
Midfielder Ellen Hopkins proved to be Tower Hill Ladies’ penalty shoot-out hero, donning the gloves to save two spot-kicks as they reached the semi-finals of the OFA County Cup at the expense of Benson Lionesses.
6:46pm Tuesday 24th November 2015
All the news from Oxford United's clash with Newport County at the Kassam Stadium in Sky Bet League Two.
6:47pm Tuesday 24th November 2015
Martino Ventriglia struck a spectacular left-foot volley winner into the top corner from 30 yards with four minutes to go as Chequers beat Zubry 3-2 at home in their top-of-the-table Oxford City FA clash.
12:41pm Tuesday 24th November 2015
OXFORD United have sent Cameron Gayle out on loan to Cambridge United after extending the defender's stay at the club by two months.
10:59am Tuesday 24th November 2015
Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Coneygree has been ruled out of Saturday's Hennessy Gold Cup after failing to sparkle in a schooling session at trainer Mark Bradstock's Letcombe Bassett stables near Wantage.
9:30am Tuesday 24th November 2015
GEORGE Baldock says Oxford United are driven to keep the pressure on and extend their superb run for the visit of Newport County tonight (7.45).
9:00am Tuesday 24th November 2015
MICHAEL Appleton predicts Oxford United’s players will see less of the ball this evening – but it could work to their advantage.
8:40am Tuesday 24th November 2015
Desp[ite twice taking the lead, Oxford Hawks Ladies went down 5-2 at Isca in Investec Conference West.