It’s November international time with friendlies and some huge World Cup qualifiers taking place around the world. On this week’s show we have a short round-up of some of the footballing stories as well as explaining a few English football phrases. For those who wish to practise their English, there is a transcript below to help with reading and listening (Damian = DF, Damon = DB).
Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2017 November Internationals
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Transcript of the show
DB: You are listening to Languagecaster’s football-language podcast. Hello everyone. How are you? My name is Damon, I’m based in Tokyo and I’m one half of the podcast show for football lovers and those wishing to improve their English. Making up the other half is Damian, who is far, far away in London. He’ll probably have been pretty nervous about Ireland’s play-off against Denmark a few hours ago – How are you feeling Damian?
DF: Hello Damon and hello to everyone listening around the world to this week’s podcast. Yes, I am here in London – naturally, it is grey and rainy here – and yes, I am nervous over the upcoming World Cup play-off between Ireland and Denmark although a scoreless draw just an hour or two ago in Copenhagen means we are still in with a chance with the second leg, or the return leg, being played on Tuesday in Dublin.
DB: Well, good luck! By the way, last week you were talking about the Irish Cup final – which team won?
DF: Well, Cork City completed the double after beating Dundalk on penalties after a 1-1 draw – it was a good game.
Now, of course, the Ireland – Denmark game is not the only World Cup qualifer taking place, as the final eight places for Russia are being decided over the next few days, including Italy against Sweden, Honduras against Australia and Peru taking on New Zealand and we will be looking at some of those games later on in the show. There have also been some high-profile friendlies including Japan against Brazil – did you see that one Damon?
DB: Yes I did. I had my eye on that one, although it was definitely a game of two halves I think you’d say. No sweat lost by the Brazilians in their 3-1 win.
DF: And of course England hosted Germany at Wembley Stadium on Friday night – 0-0 between two very young, experimental sides. Good for England?
DB: Not bad at all for England I think.
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DB: Let’s kick off with the good, the bad and the ugly.
DF: OK. What was good for you Damon this week in the football world?
DB: Well Sweden will be daring to dream after beating Italy 1-0 in their European play-off for a World Cup place. While the tie is far from over, the Swedes will be pleased with their overall performance, the clean sheet and the win. Jakob Johansson’s deflected strike was the difference and Italy are now under huge pressure before the return leg in Italy on Monday. Good also for Croatia, who are surely going to be at Russia after they put four past Greece in a 4-1 hammering. Damian, anything else good?
DF: Yes, continuing with the World Cup qualifiers, it was good for Senegal who beat South Africa 2-1 to qualify for their second ever World Cup, the last time was in Korea/Japan in 2002 when I actually saw two of their matches, including their surprise defeat of France in the opening game. And well done to the Lions of Teranga! It was also a great weekend for two North African sides as Tunisia made it through to Russia, while Morocco also qualified for the finals after a fantastic 2-0 away victory against the Ivory Coast on Saturday. Well done to those two. Damon, how about bad?
DB: My bad from the football so far this week includes the awful decision by Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan, who awarded a penalty to Switzerland in their game against Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland were on the back foot for most of this game, but Switzerland were being held at bay until the penalty decision, which is a massive blow to the Northern Irish team’s chances of qualifying for the World Cup. The ball clearly hit the defender Corry Evans on the back of his shoulder, but the referee awarded a deliberate hand ball, a yellow card and a penalty, which was scored by Rodriguez. Now, and briefly, we must mention the pathetic racist behaviour of Columbian player Edwin Cardona, who pulled his eyes making them narrower, mocking the Korean players in a friendly game. He has subsequently apologised but let’s hope he gets a hefty ban, Ugly?
DF: Well, talking of bans, in last week’s podcast we featured Patrice Evra’s attack on one of his own fans and he has now left his club Marseille after a season-long ban had been imposed on him by UEFA. The former French international may not play again which would mean an ugly end to Evra’s career.
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DB: Get in touch with us via email@example.com, follow us on twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. If you like our show or site, let your friends know about it and hit those like buttons! Spread the word!
DF: Damon, we should also remind our listeners that they can, of course, read the transcript for the show by coming along to our site at languagecaster.com.
DB: Yes indeed. Do we have any comments or questions from our listeners this week?
DF: Yes indeed we do. We had some more suggestions for synonyms for unstoppable shots; and this time from Twitter where Roger suggested ‘belter‘, Adrian mentioned the word ‘worldy‘ (it;s a great one isn’t it?) which may be linked to a world-class shot and thanks also to Jodders who gave us the phrase ‘humdinger‘. Great stuff indeed. Now, if you have any other words or phrases to describe an unstoppable shot then let us know. This week we have asked our listeners about words connected to heavy defeats and already Will has given us ‘drubbing‘ and ‘a tonking‘, er… Gareth has mentioned the words ‘a kicking‘, while Dexter came up with ‘slaughter‘ – thank you to all of them and if you know anymore more words connected to heavy defeats then let us know via Facebook, Twitter or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DF: Damon, do you know of any other words connected to a heavy defeat?
DB: Well, yes, earlier in the show I mentioned hammering and how about ‘thrashed‘?
DF: Yes, good one, good one. Next up we have our weekly quiz question.
DF: Now, this week sees a lot of World Cup qualifiers taking place, so this quiz question is connected with this tournament. In 1986, the World Cup was held in Mexico, with Argentina being crowned World Cup champions after beating West Germany in the final. We want to know, which country was originally chosen to host the 1986 finals but had to withdraw their application. We’ll have the answer at the end of the show.
DB: Hmm. Tricky. OK, next up we’ll look at some of the football language that has emerged from the week and we’ll also be looking at one or two phrases from our huge football language glossary.
Football Language: Return leg
DF: Well Damon, I’m going to start with a phrase that has been used quite a lot over the past couple of days with respect to the World Cup qualifiers. As we know, sometimes matches are decided over two games, or legs, with a team playing first at home and then away in the second game. And we can see these kinds of games in the knock-out stages of the World Cup and the Champions League and of course in play-offs to reach these tournaments. Each match is called a ‘leg‘ so there is a home leg and an away leg which is sometimes known as the ‘return leg‘. It was often thought that having home advantage in the return leg was a good thing as the home fans could help the home team raise their game. However, this is not always the case as the result in the first leg may have been a one-sided one, such as when the Croatian side recently defeated Greece 4-1 in the first leg of their World Cup play-off meaning the return leg was pretty much finshed before it started. Anoter example would be that Italy will need to up their game in the return leg of their World Cup play-off match against Sweden on Monday to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
Any other football language you want to talk about?
DB: Yes, I am going to explain a few football phrases from our football glossary. We have hundreds of entries on this page; come along to languagecaster.com and click on the letters at the top of the page to explore the phrases. Each word is linked to an explanation with examples. Now this week we have two phrases from ‘P’ – pear shaped and pepper the goal.
Football Language: Pear shaped
DB: When a plan goes wrong, is not successful, and it results in a disaster you can use the phrase ‘go pear-shaped’. Now, a pear is not a perfect circle. So using the phrase pear-shaped is to show that the result of a plan was not perfect. Many people believe that this phrase is is from World War Two when British pilots would use the phrase to describe a pilot trying, and failing, to do a loop in his plane. Instead making a shape like a pear, failing to do a perfect circle. Now in football, for example, West Ham’s plans to become a bigger and more successful club by moving to the London Stadium in 2016 have gone pear shaped. Results there have been poor and many people believe the stadium lacks atmosphere, especially compared to their old Upton park ground.
Football Language: Pepper the goal
DF: Anything esle?
DB: Yes, one more phrase, to pepper the goal. Now, in football we use the phrase ‘to pepper the goal‘ when we want to say that a team has had a lot of attacks and has created a lot of chances to score. The verb ‘to pepper‘ means to hit something repeatedly so ‘to pepper the goal with shots‘ means that a team repeatedly shoots at goal. Imagine shaking pepper from a pepper pot, with lots of pepper being shaken over the food: instead of pepper on the food this phrase refers to shots aimed at the opposition goal.
DF: Nice one. Italy are hoping to be able to pepper the Swedish goal next week – and being able to score a couple – otherwise they will not be going to the 2018 World Cup.
Now, next up we will be talking about predictions.
DB: Well, we don’t have our Premier League predictions this week, but after last week’s games the predictions table looks like this: Alexrr and Johnny Magicboots lead on 77 points each – remember the leader at Christmas wins a languagecaster prize – and Damon and myself are tied on 59 points. Looks like the top two have opened a gap! If you’d like to try your luck come along to the site, click on predictions at the top of the page, sign up for free, and enter your predictions.
DF: Yes Damon the gap has opened up because I failed to enter any of my predictions last week. Now as you mentioned we don’t have our regular predictions competition but we can have a go at trying to predict which countries will make it through to the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia next summer.
Peru vs New Zealand
DB: Well, I’m going to start with New Zealand taking on Peru in the intercontinental play-off. The first leg which took place in Auckland, New Zealand on Friday night ended scoreless, 0-0, so the Peruvians will have a slight advantage for the second leg at home on Wednesday. I think they’ll use that advantage and win 1-0.
What do you think Damian?
DF: I think that Peru will make it through – for the first time since 1982 – maybe 2-0 to the South American side for me.
Australia vs Honduras
DF: Now, for our next game we feature the other intercontinental play-off, this time between Australia and Honduras. And the first-leg tie on Friday in Honduras also finished scoreless so the Australian side will fancy their chances at home next Wednesday. 2-0 again for me. How about you Damon?
DB: Yes I agree with you but I think again 1-0.
Ireland vs Denmark
DB: Now the last one is Ireland v Denmark, the second leg, the return leg. What do you think Damian, can Ireland make it through?
DF: Well, a nil-nil draw away in the first leg away in Copenhagen is, on paper, a great result but it was not pretty and I wonder where the goals are coming from. I think they might be okay – maybe 1-0 in Dublin on Tuesday night but I am not confident at all. How about you, what do you think?
DB: Well so far I’ve agreed with no. But now I’m going to disagree with you. I think Ireland might lose this one 2-1.
DF: No! I think they might do as well.
DF: Now, before we go, what is the answer to our quiz question?
DB: Well Damian, you asked which country was originally chosen to host the 1986 World Cup tournament but had to pull out. Well, in 1982 it was in Spain, and that means it couldn’t have been a European country. The answer is Columbia, who had to pass up the chance due to economic problems.
DF: Yes, that’s right. I wonder if Colombia will get a chance to host the tournament some time in the near future? I spent a great day with thousands of their fans at their match agisnt the Ivory Coast at the Brazil World Cup and would think a World Cup in Colombia would be fantastic.
DB: Alright folks, that’s it for this international break podcast. Ta-ra!
DF: Enjoy all the football and see you again next week when club football is back including the North London derby. Bye bye.