Early Doors

Heroic Guinea left pig-sick

Early Doors

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This is the first and probably the only time Early Doors will ever talk about Equatorial Guinea.

So
indulge ED as it pays tribute to their female footballers, who nearly pulled
off one of the greatest upsets in sporting history against Norway at the World
Cup yesterday.

The Equatoguineans had a tricky build-up to their World Cup
debut. On the eve of the tournament, they dropped two players - 'sisters' Salimata
and Bilguisa Simpore - following complaints from Nigeria, Ghana and South
Africa that the pair were actually men.

Then on Tuesday, striker Jade Boho was banned because she is
Spanish, had played for Spain's Under-19s and had not registered her change of
nationality with FIFA.

At kick-off, Equatorial Guinea were trading at 84/1 on Betfair (the
draw was 39/1) - that's the longest odds ED has ever seen in a football match.

To put it in perspective, Bono is only 50/1 to win the Nobel
Peace Prize. And there is more chance of the U2 man asking Carson Yeung for tax
advice.

So let's just say they were up against it.

ED loves a lost cause, and had a small punt (selling Norway at
1.03) - little did it know how close it would come to a sensational gambling
coup.

Equatorial Guinea started inauspiciously. Within a minute,
goalkeeper Miriam shanked a goal kick so badly it hardly got out of the area,
and seconds later Norway hit the post.

Yet somehow Equatorial Guinea survived, and went on to dominate
for long spells thanks to another player (wrongly) accused of, er, gender
issues - the unfortunately named Anonman.

The number 10, who has just signed for German giants Turbine
Potsdam (seriously, they're a good team) played like Diego Maradona outside the
box and Emile Heskey inside it.

Time and again she weaved her way through the bemused Norwegians
into shooting position only to scuff it in the general direction of the corner
flag.

Her coach Marcelo Frigerio's post-match verdict: "She wasn't really stable throughout the game."

With the former World Cup winners staring abject humiliation in
the face, Emilie Haavi popped up seven minutes from time to score the winner.

Boo.

Norway are not the first big favourites to struggle in which the
usual glut of one-sided results has failed to materialise.

ED doesn't know if it is a good thing or not, but no team has
scored more than twice - and the goals per game average is a miserly 1.75.

It seems that the calamitous goalkeeping synonymous with the
women's game is now just the preserve of England's Karen Bardsley.

Or it might have something to do with finishing like this. Or this.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "This is not a one-man show, this is
about creating empathy, ambition and motivation in everybody. Maybe I should be
called 'The Group One' as I want to group people together and be
successful."

Er... we'll get back to you on that nickname, Andre Villas-Boas.

FOREIGN
VIEW:
Hairdresser turned tycoon and Birmingham City owner
Carson Yeung has been released on £550,000 bail after being charged with money
laundering by a Hong Kong court.

The 51-year-old owns the club
through the Hong Kong-listed Birmingham International and was charged with
"dealing with property known or believed to represent proceeds of
indictable offences" totalling about £57 million, the Hong Kong magistrate
court said.

The trial was adjourned until
August 11.

"All they're saying is
that he (Yeung) has got a lot of money, and he hasn't paid a lot of tax,"
Yeung's lawyer Daniel Marash said after bail was granted.

"I mean there's lots of
money in my bank account, not as much as his, but I don't pay taxes because
it's not taxable."

The prosecution had argued that
Yeung did not have close ties to Hong Kong, and should not be granted bail
because his father had lived in mainland China since 2008 and Yeung was also
married to a woman from there.

Decked in a black jacket and a
peach shirt, Yeung remained silent throughout proceedings in the packed
courtroom except to ask if he could report at an alternative police station
during bail.

COMING UP: More women's football! It's Canada v France at 17:00 UK
time and Germany v Nigeria at 19:45.

And Fulham's 2011/12 season starts tonight with a tough run-out
against the pride of the Faroe Islands in the Europa League first qualifying
round. Fulham v NSI Runavik at 19:30 UK time.
And why not celebrate with some official Michael Jackson-themed Fulham
merchandise
?

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