#11 // Jørgensen → Eriksen Denmark 1 – 0 Australia

 

The best assist of the tournament just happened.

And something is rotten glorious in the state of Denmark.

 

 

There’s been a lot of weekend Klask going on this summer—a table-top game for two that’s like air hockey in miniature, with magnets.

There’s been intensive YouTube study going on, of tournaments in its native Denmark, watching the originators to gain an edge, to learn from them the way it’s meant to be played.

 

 

My knowledge of Denmark: beginning and ending with that game, that video.

And then, along came Christian Eriksen.

Along came his first game. The win against Peru. Good. Promising. A great result for a team like Denmark.

But nothing like what happened this afternoon.

The very best assist of the World Cup.

The best pass, the best shot, the best goal.

 

 

The ball coming toward Nicolai Jørgensen in the air, on a bounce. A control touch with the inside of his right foot, the ball up to his chest. His back to the penalty spot, blind to every run being made. And a no-look second touch pass laid off to Eriksen with the side of his foot.

That pass, Eriksen in motion, and a volley like you’ve hardly ever seen—sliced, chopped, and you’re not even sure what to call it… his leg whipped across the ball, striking somewhere between the laces and the inside of the foot, delivered on a line into the back of the net.

 

 

 

Last night, after a week’s worth of games had passed in this 2018 World Cup, you sat back and wondered:

Which assist was best of all?

There was the De Bruyne opposite-foot cross to Lukaku, threading the needle through the gap. There was Mario Fernandes, with the body feint and cut-back pass to Cheryshev. There was a pecking order starting to form, with the best of the best lining up in a row, becoming clear.

Then, there was this. Control, pass, shot, goal.

Sublime, all around.

The very reason we sit around watching all these games—for something like this.

 

 

I should add, by the way, that looking up the details on Jørgensen, the voice inside your head starts sounding like Jerry Seinfeld, and you’re reminded of something:

 

 

This weird letter ø, this unsung team from northern Europe, this ragtag group of C-tier players making you smile for the way they play.

You finally have something to root for, in this World Cup.

Jørgensen. Eriksen. More where this came from.

 

Denmark all the way.