Droplets of Verse: ‘Kozaks Knocked Out In Paris’

I was ready to surrender to the magic
For Ukraine to win a World Cup play-off
Would be like England winning on penalties
A two nil lead from the first leg, could it be enough?

A rainy night in Paris, November 2013, a capacity crowd
France aiming for something never done before
Win a play-off from two goals down
A French exit was expected, could they break down the door?

The teams enter, Kozak shirts of yellow fire
France in blue, hoping for their own blue sky
The Kozaks kick off, but their sabres are not so sharp
France fire their cannons, Ukraine defend their lines

For more than twenty minutes until
Ribery fires a low shot from the edge of the box
Pyatov parries, but a Frenchman arrives to the rebound
One nil to the home team, Kozak defence unlocked

Twelve minutes later, Benzema fires home a second
Ukraine outplayed and over-run, by rampant French cockerels
The tie now level, the next goal will surely seal things
Kozaks search deep inside, swordsmen on foreign soil

At the start of the second half, a Ukrainian defender sees red
Ribery rolls around on the floor, the referee waves the card
The sting is drawn from the blades of Kozak swordsmen
Outnumbered, outmanoeuvred and breathing hard

France take control, probing with elegant flourishes
The Ukrainian rearguard hangs on, desperate defending
A third goal is scored, a Kozak slides, knocks into his own goal
The dream is over, France qualify, Kozak fire extinguished

Lesser Coat of Arms of Ukraine
Lesser Coat of Arms of Ukraine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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