After our six hour Yahtzee session in the Kharkiv cafe, Tony and I walked across town at 5:30 am to pick up the fast train back to Donetsk along with plenty of other multinational fans.
The rest of the day was spent in recovery from lack of sleep! We finally ventured out of Galyna's flat late afternoon and strolled round town in the sunshine. England fans are gradually turning up, although not yet in any numbers. We wander through the various parks and eventually end up in the lakeside park near the fan zone.
It is at this point we discover one of the most interesting footballing facts I have ever come across (courtesy of the free WiFi and Wikipedia). Did you know that since the War four national sides have represented Germany?! West and East of course and now full Germany. The fourth?
Saarland in 1954! They narrowly missed out in qualification for World Cup 1954, losing to West Germany in a winner takes all play off! What would have happened if they had won that match and then gone on to win the World Cup (as West Germany did)? The history of Europe might be very different. Who said sport and politics shouldn't mix!
Donetsk we have decided, is physically nicer than Kharkiv and more prosperous. In Kharkiv there is an unfinished aspect to things and there aren't the number if shops and cafes. But their Euro volunteers won out on friendliness and helpfulness over their Donetsk counterparts.
We finish the day at an Italian restaurant and then watch Spain overcome Croatia. But the Croats came close to an upset, like Holland in the World Cup Final they pressed hard leaving Spain little time on the ball to construct their next silky pass. Unlike Holland they did it without leaving their studs in Spanish legs - or chests!
And so England. We are nervous but confident. We know we can beat Ukraine and most of the Ukrainians we've met thing so too. But we must score first and early. If Ukraine score first the crowd might carry them through If we get an early goal they could just fade away as they did v France.
Our prediction? 3-1 England with goals for Rooney, Gerrard and Terry and a consolation goal for Shevchenko( if he plays)
Come on England !!!!
With the sun shining down, we are taking respite from the heat and match day tension under the shade in a fabulous Ukrainian restaurant. Gabby Logan was just at the next table and we engaged her in a scintillating conversation: "Hi Gabby, we going to win tonight?" "Hope so!" she replies and rushes by!
We are then joined at the next table by four England fans. "You'll love the food here" we tell them, "try the carp in onions!" They study the menu carefully then leave. No Carlsberg! Fair enough?
Six hours to go!