Synopsis by Sandra Brennan
This anthology contains three short stories that celebrate the Chilean people and the sport that is their national obsession, soccer. The first tale "Don't Fall for That" takes place in Santiago and centers on Gonzalez, a minor-league player who is gulled into throwing a game by the promise of getting to the major leagues. When he finally figures out the truth, Gonzalez risks his life to save his team's standing. In "The Last Goal Wins," an impoverished group of boys in Northern Chile sit outside the stadium they cannot afford to enter and listen to a game. One of them, Pablo, has the good luck to nab a soccer ball that has accidentally been kicked out of the stadium after he wins a burping contest with the other boys. It becomes his prized possession. The next day, Pablo's mother gives him the last of her jewelry so they can have food to eat. On his way home, Pablo sees the neighborhood kids playing a long soccer game and joins in. When the match finally ends, Pablo discovers his money has been stolen, and he must make a difficult decision. The final story, " The Passion of Crowds" is the best. It concerns a college boy, Francisco, who finds himself stranded on the southern coastal island of Chiloe just as Chile's World Cup qualifying match is about to air. Desperate to find a television set, he accepts the offer of the Seron sisters, a pair of spinsters who also invite other men to their house to watch the game. Francisco has no idea that these love-starved women have an ulterior motive for their invitation.
decision, seduction, soccer, television