Fabio Capello was supposed to be in Italy, attending his son’s wedding. There was more than the boutonnière in his lapel to remind of home, however.

boutonnière : 别于翻领纽扣孔上的花束(或花)

lapel: 西服上的翻领

His team, appreciative of his sacrifice, gave Capello a performance of defensive discipline fit for the meanest of Italian teams. Against the world and European champions they held their nerve and when their moment came they snatched it.

nerve: 神经;勇气

snatch: 夺得

This was no revolution in the world order. Spain utterly dominated possession, hit the post and wasted several late chances but the way England restricted them in the first half and then held on to the lead after Frank Lampard scored early in the second showed that this team has the character and discipline to play to a plan and contrive a result against superior opposition.

hit the post: 击中立柱

in the first half: 上半场

hold on to: 坚持;紧握;克制

contrive: 设计;发明;谋划;设法做到

superior position: 上风

Spain, gorged on possession, never quite had the appetite to make their dominance translate into goals; England, starved off the ball, feasted on the chance when they got it. Early in the second half James Milner sent in a free-kick which Darren Bent headed against the post. Lampard had the simple task of nodding it across the line.

gorge on: 贪婪地吃,饱吃

feast on: 尽情欣赏;尽情享受;大吃大喝

free-kick: (足球)任意球

It was fairly desperate stuff in the game’s closing minutes as the tiring England team threw themselves at every Spanish shot. Scott Parker, who had run himself into the turf, went down with cramp after one particularly valuable intervention. Shortly after he received a standing ovation. He embodied England’s performance: he may not have the talent of his adversaries but he compensated with sheer sweat and courage.

closing minutes : 接近完场

turf: 泥炭;草皮;跑马场

standing ovation: 长时间起立鼓掌;起立致敬

adversary: 对手;敌手