For the vast majority of the 94 minutes of real soccer between England and Slovenia in a 2018 World Cup qualifying match Thursday night, fans at Wembley Stadium were bored with their team’s failed attempts to get through Slovenia’s wall of defense.
“England’s poor performance drew mockery and sarcasm from some sections of a dissatisfied Wembley crowd, clearly unimpressed by what they were witnessing,” Bill McNulty, chief football writer at BBC Sport, wrote.
The game was still tied at 0, as it would remain through all 90 minutes of regular time, when something interesting did start to happen.
Out from the top level of the stadium began to fly several paper airplanes.
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The crowd roared, especially loud when one of the planes accomplished something no footballer on the pitch had been able to: put one in the goal.
While this sequence of events may feel satisfying to American sports fans who have refused to acknowledge soccer’s creeping popularity in the U.S., it also illustrates a uniquely British ability to have cheeky fun in the face of the grayest of skies. Or stadiums.
In case you were wondering, England pulled out a win late to secure a spot in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, with striker Harry Kane’s breakthrough goal in stoppage time.