Friday, 23 June 2006

The World Cup

OK, so I know some of the people who read this blog have no interest in sports. If that's you, you may as well stop reading now. The rest of this post will be about football (soccer).

I can't believe Australia made it to the second round of the World Cup finals. I mean, I wanted them to and believed they were a good enough team to do it, but geez, they gave us plenty of heart attacks along the way. First, they play all over Japan, but can't score for most of the game. We all think they're going to lose 1-0. Then they score. And twice more. All in the last 6 minutes or something of the game.

They met Brazil and at times outplayed them. They had opportunities, they had skills to match the best team in the world... they had the dodgiest referee EVER. The final score of 2-0 did no justice to the performance the Australian team gave. And if they hadn't been watched over by a referee who worshipped at the feet of the Brazillians, they could've come away with a win, or at least a draw, which probably would've been fair.

Tonight, they played their final group game against Croatia. Our captain, Mark Viduka, has Croatian heritage, along with a few other members of the team. Some of the Croatian team grew up in Australia. There was bound to be fierce rivalry and I was glad that Englishman Poll was in charge. For most of the game I was happy with the refereeing, well, except the two penalties we should've got and the guy that got a second yellow and wasn't sent off. That guy, by the way, was trained at the Australian Institue of Sport and chose to play for Croatia because he thought Australia had no chance of ever getting anywhere - sucks to be him :)
But back to the game...

Assuming Brazil beat Japan (which seemed a certainty, even though Japan scored first), Australia needed a win or draw to go through second in the group. Croatia had to win to go through. So, of course, Croatia scored first. A great goal really that they came into the game hungry for. I was (and still am) convinced that Australia play better when they are coming from behind, so wasn't too concerned. It was very early on, after all. I'm not going to give a complete blow-by-blow - you can go to a news site and read that. But suffice it to say, as much as they dominated the game and had plenty of chances, Australia had to come from behind twice and only pulled off the draw. The last ten minutes were hell, as they basically dropped back to a defensive position and the ball spent way too much time in Australia's half.

And then, the game ended in complete confusion, as someone got fouled, people thought Australia had scored a third and the Croatians (in particular the one who shouldn't even have been on the field) hurled insults at the referee. They should have won the game, but a draw was enough and now we face Italy on Monday afternoon. I'm definitely not looking forward to that game, since Australia has not had a lot of favourable refereeing and Italy are a bunch of diving cheats.

And now back to my regular blogging - whatever that is :)


  1. Over here (that's in Aussie) the referee is coming in for a HUGE bagging - probably because we thought he might have been a bit more even handed, and the "not-given" penalties were so damn obvious.

  2. yeah! Go Aussies :) Im getting all ready for another late night (early morning) watching the soccer, and another day of walking around work like a zombie!

    Congrats on getting the job!!!