Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Penalties Handed To Them On A Plate: Italy - 1, Australia - 0

Gee I'm glad I didn't stay up to watch the debacle that ensued in the final moments of Australia's round of 16 match with Italy. I taped it and got up at 4:30 to watch it, thinking that extra time would be called for.

It was a good game, no question. The Aussies had their chances. All the while I was thinking, "Get Viduka off and replace him." Either the ball wasn't fed to him well or he didn't make position well enough and it was a waste of time passing to him. Having said that, Italy are well known for their defensive capabilities. And they were impressive at the back but looked suspect with balls coming in from the flanks. We should have put one in the back of the net instead of leaving it until the last minute.

I blame Simon Hill from SBS. He said that no-one in this tournament gets past Lucas Neill. Ten minutes later and an Italian, Grosso, dives over a prostrate Neill in the penalty area and is awarded an undeserved penalty instead of a deserved yellow card. Neill didn't touch him. Grosso didn't touch Neill. Plain and simple.

As one caller to the radio this morning put it, it would have been easier to swallow had Italy scored early in the match, instead of in the last minute of stoppage time, and defended their 1-0 lead for the entirety or flogged us 5-0.

So what if the South Koreans were lucky to beat the Italians four years ago when the ref's decisions were called into question? Why pay out on Australia? Four games and four poor referees. I would feel even greater disappointment if we had shown enough to win the game but, in reality, we didn't. The Aussies weren't menacing in front of goal.

Let's just hope that we have a good team and can qualify for the World Cup Finals in four years time. Socceroos, you've done us proud. And you've done yourselves proud.


Grant said...

This is not about American football, so we don't care. That's why we lost early. We weren't interested and we threw the game so we could go home and play some real sports. :p

Hammy said...

I guess you Yanks were a bit closer to beating the Italians than we Aussies were anyway. You did score.