…the FIFA charge against him, that is. Apparently there were inconsistent reports from the German referee and his assistants. In short, Harry’s a very lucky boy.
I’ve created a monster. My lovely wife, who got up to watch the Australia v Brazil match with me at 2am this morning, informed me I was unable to go to bed tonight until I’d blogged something nice about Harry Kewell. Let’s see: apart from blasting the ball over the top of the goal when it seemed easier to score and then getting himself reported for remonstrating with the German referee after the match, Harry didn’t play too badly when he came on in the second half. He could easily have ended up with two goals rather than none.
Brazil were an improved side from the one that played Croatia just under a week ago, but they were still far from their entertaining best. In truth they were more than lucky to walk away with all three points (apparently this bit needs explaining: you get three points for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss) after scoring two goals and somehow managing to keep Australia scoreless. Though Australia lost the game, I think they played very well and deserved a point from the match. As it is, Australia now needs a result against Croatia to progress to the round of sixteen. Australia should be confident of beating Croatia, although a draw is all that’s needed. Croatia are having a harder time scoring than Australia is, and I think Australia looks stronger and fitter than the Croatian team. Hiddink has got the Australians well organised, so Croatia should find it very difficult to break down the Aussie defence. Still, anything can happen. Let’s hope the Australian’s have a good win.
Australia downed Japan 3-1 in their opening match of the World Cup. Tim Cahill scored the first two goals ever by an Australian in the World Cup finals, and it’s the first match Australia has ever won at a World Cup. John Aloisi scored a brilliant solo goal in the dying minutes to cap off a highly entertaining match. Hard to believe Australia was losing 1-0 until the 85th minute, after a controversial goal put the Japanese ahead in the 26th minute.
Just fantastic. Won’t say any more.
The World Cup got off to a flyer with host nation Germany beating Costa Rica 4-2. The scoreline set a new record for the largest number of goals scored in the opening game of the World Cup. In the second match of the tournament, Ecuador overcame Poland 2-0 in what most pundits are regarding as a bit of a shock. Ecuador’s chances of making the second round look very good now, since they’re probably regarded as a stronger team than group rivals Costa Rica.
I found the opening ceremony as boring as hell, not to put it too bluntly. Good thing the opening match was highly entertaining, which is slightly unusual.
A 1-1 draw with Holland is a fantastic result for Australia. However, the truth be told, we were very lucky not to be hammered by three or more goals. But then, it was also one of the poorer attacking performances by Australia since Hiddink took over. Australia was unable to string many passes together. They looked very tired at times. Schwarzer was absolutely brilliant and has surely cemented his place in the starting lineup. He pulled off several unbelievable saves. What pleases me is that even when Australia went down to 10 men, we didn’t crumble under the pressure that Holland applied. Our defence looked much better in the second half. This result will give the team a lot of confidence going into the World Cup, especially after our group opponents Japan could only manage a 1-0 win over lowly Malta on the same day.
Despite appearances, I am actually barracking for Australia in the football match tonight. My rather unpatriotic wife, however, who seems to have found the keys to my blog, is a completely different story. This morning I wake up, and she’s wearing orange. We go to her parents house for morning tea, and what does she take? She takes Dutch eclair biscuits (Bokkenpootjes). Not to mention there’s been a little Dutch doll sitting next to the TV taunting me ever since Australia qualified for the World Cup.
I hope Australia wins tonight. I’m predicting a 2-2 draw, though I’m not sure why. However, there’s a niggling thought that keeps popping into my head telling me the score will be 3-2, and I just hope it’s in Australia’s favour.
Amazing what World Cup qualification can do for a fledgling football nation, isn’t it? More than 95,000 spectators filled the MCG on Thursday night – a record for the revamped stadium and for a game of football in this country. They all came to watch Australia beat the reigning European champions. On paper, the team that Greece fielded on the night looked stronger than the team that won the European Cup final a year and half ago. But their performance at the MCG was very ordinary. The game wasn’t all that exciting, save for Skoko’s spectacular goal. I think the playing surface was sub-standard, which contributed to a number of passes and shots at goal going astray. That was unfortunate because under Hiddink Australia has begun to cultivate a neat passing game which is great to watch when it comes off. There were glimpses of it on Thursday night around the Greek’s penalty area, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of it during the World Cup. The "friendly" match against Hiddink’s native Holland in a week or so will be a much better barometer of how the Australians are progressing.
Karen and I had dinner at SumoSalad tonight. We were after a light meal having had a rather big lunch. We both found our meals to be very ordinary. The main problem was that one our meals didn’t contain the ingredients it was supposed to contain. Reminder to self not to eat there again.