More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Australia vs Croatia: The Dream Continues

What a dramatic match that was. And thankfully Australia came up trump. In what was hyped as the biggest match in Australian football, the Socceroos definitely turned its up a notch and showed once again that true fighting spirit.

The match started off with a bang, with a dubious free kick given to Croatia. Srna took the free kicked and kicked a wonderful goal, curling it over the wall and getting it past keeper Kalac. Immediately, again Australia were on the back foot, similar to playing Japan. However, the new Socceroos have learnt not to panic and just keep attacking, which they did. All the pressure resulted in a hand ball inside the box from Croatia, which Craig Moore calmly slotted. Regular penalty taker and captain, Mark Viduka, had missed his last two penalties so why tempt fate and Craig stood up and took on the challenge to great success.

Having clawed back even at half team and hence being in the box seat again since Australia only needed a draw to go through, early into the second half Croatia scored another goal. Kovac took what seemed like an innocent long range shot. Kalac was there in plenty of time to stop the ball but made one of the biggest keeping errors I've seen through all the matches so far. He had showed signs of either nerves or just lack of concentration earlier in the match when he nearly fumbled through a simple catch. This time he managed to deflect the ball straight into the net. I'm still not sure why Mark Schwarzer didn't play. I don't think he was injured or red carded, so the coach must have felt his performances were a little shaky. Having seen Kalac's efforts, not just the second goal but even his keeping towards the end of the match, I think it would be better to play Schwarzer against Italy.

So again Australia were behind and looked to be out of it. But the drama continued. Another clear hand ball from Croatia was not called and denied the Aussies an equalising chance. As the time ticked on, I still felt in my heart that the Aussies could make it. I was shouting louder and louder and getting closer and closer to the tv. Finally a cross into the square saw a header tip on by Aloisi and the man hailed as Australia's best player, Harry Kewell, delivered what is going to be one of his most memorable goals in terms of the occasion. He calmly stopped the ball from Aloisi and kicked it right past the keeper.

Australia were again in the box seat. But it wasn't going to end in a fizzle. Instead Croatia were reduced to ten men when Kovac was sent off after getting two yellow cards. Brett Emerton soon followed also racking up two yellows. Suminic should have been sent off after receiving his second yellow but instead stayed on the field. Croatia had numerous shots on goal and some not so confident goal keeping from Kalac gave my heart a work out. Finally though, Australia defended the draw to the final whistle. Although it wasn't even quite sure if the final whistle had been blown as there was mass confusion at the end. The referee had simply lost control of the match.

So the round of 16 against Italy will again be a very tough assignment. But that has been said the whole way from qualifying to beating Japan, being competitive against Brazil and finally a draw with Croatia. Anything is possible in the knock out phase of the World Cup. I believe Australia have a realistic chance to upset the more favoured Italy. The dream continues, for now anyway. :-)

2 Comments:

Blogger danielsan said...

Well done to the socceroos! Good result, and didnt I tell you they'll make the knockout stage!Ha!

Can say too much about the ref (might get into trouble with FIFA!!) What a total numpty! How can you book a player 3 times before sending him off. What happened to the assistant referees??? Its a joke init!

6/23/2006 11:38 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

You did tell me they would make it. I was also quite confident (or is it hopeful) that they would. I went and put $20 on them to make the last 16 and now I can go and pick up my winnings.

It was a total joke. There must be an investigation into it. How can so many referees and officials not be able to spot something that even television viewers could. I am in no way affliated with FIFA so I'll go ahead and say the ref was s**thouse.

6/24/2006 10:21 AM  

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