Monday, July 09, 2007

Oh, Man

A big night in football (or as they call it here ... well, you know, the 'S' word) last night.

Finally, having transfered out of the dead-end Oceania group in the wake of the World Cup, the Australian national side got to play its first ever game in the Asian Cup. Not only that, the boys in green and gold got to start the tournament as favourites to win the whole damn thing.

So then - bring on the minnows! Bring on Oman!

Imagine the shock when the lowly opposition frustrated the Australians throughout the first half, capping it off by knocking in a priceless goal after 32 minutes.

Now I'll always be an England man, and the part of me that's tired of Australians dominating every sport under the sun found the scoreline a little amusing. That much is undeniable. But it shows how far I've come in the last ten years that as time ticked away I became ever more desperate for the equaliser.

Maybe it was because Oman played a very cynical game, its players diving like a fleet of U-Boats at the slightest hint of physical contact to run down the clock and prevent Australia finding the goal. Maybe it's because I've taken the Australian national team to heart, after its struggle for acceptance in the face of AFL and rugby league's unassailable popularity Down Under.

Either way, I still jumped up in the air and heckled the opposition when Tim Cahill stuck the ball in the net one minute into stoppage time, saving the game.

But what you've really got to love is the irony - if the players from Oman hadn't kept falling over and feigning injury, there wouldn't have been any stoppage time ...

Ha ha!


Blogger Mark Deniz said...

I have to admit to getting on the old Australia bandwagon after their impressive run in the World Cup.

I was also really pissed off when they lost to Italy, due to a dodgy penalty decision... and I don't even live there!

8:30 PM  

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