You wait 32 years for a World Cup appearance and then star in a sizzler. Going behind in the first half to a contentious Japanese goal, Australia kept pressing and pressing and pressing, and were justly rewarded when Everton midfielder Tim Cahill was in the right place in a goalmouth scramble, and swung a toe at the ball to equalise. His second goal was a wondrous strike that flew in off the post, and for an exhilirating third goal, John Aloisi made a charging run, economically using a few touches to surge forward and slam a beauty into the bottom corner.
Guus Hiddink, the Socceroos manager said “[i]n the end justice was done in this game, I think the referee will thank god for the result. It was a clear foul on the goalie”, and we have to agree with him. In today’s game you simply cannot obstruct the goalkeeper’s route to the ball unless you have possession yourself — and the Japanese player barged Schwarzer off the ball with no intention of getting it himself.
Another very entertaining game a few days earlier was Argentina against the Ivory Coast, who proved their billing as the dark horses of the tournament to be correct — they just might cause some upsets if they can give Holland a shock. Here are the highlights from that game:
We watched the Australia game in the brand new Cowland (same chain as on Huaihai Lu) on Nanjing Xi lu by Jing’an temple — they plied us with free beers, had a free raffle and the atmosphere was very good. They’ll be offering the same thing for the Australia-Brazil game. When we did have to pay for beers, they were only 15RMB each. How we love the World Cup.