Myself, the wife, and friends joined 25,000 other people and watched the Australia V Italy game in the centre of Melbourne yesterday. My observations on the match:
- Australia ultimately suffered due to their lack of class upfront. Viduka is a good battler but he's not the kind of player that is going to open up a well organised Italian defence. Without Kewell, Australia just lacked that special something and for all their possession they had very few chances.
- Australia were certainly the most entertaining team but I'm not sure they were the 'best' team. Italy looked a lot sharper going forward and had more clear cut chances than Australia. When they had a man (wrongly) dismisseed they reorganised and defended superbly. Yes, it was not pretty but it was very effective.
- The penalty at the end was dubious but it definitely wasn't a clear cut decision for the ref to make. However, I do believe that with 8 seconds to go the Ref should give the defending team the benefit of the doubt unless the foul was blatant.
- Australia should be proud of their country's achievement in this tournament. They've played really good football with a load of passion and have put themselves on the world stage.
As for England against Ecuador - well we scraped through again. That's all I'll say. Let's hope we raise our game against Portugal.