That Totti penalty was almost perfect. Someone commented here a couple of days ago that it was unforgiveable to miss a penalty high. Well, when you see a penalty hit and placed as well as that one, you can see that high spot kicks are much harder to save than low ones. There’s no way any goalkeeper would get to Totti’s strike. I think he even gave it away with his eyes to the keeper which way he was going. Keeper went the right way and put a good dive in, but got nowhere near it.
Ugh. These refs can’t seem to keep themselves from ruining the games. I’d say the aussies got robbed, and they did, but they should have scored at some point in the second half, instead of waiting for overtime and fitness differences to provide them with an opportunity.
I do know that my respect for italy has sunk even lower after that game. Their team belongs in a natatorium.
In a funny sort of way, rb, I guess. The problem is that FIFA try and have referees from all the continents and countries in the world. Which is a noble aim, but the problem is that half these referees just aren’t used to officiating at this level. But it’s like this every World Cup, and in fact the refereeing has been much better this time than in 2002. Which is damning by faint praise, I know…
The penalty was a harsh decision, but it wasn’t a dive. There’s no doubt that Grosso was tripped over by Lucas Neill. The only question is whether Grosso deliberately ran into Neill to cause that. I think he did, and it shouldn’t have been a penalty, but it was a close thing, and you can’t blame the referee, he’s got a split second. And in particular, the Australians have nothing to complain about. It was terrible defending, followed by a ridiculous challenge by Neill, and he had no idea what he was doing. And ultimately, Italy outplayed Australia. Even 10 against 11, they were much the better team. The referee didn’t cost them that game; Australians need to blame their lack of creativity, and Van Gaal’s lack of ambition.
This Ukraine-Switzerland game is terrible. Every bit as bad as I thought it would be. I reckon Switzerland are shading it, but it’s just a cripple fight. To think that one of these teams will be in the quarters, and the Czechs are out - utter injustice.
I went back to sleep after the Italy match! no way you guys can match that for indifference :)
rb, this is how Italy has played since I have been sentient. patient, professional, grinding it out and doing just enough to win.
The late80-s, early 90s italians had a wonderful defence, and they used to play what they call the “catenacci”[sic] system, which means nut and bolt!. shut out the opposing team and claw one goal out from somewhere, be it schillaci’s speed, Baggio’s skill or a del piero dive. They love 1-0 victories more than any other country I think.
at this point, england is getting a bit of a free ride to the semis, and italy seems like they should coast into the semis too. Now if Ghana can upset Brazil…
And Ukraine are through. No doubt the papers will slate this one horribly, it was a much better game than that. But it was still pretty poor fare. Switzerland were the better side. Unless he was hurt, they shouldn’t have taken off Hakan Yakin.
I think it was a penalty. Grosso did not stop. Neill slid in, and Grosso was too quick for him. Neill had to know that if he’d missed with a sliding tackle he ran the risk of bringing Grosso down - and he did.
I second the thought that it was a great penalty. I would have bet the house on Totti scoring - he looked so determined.
Pains me to say it, but I thought Italy deserved it. they made many more chances. Shame Kewell was injured. Australia will be back though. They are easily one of the best 4 teams in Asia, and should continue to be for the forseeable future. Unlucky Phil!
Every cloud had a sliver lining though - I have money on the Italians for the whole thing.
Australia will be back though. They are easily one of the best 4 teams in Asia, and should continue to be for the forseeable future. Unlucky Phil!
But Australia aren’t in Asia. They’re in Oceania. For Australia to qualify, they had to win out in Oceania, then beat the 5th-placed South American team in a playoff. It’s far from a gimme. There’s a reason they haven’t qualified since 1978.
But Australia aren?t in Asia. They?re in Oceania. For Australia to qualify, they had to win out in Oceania, then beat the 5th-placed South American team in a playoff. It?s far from a gimme. There?s a reason they haven?t qualified since 1978.
It was 1974, not 1978.
I know they came through Oceania, but I think you’ll find they have moved to the Asian Confederation now - so qualification is easier. They are competing in the Asia Cup and will be in the next Asian World Cup Qualifying groups. They moved because they were sick of the difficult route. It will not be a gimme, but much much easier.
The BBC coverage amuses me. I’ve never ever in sports seen a man in Sven-Goren Erikson’s position: his team is in the mix, he keeps on winning, and yet he’s obviously a dead man walking. No, England hasn’t played scintillating football, but, damn. I almost think Erikson’s out even if the win the whole damn thing. Winning it all might save his job…might...