Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Australia wins against Japan

We have been having a world cup soccer fest here the last few days - and will do for the next few weeks!

Last week we watched an absolutely memorable moment. Not only was it Australia's first game in the World Cup Finals for 32 years it was also their first win and their first goal scored.
We had to wait for it though. After going down 1-0 about 20 minutes into the first half it didn't look good. In fact although Australia pressed hard and dominated the play Japan showed just how dangerous they were as numerous times after a period of 4-5 minutes of intensive attack from Australia it would result in a turnover and next thing 2 Japanese attackers would be streaking toward our goal with a barebones defence in place. However they did a stirling job and turned away all attempts.

With around 6 minutes to go there was a mixup in the Japanese goal mouth from a corner and Tim Cahill slotted the equaliser. The noise level in the stadium went through the roof and hope abounded in the lounge room. All thoughts of tiredness left and we sat on the edge of our seats to watch in amazement as just a few minutes later Tim Cahill hit another wonder from a set piece to bounce heartstoppingly off both goal posts before ending up inside the net. We leapt off our chairs screaming (it was nearly 1 am and we woke up the dog and the wife). Now we were biting our nails as we went into the final 3 minutes of added time.

Could we hang on?

Japan pressed us hard, but then on a counter attack John Aloisi pretty much ignored the defender and went straight round him with an awesome body swerve and a gentle touch to his right setting up his left foot for a strike at goal. He finished it clinically and we went wild!
About 60 seconds later the ref blew the final whistle!. 3-1 - we had won our first ever world cup game and scored not 1 but 3 goals.

Tomorrow morning at 5am we will watch Brazil play Croatia (the other 2 teams in our group). Who knows we may end up playing USA if they could win their group. Then Phillip and I would be in opposition! Alternatively if they come second and we win (not likely with Brazil in our group) we would play off also.