Heartbreak

Topic: The Real World 13 years, 5 months ago

It’s past five in the morning, more than two hours since we were knocked out of the World Cup by Italy, but I still can’t believe it.

Julian and I were in Circular Quay where it was just pandemonium, with people climbing trees to get onto the top of bus shelters, too many girls in miniskirts in the freezing cold and too many people to be able to actually see the big screen and watch the match. So we escaped to Jase’s place.

The Socceroos could have played better. Even playing 11-on-10 (admittedly Marco Materazzi’s red card was harsh) we had very limited opportunities on goal and failed to convert what few chances we had. But we did fairly hold off Italy for the first 50 minutes and extra-time was waiting, with the Socceroos one of the fittest teams in the tournament and two substitutions up our sleeves. We had all dared to dream. And then…

What happened out there in the 93rd minute looked to be an unfortunate challenge by Lucas Neill, sure, but one without malice or possibility for actual injury… what followed though, was an open invitation for Fabio Grosso to forget about just stepping over Neill, and instead take a nice swan dive fall over him. Lo and behold, Spanish referee Luis Medina awards a penalty kick as literally the last play of the match to see Australia sent packing in the most cruel way possible.

We’ve all seen bad refereeing descisions, including plenty in this World Cup alone (indeed, all three of our prior matches)… just not at the very end of stoppage time of a goal-less round-of-16 match to hand the result away on a silver platter.

Socceroos: you did Australia proud and made it futher than any of us would have dared dreamed last November. Guus Hiddink: you are an absolute legend and all Australians salute you. It’s lost somewhat in the chaos now, but I’m sure we’ll wake up and remember the enormity of what’s been accomplished.

But for now, good night, cruel world. :cry:

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