Mark Schwarzer has emerged as a hero among men after a sterling effort in a nail biting penalty shootout. Viduka was the only Australian to fail from The Spot as all the others seemed to make the nut. With this, Uruguay can try again in 4 years time with their underhanded tactics and lame backplay, as it has exposed how weak their middle is in the flow of play.
Telstra Stadium damn near exploded with excitement 2/3 the way through the first half, as Australia finally put the ball into the back of the Uruguayan net. Occurring within 25 seconds of his start on the pitch, the goal is a result of with a really really bad strike, or a really brilliant pass to Bresciano, who latched onto it like a hungry bastard and put it screaming into the net. Uruguay seem to have no answer to Australia's unrelenting attack, no matter how accidental the damage.
Indeed, their only defence, like that of the fainting goat, is to hit the grass at pace clutching any body part at all and hope that a set play can bring them around. But not so. This is one of the dirtiest games of football witnessed in the past few weeks. "They're running scared," said one eye-witness. "Their only chance is to bring out the Tactics of the Weak and bring shame on their country and shame on their hideous supporters".
The second half saw Australia completely dominate with the ball. Penalties were the only hope for Uruguay, who have no other game plan other than hat looks like a Gridiron style 'index of set moves' from penalties they don't rightly deserve. In terms of yellow cards given, the game is terribly even. Cahill and Kewell unlucky not to score - which is not to say that had they scored it would have been luck at all.
In all fairness, Uruguay do appear to be the weaker team. 15 minutes into extra time, Australia still appear to be on top. Uruguay have nothing. It's a close game.
The game continues into penalty kicks after extra time could decide no clear winner after both games.
Shootouts are a cruel decider for winners; but a decider nonetheless. Fact remains that Australia has progressed for the first time since '76. Uruguay have been the first side to let them through since then. An ugly cloud of shame shall hang over each and every one of these Uruguayan Failures until next they meet.
Written on Wednesday, 16 November 2005