Australia to struggle on world stage

MelanieDinjaski Roar Rookie

9 Have your say

    When will world football take Australia seriously? There’s a real struggle ahead for the Socceroos, and not just in this World Cup.

    The defeat to Germany was a nightmare. Four swift stabs to the chest deflated an entire nation. The roar (forgive the pun) of 35,000 fans belting out the anthem was nothing short of astounding, but it was not enough to get the Socceroos home or at least inspire a decent effort.

    Our defence was too slow, our team un-united, and key strikers were MIA. But what was most upsetting was that the outcome could have been different, had it not been for another lackluster referee making inexcusable errors against Australia.

    There was the penalties, the handball, and the send off of Tim Cahill.

    Referees make mistakes, sure, but perhaps there is something deeper here.

    Just take a look back at Germany 2006 and the match against Italy. There was the Socceroos – the underdogs and just second time qualifiers. And then there was Italy – football superstars and three time world champions. Sure they went on to make it four World Cup victories, but Australia had done a phenomenal job at keeping them at bay for 90 minutes. Then came the appalling decision to give a penalty to a dramatic Grosso dive which led to Totti slotting home the killer blow.

    If it was any other team playing Italy, it would not have been a penalty. It was just too outrageous to even conceive the thought of Australia possibly beating the Azzurri.

    Back in Durban, Mexican Dracula (referee Marco Rodriguez) made and missed some crucial decisions.

    Cahill’s weak sliding tackle may have been with two feet, but he was pulling out, and there certainly wasn’t enough malice in it to warrant a red card.

    The Kuzmanovic hand ball in the box, that gifted Ghana a win against Serbia, was almost identical to that seen in Durban by Germany’s Mertesacker. But despite the synchronised uproar of the Australian defence, the penalty was not given. That would have put Australia in a tantalising 2–1 position, and who knows what that could have sparked in an Australian team that lifts beyond all belief, when they’re still in it.

    In Germany 2006, there was a record-breaking 345 yellow cards and 28 red cards issued to players. Perhaps this is just the way football is heading. But in the last two World Cup appearances, two extremely dubious decisions against Australia, begins to tell a story.

    One cannot help but fear that it will be a while before Australia is taken seriously in the world of football. What will it take? Who knows. But it certainly leaves a tough road ahead for Australia’s Socceroos now and in the future.