Thursday, May 25, 2006
Greek gods they're not
My life is saved by Eurosport every now and then and today was one of those times.
It was Australia versus Greece at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for a mid-week friendly that was essentially a meaningless match, but that didn't stop a crowd of 95,103 from showing up. The largest crowd ever for an international football match in Australia.
I was working away when I noticed a message from the Genclerbirligi fans forum Alkaralar saying the match was on the telly. Brilliant.
Even more brilliant was the way Australia were playing. Especially in the first half (before the billions of substitutions that are allowed in friendlies) Australia were all over the Greeks.
Passes were fast and fluid. We won everything in the midfield and I don't think the Greeks got a single shot on goal in the first half.
Of course the goal in the 16th minute came from our old Genclerbirligi midfielder Josip Skoko, and it was a doozy.
From a corner Marco Bresciano sent the ball to the back post (just as Sir Eski Kanka has been saying Ankaragucu ought to do all season). Lucus Neil won it and then Mile Sterjovski headed it back to Skoko who from around 20 yards out hit with his left foot into the top left hand corner. The keeper was rooted to the spot.
We should also have been given a penalty later in the first half but it seems impossible to give away a penalty if the man fouled is Mark Viduka (shades of 'Boro-Seville?)
As I said the second half was a bit of a joke what with all the substitutions but still I reckon Australia had a damn good game.
As for the Greeks, they were crap, and the very sizable Greek contingent in the stands were quiet for the whole match.
Just what we needed with a semi-difficult group in the World Cup. I'm certainly looking forward to it. Brazil may be too classy for us, but Croatia and Japan... I'm optimistic.
Photocaption: Skoko celebrates after scoring. Photo nicked from the Sydney Morning Herald.
EDIT: You can check out Skoko's brilliant goal by clicking on this link
By Oz Kanka - May 25, 2006