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


  1. Well done you Aussies.

    Bring on the Brazilians, Ronaldihno et al. The Aussies are coming yesssssssssssss !!!

    All the best from Eski Kanka Jim, also known sometimes as Bruce or simply a Bloke !!!

  2. And the first rule is .....No pooftahs

  3. Turkey and Australia have at last one thing in common, we have both been unfairly stereotyped on film by foreigners.

  4. Nah........ disagree. Listen to the words of wisdom from Gulay !

    All Aussie blokes are macho men - no exceptions !!!!

    All the best from puny Eski Kanka Jim

  5. Anonymous6:53 pm

    My dear Oz, I look forward as well to that game with us :-) because we will beat you :-p :-p :-p :-p and I will enjoy so much going on your blog to post. Ha ha I told you so :-p :-p :-p

    Did you know that Marko Viduka is also Croatian, like Josip Skoko? :-) If you there in Australia don't have Croatian players, I don't know what you will do? :-)

    Greetings to my dear Kankas from capital of Croatia, Zagreb from your Zagreb girl

  6. Dear Zagreg Kanka,
    You haven't forgotton that three of the players named in the Croatian squad were born in Australia, have you?

  7. Anonymous9:39 pm

    Are you enjoying yourself :-)
    Thank you my dear Kanka for reminding me. :-) :-)

    Your Zagreb Kanka

  8. Hey you guys out there...... I've been all over Ankara today trying to find a Croatian Footie scarf to wear at the Croatia V Aussie match but without success. Any idea where I can find one ???

    I promised my dear Miss Zagreb Kankie that I would support Croatia, and you know me, I always keep a promise !!!

    All the best from Loyal and Trustworthy Eski Kanka Jim

  9. Anonymous12:08 am

    Hmm I don't think that you can buy Croatian scarf somewhere in Ankara, but what you can do is, you can turn to Croatian Embassy there in Ankara and ask for one! Our Embassy should help you! :-) Down is their number in Ankara that I found, I hope it is still valid.

    Veleposlanstvo RH u Turskoj
    Kelebek Sokak 15a, G.O.P., Ankara, Turkey
    tel: + 90 312 446 9460;fax: + 90 312 436 6212

    I really like you there, if I can be of any further help to you, I will be more that glad to do that for you. :-)
    I can call them myself if you want.

    Greetings from Zagreb from your Zagreb Kanka girl :-)

  10. Thank you Miss Helpful Zagreb Kankie. I've had another idea and you will be impressed that I used my initiative.

    I have an old Hamilton Academicals scarf in my collection of footie scarves, and as it is the same colours as the Mighty Croatia, I'll wear that.

    I wonder what Oz Kanka's reaction will be ??? Don't worry, I'll let you know !!!

    All the best from Red and White Eski Kanka Jim

  11. Anonymous3:44 pm

    :-) I like you Sir Eski Kanka. I LIKE YOU A LOT!!! :-)

    Update me with what will Mr. Oz say on that. :-)

    Big hugs and kisses from sunny Zagreb from Zagreb Kanka girl

  12. I'm certainly glad to see that this blog is bringing people together.

  13. Red Croatian blood is thicker than water, and........true friendship is deeper than the ocean !!!

    There you go ! I bet you never thought that Eski Kanka was a natural born poet ??!!

    All the best from lyrical Eski Kanka Jim

  14. Away from hugs, kisses and poetry (for the time being !) and back to footie !!!!

    I noticed our other `favourite team` Costa Rica lost yesterday to Ukraine 4-0 in a World Cup warm-up match.

    No disgrace losing to Ukraine, but maybe it will make Germany over-confident for the 1st match. Remember Algeria a few years back ???!!!

    All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

  15. Eski -
    Two words: SOCCER, SOCCEROOS


    PS: Bring on the Czechs!

  16. SMY Kanka has a very valid point but when is he going to understand he is not "Smart Ass Yankee Kanka" but "Smart Arse Yankee Kanka". When are we going to be able to teach those on the other side of the pond how to spell?

  17. Anonymous2:30 pm

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.