Australia only needed a draw to qualify whereas Croatia needed a win. The aussies get the worst start ever by conceding a goal on the second minute. During the fifth minute, Australia are denied an apparently obvious penalty and left fuming until they are finally awarded a penalty, transformed, later on during the first half.
Half-time score: 1-1
Second half and Australia is completely dominating possession searching for the killer game. But barely 10 minutes through this half and Croatia take the lead again. As it stands, Croatia are through.
Suspense before finally Harry Kewell, arguably the best football player the aussies have produced, strikes 10 minutes from time. Australia are through and the two sending offs later in the last minutes of the game may well go unnoticed. Australia creates history.
Thing is, there probably is a Croatian player who created history too. Simunic received a second yellow card in the dying minutes of the game but the referee (Graham Poll) forgot he has already booked the player and doesn’t show the red card. Simunic returns to the game and is still on the field with the two yellow cards. It’s not over yet. On the very last minute of the game, Simunic is handed a third yellow card and at last, the red card!
So Australia go through the last 16 for the first time in their history and Croatia’s Simunic may well have become the first player to be booked thrice in a football game. In any case:
P.S. Can’t wait to see the reaction on Metroblogging Melbourne.
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