Australia 0 - Chile 1

Thank goodness for the Aussie Chile support!

Without them, last night would have been a dull affair. From more than one hour before kick-off, when I got there, and for the whole game, they were singing, and dancing, and in great humour. No-one of the otherwise exclusively Chile-supporting Aussies around me got upset at my support of the Oz side, even when I got very objectionable - telling the ref to watch out for the training staff bringing on razor-blades when attending to a fallen player, laughing at the Grade A open goal miss in the first quarter-hour, and calling out "No tenga una corazon!" (He hasn't got a heart!) when that wussy forward wimped out of the challenge on Kalac, for example :-)

Their support was more than their team deserved in fact, as the standard of football wasn't so great - the constant Sydney-style rain didn't help, but football is a game played outdoors, so the players need to be able to adapt.

Anyway, a good night out in a great atmosphere, amongst vocal support and a tribute to Chilean-Aussies' sense of fun. The singing in Spanish provided a marvellous example of how our game is the world game. And when those around me weren't singing, they were mostly talking in........English. In fact what I always love about these events is how Australia has influenced those from other countries: whenever an expletive was called for against the referee, it was usually "Bullshit!". Can't get more Oz than that :-)

As I recall, there wasn't any *ban* on Oz fans attending, so if our Chilean-Aussie mates decided to go, and they happened to outnumber our Aussie supporters, don't blame our Chilean friends. I don't like to see Aussies supporting non-Aussie sides as a personal preference, but I'm glad our various communities here aren't shamed out of supporting whichever team they want to. It's a democracy, and what matters is how Aussies behave in the things that matter - contributing to our community for example - rather than whether they sit on their hands when the country of their birth makes an infrequent visit in a game that we all know was a friendly.

Too bad we Scottish-Aussies lost 0-1 :-)

We of the Oz support were hugely out-numbered, out-flagged, out-sung, out-danced, and out in the rain mostly. And the only people to blame are those that want to support Oz - where the @#$%^& were they???

I though De Amicis was stiff getting subbed, but taking off Bilokapac was the right move - he was finding it difficult to cope with the Chilean speed in midfield. Saad and Halpin were great when they came on - Halpin especially so IMHO. Lozza paid the penalty for a rash tackle, and the dismissal was appropriate - I thought the ref did a top job in all the circumstances.

By now we've prolly all seen it on the telly, so I'm not wanting to do a match report, but there might've been some things the telly watchers missed:

T&T reprising his last week's efforts against Brissie by being late out - this time for the team photo. There they all were lining up for the international press just before kick-off, and there's no 'keeper! Then he rushes back out from the tunnel and finally takes his position.

T&T's arm injury from the attempt to prevent the opening goal - which luckily for him was *un*successful, otherwise I'm sure the ref would have offed him for bringing down the attacker - caused him contantly to call to the bench. To be subbed? Petkovic was sent behind the goals to warm up, seemingly for ten minutes or so, then brought back with T&T still calling plaintively. In fact, I think after Petkovic was brought back from his warm-up, he made straight for the tunnel, and never re-emerged. Can the telly watchers confirm that he was on the bench in the second half?

SBS's Face of Football Les Murray on the pitch at the half-time 1000 kids kick-about, not just standing there having a look, but right in there amongst it, brolly aloft, obviously talking to the youngsters. Not just one of the (about 10) games, but he then moved to another and did exactly the same thing! Good one uncle Les :-) Start at that level, and *you* could be the national coach soon..................

I looked very hard to see the foul on the 'keeper which caused the "second" goal to be over-ruled. Even with my best green and gold coloured glasses I found it difficult.

And I met up with Markian at a pre-game game. Big bloke he is. Likes to fall over a lot though :-)

written by Alan Clark