A good night at Suncorp. We arrived half way into the first half of the Fleecy Whites v Norway Reserves and it was drab, drab, drab until Norway scored and NZ ran out of puff or Norway got that boost of confidence. In any case they ran all over our trans-Tasman neighbours and the final result was fair. I couldn't detect any vocal NZ support. Maybe because their supporters had little to sing about or perhaps there were none there (they reckon the NZ economy is on the up). .The game seemed pedestrian and (have I said it before?) drab.
In contrast the main course was full of pace and passion. All of Suncorp was open to the public (but for the top of the stand on the TV camera side) and after queuing we were given tickets by a pimply youth, not too rapid at simple subtraction. The tickets were numbered and in three different sites in the stand, one the very end seat in the very back row! Needless to say we, and everyone else, quite ignored the numbers and every so often an inadequate vapid teenage girl "official" attempted to move fans to the correct seats if someone turned up looking for their nominated place. There were huge numbers of Korean fans who were very vocal. One group was into organized clapping and a kind of vertical or front to back Mexican wave (we dubbed it a Korean wave) all directed by a cheerleader with a South Korean flag which, I'm sad to report, far outnumbered the Oz flag all over the ground. The other main group of several thousand were on the TV camera side and so may not have appeared on TV (haven't seen the replay yet) and they were very noisy and even stirred a couple of "Aussie, clap, clap" chants from the silent majority round us. Strangely, during the game, they seemed to get very excited at times that I couldn't fathom, and the group in front of us were most vocal in the half time break! Probably the funniest moment of the night was when their cheerleader who had been hurtling with a flag along the front row, went base over apex and disappeared behind the all the Korean advertising hoardings.
Most of you will have seen the game on TV, so no point in describing much. Just some impressions. our defence seemed very good all the match, and the Koreans (by far the most skilled and technically sound team of all 4) rarely got a shot on goal. I didn't think any Aussie really stood out, but none really looked bad either. A good (cliche coming up) team performance. Couldn't really see the first goal, too far away, but it came after a lot of scrambling in the box. The second was probably down to their being a man down and pressing forward to score. Early Korea got 11 men behind the ball every time we had posession and the midfield had no space at all. We were screaming for someone to take on the fullback and get to the line, but it never happened until late in the second half. When it did , it was easily our best move of the night. 2 or 3 interpasses on the left, a great pinpoint cross to an unmarked Bingley about 7 yards out and a powerful strike. Pity it wasn't on target really!
I've never thought a lot of Little Ern, but in the short time he did some nice things. One interesting thing was the overall height advantage the Koreans had, and our forwards were struggling in the air and not quick or skillful enough on the deck. I thought Zdrillic was, to be kind, ordinary.
Their goal was just a gentle, neat chip over the wall which left the Tall One immobile. We thought the old ploy of a fullback on the line (Yankos style) and risk playing them onside could have saved us then The crowd round us were quite vocal, but I'm not sure what impact "We can't hear you clapping" had on the Korean fans! Their players were very careful to go to each group of their followers at the end, line up, clap and then bow in unison. All very oriental and quite delightful.
The game ended at c. 10.15PM and on the way home we tuned to BBC sports at 10.45 and,sure enough, there was a ereort on the game! Also a bit about the threatened players' strike being averted and an interview with David Hill in support of appointing TV. In all about 5 min devoted to Oz football!!!
Tony [As in Tony Moran of 'the Farr Post'], you posted -
> In El Tels interview at Perry Park on Monday he mentioned the possibility > of a match against Croatia before the Hungary match. Obviously the massed > media didn't pick up on the importance of this event because I didn't > read it anywhere or see it on TV.