Australia 3 - World Stars 2

A few random comments.

- Love walking into a new stadium for the first time. Huge, impressive, almost science-fiction like with those powerful lights. At first it looks a real maze finding your section but was pretty well organised in retrospect. I like the way you enter the upper section via gantry-style walkways so that you can see the fans below you on the way to your seat. I'll just gloss over the entertainment - most of the 'other code' songs went down pretty well but the huge inflated soccer ball and the Ole Ole song got the biggest support of course.

- From the end section (4 rows up from the precipice on the temporary stands) you really need binoculars when the play is at the other end. It was a case of 'just some green bloke with the ball' even though I'd know the look of all our players if I was close enough.

- An Iran game tragic (details later eh Chris?) told me that noise doesn't carry as much here as at the MCG. I'll leave that for others to comment. It was good to hear chants coming from distant sections. Our area was mainly the oi-oi-oi chant plus the oldie da-da da-da-da da-da-da-da Aussies! plus the newer oleoleoleole aussies. There was no organised world stars support around us apart from some cynical Englishmen behind me who chose Rigobert Song as their favourite player for the game because he played for Liverpool, though Spider Kalac got lots of cheers towards the end. Amazing cheer for Matt Le Tissier though I don't know why, perhaps because he goes to the same weight loss centre as Mark Bosnich. Our Englishmen cheered when he tried to chase back after a younger and fitter Aussie on the break. Some of the crowd seemed just as interested in beach balls and Mexican waves but it was a party atmosphere rather than a traditional football one.

- Nobody cheered as Klinsmann waved when he ran on the field but he got one when he wished the Olympics well,after the game.

- Pathetic arrangement with the near empty members area on the western side. If they were all offered to $69 fans we would have got 10,000 more. And people aren't silly enough to pay $119 for a seat in the corners of the ground. Channel 7 interviewed an elderly couple after the game, theyd never been to a soccer game before, but liked it.

- Same old food choices as the SFS. Burgers, hot dogs but no fish and chips. Boring. It's worse than MacDonalds. I watched the corporate diners in their rooms through my binoculars, with a touch of jealousy.

- Pitch looked just average live but for some reason looked really shocking when I looked at the replay screen or the TV replays today. Probably because the cameras were closer to the pitch than me!

- Great to see all the subs blend right in from the minute they ran on. Emerton looked accomplished. Just not the same player as the one in Nigeria.

- Jorge Campos had a shocker but didn't he play in Chicago just the other day? A figure of mirth whenever he got the ball.

- Post match Okon and Vieri were best of mates. Leonardo seemed to be explaining to Steve Corica how to tackle for the ball in future. Zelic got the $15,000 watch from the boss of TAG Heuer.

- New Socceroo shirts were going for $105 (something like that) at the stadium. I bought a $3 Socceroo fridge magnet instead!

- This morning MacAvaney interviewed Leonardo and Hodgson. All very good natured. Hodgson is still very cagey about the national job and I'll believe it when I see it. Did say that if he took it he would spend most of the time here unless overseas scouting or on tour with the team (how much time would that be?). To me it seems that Scarsella can only offer him a pittance anyway unless he signed up some big national team sponsors last night.

- Roy Masters said to Paul Wade 'theres no way your blokes put their bodies on the line [he almost said: where were the big hits? - grunt grunt snort snort]'. Sorry Roy they really should have been wearing head-gear and using the six tackle count. Perhaps he wanted to see some tramline scars down the back of Vieri's multi-million dollar legs! I would have thought seeing Kewell taken off for a calf injury after getting kicked after an hour, might have kept him happy.

written by Warren Green