It was the best nil-all draw that I’ve ever seen
Who’s your favourite Dutch comedian? What’s the funniest Dutch film you’ve ever seen? And no, The Vanishing wasn’t a comedy. It was about a man who buried his wife alive.
The many races of the world have their own distinct characteristics, and while Guss Hiddink did a pretty good line in forming his hand into a punchy little fist and spinning it around when the Socceroo’s scored, he wasn’t known for his comic timing and sparkling repartee. Compared to Pim Verbeek, Guus is Chevy Chase.
And while the Pimster has copped a bath from some for failing to deliver a free-wheeling footballing spectacular this week - and been blamed for the poor attendance of 40,000 - I think there’s an argument that 2-0 was almost decadent and showy on our part.
The point that everyone is forgetting here is - THE SOCCEROOS ARE OFF TO SOUTH AFRICA.
And I for one don’t care how we got there.
I’m still in therapy from the tragic events of 1997, when two-zip up, the game truncated while mad bastard Peter Hoare charged the MCG, the Aussies waltzed back onto the pitch for the remaining few minutes of business-like defence against Axis of Evil nation Iran.
And let in two goals.
The worst thing about this event - as my friend Alex Swan, who was dancing with me on the couch and drinking from a tequila bottle in the initially euphoric spirit of the evening - was that there is nothing more clinically depressing than getting really drunk, really fast, thinking your team has pulled off an incredible win, and then seeing them lose.
I know many men who cried that night. Swanny and I cradled each other in our arms, shouting “WHY??????” and “HOW????” and “F*********************CK”, and other terms. We almost drove around to the Iranian Embassy and weed on their lawn. It was the kind of atrocity that called for direct action. I didn’t eat a felafel for months.
You could set your clock by Australia failing at the final hurdle at every World Cup, be it against Iran at the G, or Vidmar weeping like a girl in Montevideo. We were really really good at it. Had been since 1974.
And just as I’ve never understood so-called cricket fans lamenting the one-sidedness of our domination under Border, Waugh and Taylor - having been emotionally scarred as a youth by Kim Hughes captaincy, I adored every caning we dished out - seeing the Socceroos grind methodically towards South Africa has also been a sight to behold.
Sunday morning’s nil-all draw against
Bahrain Qatar was a thing of beauty. It was a pity Tim Cahill’s scissor kick hit the post, but it would have spoiled the beautiful symmetry of the scoreline. 0-0.
So if it’s laughs, thrills and spills you want, go and hire a video, as long as it wasn’t made by the Dutch.
I intend to stay up for a month watching our mighty team of unflashy wogballers grind their way towards world domination.
* The above video features Mark E. Smith lead singer of the English punk band The Fall reading out the English football results in his distinctive Mancunian accent. Bit of Friday stupidity.
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