And it’s New Zealand 1, Australia 0 in South Africa
Just when you thought the World Cup couldn’t get any more annoying, what about this - on day five of the tournament as things currently stand it’s New Zealand 1 and Australia nil.
And no amount of juvenile joking about their accents, their fondness for mooching around Bondi while on the dole or their affection for farm animals can alter that fact.
They were standing on top of their chilly-bins and clapping their jandals in the air late yesterday as the All Whites scored the first New Zealand goal ever in a World Cup.
In the wake of our 4-0 pantsing at the hands of the Germans on Sunday, and with real speculation as to whether the Socceroos will actually manage to score a goal in either of their remaining games, the Kiwis have not only already scored, but they’ve come away with a point by drawing their opening match.
Australia is as beached as on the bottom of group of Group D with a zero in the “for” column and a large number four in the “against” column, with tough games ahead against Ghana and Serbia.
The Kiwis are equal-first in Group F with their opponents from yesterday Slovakia and Italy and Paraguay, who also drew 1-1 early yesterday morning. The fact that neither of their future opponents won their opening game gives the Kiwis an edge which Australia would dearly love, as Ghana’s victory over the Serbs has put the African nation in the box seat to finish second behind Germany.
There is now a very real chance that the New Zealand All Whites will finish the World Cup in better shape than the Socceroos. This from the team which The Wall Street Journal recently predicted would be the biggest duds of the competition.
The horror, the horror.
It almost didn’t happen. The Kiwis almost blew it, and looked like they were set to repeat their performance at their solitary World Cup, in 1982, where they lost every game and failed to score.
They were 1-0 down against Slovakia and all hope seemed lost but a brilliant extra-time header by defender Winston Reid squared the ledger.
Kiwis were going mad on twitter, even if they seemed a little confused as to which sport they were watching.
“Even with an unusually shaped ball, we did it!,” one fan wrote.
Some Kiwis were even saying they could make the final. “Still reeling from All Whites’ spellbinding draw against Slovakia,” one fan wrote. “All the way to the Jules Rimet I say!”
There’s probably no reason to get that excited. But unlike the Aussies at least they’ve got something to get excited about.
For those of us who are in South Africa the only good that can come of all this is that most people think the Australia flag is the New Zealand flag and vice versa, so we can at least pretend that we’re supporting a team that’s kicked one goal.
In other news yesterday, New Zealand Prime Minister announced that Kevin Rudd would be the first foreign leader to address the New Zealand Parliament when he visits Wellington on June 29. Stand by Kev for excruciating, unbearable teasing.
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