Rob Wood

Rob's Sports, Fitness & Science Blog

Entries Tagged as 'Football (Soccer)'

Viva Italia

July 10th, 2006 · No Comments · FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer)

For many reasons I was supporting Italy in the World Cup Final this morning. Having spent a month in Italy last year, my wife being part Italian, and Italy knocking out Australia early in the tournament all lead me to follow the Azzuri. With the dubious penalty to France in the first half, and Zidane’s head explosion in extra time, Italy deserved to win, though going by the general play France had the upper hand for much of the match. It would not have been a World Cup final with out some controversy. I love to watch football, and I know diving part of the game, though it frustrates me no end to see players get away with faking an injury. I agree with a commentator the other day who suggested that they should introduce video referees who can penalise players after the game for obvious faked fouls. I would also like to see those with an ‘injury’ given a compulsory break of 5 minutes or otherwise substitute another player. For soccer to take off in this country, this is the area of the game they need to clean up.

Related Pages: Soccer, Football World Cup, Italy at the WC

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The Dream is Over

June 27th, 2006 · No Comments · FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer)

Australia’s dream run at the World Cup of Football has come to an end in a spectacular and frustratingly disappointing manner. Australia were able to hold Italy scoreless for nearly the whole game, until literally the last few seconds of regular time when Italy were awarded a dubious penalty, winning the game 1-0. Who knows what would have happened in extra time and penalty shoot-out if it went that far, though Australia had had more possession and more shots on goal and it seemed to be only a matter of time before they scored. All this was helped by one of the Italian players being sent off early in the second half. Australia failed to capitalize on having an extra man and maybe did not deserve to win the game. In the end, the Aussies must be proud of what they have achieved, and putting up a good battle with Italy they have again demonstrated their potential to the world. I finally bit the bullet and headed into the streets to watch the game live on a large screen in Lygon Street, the Italian area of town, with thousands of others who also braved the cold. After the final whistle had blown, and the reality of what had happened sunk in, the crowd slowly and quietly drifted away, back to their bed – maybe to dream about what might have been.

Related Pages: Soccer, Football World Cup, Italy at the WC, Australia at the WC

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Moore to come

June 23rd, 2006 · No Comments · FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer)

Another exciting day for Australia with the Socceroos drawing with Croatia, doing just enough to go through to the second round, to play Italy next week. I couldn’t bring myself to head into Federation Square in the city to watch the game at 5am with the thousands gathered there, though in the end it would have been a great place to enjoy the spectacle. Instead I curled up at home on the couch with the heater on, which was not too bad either. There were a lot of anxious moments, with Australia behind for much of the match. A penalty to Craig Moore and a field goal to Harry Kewell got us through. The team has surpassed all expectations and done a lot for the sport at home. There are plenty more sleepless nights to come.

Related Pages: Soccer, Football World Cup, Croatia at the WC, Australia at the WC, Craig Moore profile, Harry Kewell profile

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Sport for Breakfast

June 22nd, 2006 · 10 Comments · FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer), Sports Nutrition

For breakfast this morning I snacked on a bowl of soccerballs. Not real soccer balls of course. Nestle have brought out a new breakfast cereal, officially licensed by FIFA. The packet says to just add milk to reveal the soccer balls. As the little crunchy balls absorb milk they swell up a little, but I would not consider them looking like soccerballs though. They tasted pretty average, but I am sure better tasting than eating the real thing. For those who live for sport, here is another way to make sport part of your day.

Related Pages: Soccer, Football World Cup, soccer balls

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Harry Loses Kewell

June 21st, 2006 · No Comments · FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer)

Australian striker Harry Kewell lost his cool and had words to say with the central referee after the Socceroos game the other night. He was obviously upset and disappointed with the seemingly one-sided free kick count against Australia and his lack of finishing with the chances he had. But the way he showed his disappointment was not a good example to the thousands of young soccer fans that were watching, and FIFA understandably take a hard line against such actions. Fortunately for Australia’s chances he was cleared to play in the next match, an important one for Australia looking to make it through to the second round. But it would be good if he could still make amends for it. Maybe with a some good sportsmanship and a winning performance in the next game we will forgive him.

Related Pages: Soccer, Football World Cup, Australia at the WC, Harry Kewell profile

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Proud Defeat for Socceroos

June 19th, 2006 · No Comments · FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer)

Last night the Socceroos took on arguably the best football team in the world, the Brazilians. Like most Aussies, I woke up in the middle of the night to watch the game. Australia lost 2-0, but again showed that they deserve to be on the world stage, and with a win or draw next week against Croatia they can make it to the next round. Such a feat would have been unthinkable a few years ago, but not surprising considering Australia’s rich sporting history. Against Brazil they matched them in most areas around the field and must have had them worried when the score was still 0-0 at half time. The Brazil team is not dominating the tournament as expected, and at this stage don’t look like going all the way.

Related Pages: Soccer, Football World Cup, Brazil at the WC, Australia at the WC

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Real Football

June 16th, 2006 · No Comments · AFL, FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer)

With the recent success of the the Australian Soccer team the debate has raged in Melbourne about the future of each game. In the home of Australian Rules, the World Game of Football has hijacked the sporting news. However, although it is hard to see now I am sure the staunch local AFL support will hold strong and given a few weeks after the World Cup has come and gone the AFL will be back into the headlines. In the background through, Soccer will have been given a kick start, and the seed that is planted may take a few years but the world popularity of the game, the high ethnic population in Melbourne, and the high participation rate of soccer at junior level, will all combine to make soccer and real challenger to the AFL.

Related Pages: soccer, Football World Cup, AFL

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World Stage Comeback

June 13th, 2006 · No Comments · FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer)

Socceroos win at German World CupAustralia are back on the world Football stage, winning their first ever match in the World Cup. The game started at 11pm Melbourne time, which was not too late, made easier by a mid-afternoon power nap in preparation. The game was played at Kaiserslauternin Stadium in 30 degree heat, and despite Australia’s dominance for much of the game looked like it was going to fall Japan’s way. Japan were awarded a lucky goal in the first half when one of Japan’s strikers blocked the Australia goalkeeper Schwarzer and should have been penalised. The score remained at 1-0 until less than 10 minutes to go in the match, at a time when most viewers would had given up on the Socceroos, as I had. I was thinking that a draw would be our best chance, and considering the situation that would not be too bad a result. Finally the Australians’ pressure up front paid off, with Tim Cahill slotting one through to draw level with Japan at the 84th minute. A short time later he put Australia ahead with his second goal, a well placed kick into the corner of the net. To make it Australia’s day, in the final minutes John Aloisi scored a third goal for Australia after some aggressive forward play to make it 3-1. It was a fantastic comeback. It was the first win for Australia in a World Cup game, actually the first time they had ever scored a goal at the World Cup. After that performance, I don’t think it will be our last. If luck goes our way, we may even be able to upset the Brazilians, our next match.

Related Pages: soccer, Football World Cup, Tim Cahill profile, Australia at the WC, Japan at the WC

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Dutch Drubbing?

June 5th, 2006 · No Comments · FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer)

Australia played a match against the Netherlands last night – a warm up game for each team before the tournament starts next week. I stayed up to watch it (starting at 10.30pm). It was a tightly marked game, and Australia did not seem as comfortable as they have appeared in their last couple of internationals – and rightly so as the Dutch team are ranked third in the world. Australia went one down in the first half, and tiredness caught up with me and I did not stay up for the second half. I woke expecting to hear of a 3-0 loss, but was pleasantly surprised to hear it ended up 1-1, with Australia playing one short for most of the second half. It is a good result leading up the the World Cup games – they have shown they deserve their place in the finals. Hopefully I can adjust my internal clock and be able to stay up and watch the games when they are on. Win or lose, I think most Australian just want to be a part of it and show the world we are good enough to be there.

Related Pages: soccer, Football World Cup, Holland at the WC, Australia at the WC

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Socceroos v Greece

May 26th, 2006 · No Comments · FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer)

Last night the Australian Soccer team, the Socceroos, took on the Greek national team in a friendly. It is unbelievable the hype that surrounded this game – I can’t imagine how it can get much bigger for the World Cup games next month. It is not surprising the interest in this game – the promoters found the right opponents for Australia in Greece as Melbourne has one of the highest populations of Greeks outside of Greece itself. I couldn’t get tickets to the match as I was a bit slow – they all sold out in a couple of hours, and had to watch on TV. Australia played quality football, beating Greece 1-0 – indicating that they deserve to be at the World Cup. The game was played at the home of Cricket and AFL – the MCG. These other sporting codes must be concerned about the interest in soccer/football. After the World Cup undoubtedly more and more people will be playing and watching the game, which has to impact of the figures of the other codes. I am happy watching any sport played at an elite level, though I am particularly happy to watch Australia playing and winning.

Related Pages: soccer, Football World Cup, Australia at the WC

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