Australia’s dream run at the World Cup of Football has come to an end in a spectacular and frustratingly disappointing manner.
Australia was able to hold Italy scoreless for nearly the whole game, until literally the last few seconds of regular time when Italy was 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, 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.