Yet another brilliant fightback by the Aussies to ensure their progress into the last 16 for the first time in history. They’ll be facing Italy in the second round.
Australia seem down and out as early as the 3rd minute when Croatia scored from a wonderfully taken freekick. It sparked a major attacking display from Australia and they were unlucky not to have equalised till just before half-time through a penalty by Craig Moore after a Croatian player, Stjepan Tomas, had fisted the ball away following a corner.
But a elementary error by the Australian keeper allowed Croatia to once again take the lead. And this started the offensive onslaught on the Croatian goal again. The goal Australia needed came courtesy of Harry Kewell in the 79th minute. And they defended with the lives to ensure they got the point they needed to move on to the next round.
Unfortunately, Brett Emerton would not be available for the Socceroos for the next match after receiving two yellow cards and thus a red. Dario Stimic was also sent off just before Emerton. And to show that referees are human too, Graham Poll, the English referee, showed three yellow cards to Croat Josip Simunic before brandishing the mandatory red card after the final whistle.
The most exciting game of World Cup 2006 thus far. Hopefully, things will heat up in the knockout stages after a rather tame first round.