No shortage of drama as Socceroos move a step closer to World Cup
IT certainly got tongues wagging during the week, didn’t it?
No, it wasn’t serial offender Nick Kyrgios spitting the dummy in Shanghai.
Nor was it the controversy surrounding Nightcliff player Aisake O’hAilpin in the NTFL. It wasn’t the wet weather that marred the Bathurst 1000, Winx winning the Turnbull Stakes, Jake Lever’s switch from the Demons to the Crows, police questioning Blake Ferguson following a prank by a former Roosters teammate or the latest drama in the UFC.
Of course, it had to be the fall out following the win by the Socceroos over Syria in the World Cup second leg playoff in Sydney.
The eyes of the nation were glued to the action at ANZ Stadium – which was only half full by the way – as the Socceroos lived to fight another day.
Certainly made for interesting viewing when Syria hit the front on 1-0.
Like the Iran match back in 1997 at the MCG when they eliminated the Socceroos following a 2-2 result, you had the feeling that history may repeat itself when the Aussies led 2-1.
Thankfully for Matt Ryan and his Aussie mates the ball struck the post and not the back of the net following a free kick to Syria towards the end of extra time.
Unlike the euphoria of 2005 when the Socceroos eliminated Uruguay following a penalty shoot out, the atmosphere was rather flat at full-time on Tuesday night. Perhaps it was relief. Perhaps the Socceroos and the Australian sporting public were also aware that there is one more hurdle to negotiate before sealing a ticket to Russia.
Next up it’s Honduras. After shaking a stubborn Syria, we then hear that coach Ange Postecoglou wants to pull the pin after the Honduras tie.
A number of high-profile teams such as Chile, Holland, Ghana, Cameroon and the United States won’t be going to Russia. The Socceroos are still alive as they strive to make the World Cup finals for a fourth straight occasion.
But the vibe on the street since Tuesday night has been mixed to say the least. Postecoglou’s bombshell after the win over Syria hasn’t helped. And just imagine what would have transpired had the Socceroos succumbed to Syria?
Colleen Orr celebrates being the first Territorian to win the National Champion of Champions Lawn Bowls Tournament yesterday