This encounter was always going to be difficult. I'd predicted that before the match that Croatia were going to play like thugs; guess what, they did. This was a most undisciplined match with no less than 12 bookable offences, 3 of which resulted in players being ejected.
Srna's free kick in the 3rd minute is still an utter mystery to me but Australia replied when a penalty was given for a handball in the box by the last defender. Kalac ronnied a weak shot by Kovac to lose the lead again and another penalty should have been given when Srna again handballed in his own 18 yard box. Clearly the referee saw that it had come off at Croatian because he awarded another corner but there was nothing else it could have possibly hit.
Harry Kewell's form which has been inconsistent showed flashes of brilliance and his 79th minute parry across the keeper redeemed himself in my mind for him playing in the yellow strip. Admittedly he will have to do more in the red before I'm convinced that he's worthy of the Liverpool 7 kit, but I hope he remembers tonight for a long time. Kewell's strike has put Australia into a Round of 16 match against Italy, and before he turns down the Australia kit again he'll have to look back at this and realise that he was responsible for this.
The dream still goes on. Whilst Sydney wakes up bleary eyed from this and spends its day powered by caffiene, it and the rest of the country will be exhausted from a night when it rode the roller-coaster of emotion from despair, to relief, back to despair, through anxiousness and finally jubilation.
This is the greatest game in the world, and the quicker that's realised the better.
Moore (pen 39)