It must be said that FIFA have finally achieved their ends. It makes sense to keep the bigger teams within the tournament so that TV rights can be sold, and it's a pity that Australia who have long suffered under the tyranny of the governing body now have to suffer a bitter pill of defeat at the hands of a penalty which shouldn't have been given.
Italy were reduced to 10 men and to their credit were able to hold on as the balance of power slowly shifted in the direction of Australia. Italy's inability to score was countered by hesitance by the Australian attack to penetrate the 18 yard box. It was this and the fact that the Italian keeper Buffon wasn't really tested that saw this match stay 0-0 for so long.
Already the reaction across Europe seems to be in support of Australia with DW and TVE already lamenting the loss.
DW: The refereeing in this tournament has been disgusting. The amount of undeserved cards, penalties, free-kicks etc has been diabolical.
TVE: I fear that this may have set the game in Australia back another 10 years. This result says to the minnows of football that in the grand design "you really do not matter to us"
I don't bear Italy a grudge, they played well and held out Australia with only 10 men. To their credit they were solid in the face of a constant rain. Italy go through to the next round but must surely realise that with a result such as this, they are in serious trouble of departing from the tournament in the next round.
Totti (95 pen)
undeserved mind you