Ecstatic! My reaction to Totti hammering home a deciding penalty kick in the last minute of stoppage time can only be accurately described by my brother - "I felt sorry for you cuz I thought you were about to cry."
Say what you will, once again poor officiating marked this game although it didn't have to. A ridiculously harsh penalty that gave Materazzi the send off with a direct red certainly gave the tough Aussies what they needed. However, the stingy Italian defense shut down every effort the Aussies gave and ultimately a very late break by Fabio Grosso in the Aussie box in which he faked and avoided a tackle on one Socceroo defender and then almost avoided another - his right foot was free while his left got caught on the body of a second sliding Aussie defender. The penalty was awarded and Totti calmly slotted it through.
Let the hating on Italians ensue. It's nice to sit back and listen to the namecalling from embittered fans - I'll take it if it means the Azzurri keep progressing, exorcising demons along the way. Hey, call it revenge against Guus Hiddink's VERY fortunate Koreans in '02. And Totti was there to put the ultimate nail in the coffin.
The call in the box was a hard one to make. I agree. The defender missed the ball but impeded an unobstructed path to the goal (it was just Grosso and the Aussie GK at that point). Tough call to make but ultimately you can't let something like that go.
And, to let everyone know, I feel no sympathy for Guus Hiddink - especially after his postgame comments:
'Even when Materazzi was on the park we controlled parts of the game and
then when we were sent off, we assumed full control,' he said.
'Then we fully dominated against a team that is much more highly ranked
than us, before we got caught out in the last minute and if you see the replay
there is no doubt it wasn't a penalty.'
In a game of few chances, Hiddink said his team at least tried to play
attacking, creative football - in stark contrast to the Italians.
'Italy just tried to play on the counter-attack and we tried to play
another style, a style that is more attractive for the spectators to see but
that (counter-attacking) is their style,' he said.
'The Italians wanted to play defensively, they love to play with a wall
(across the back) - they don't think about attractive football, they just think
about the result.'
Hiddink - you're an idiot. Creative football? You had a man advantage for basically the entire second half and only managed 4 shots on goal. Count them! 4! Who cares what type of football a team plays in terms of attack if it means winning at the end! "They just think about the result". Of course we do you idiot! What are we supposed to be thinking about, solely entertainment??
Think about that one - you have 4 years to sit on it. Let's just say payback kinda sucks, doesn't it?