Australia vs Italy - World Diving Championship
Trip Start Apr 25, 2006
76Trip End Apr 25, 2007
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Once again the streets were literally littered with thousands of maggot football supporters. Some of the Aussie supporters appeared as if they were the remnants of our earlier game in the same lovely city. The quest for ticket scalpers soon began (for Snags and I), and it wasn't long before the ridiculous amount of 400 euros was being bandied around as if it were actually a realistic price
We took the long, slow, annoying walk up to the stadium - cursing Kaiserslauten as we went - until finally taking our seats. Now, when purchasing them the assumption was made that L9 would sit next to L10. HOWEVER, it seemed there was in fact a large set of stairs in the way that may hinder us. I didn't have to wait long for a solution - a family of Australians sat directly behind me, but the dad's ticket was also for the other side of the stairs. I kindly offered my ticket to him and we made the swap.
The game was well balanced to begin with. We seemed to be controlling possession well but lacked creativity in attack with the absence of Kewell (injured). Italy didn't look anything special, but were always threatening in attack due to height/pace/talent. Half time 0-0. Not long into the second half they copped a red card, but we didn't seem to notice because at no time did we push our advantage! Seemed to me that our plan was to try to beat them in a penalty shootout, or possibly try something in extra time
More than marginally disappointed, we retreated almost immediately to the van to analyse our shattered dreams. Following a sweeping unanimous decision, we blew that taco stand and headed straight for Wiesbaden to lick our wounds and dodge annoying Italian fans.
* I have since seen a replay, and from the two angles I've seen it certainly seems he kicks the ball around a sliding Neill and then just falls straight into him with no intention of anything else.