Results (2nd Stage): Italy vs Australia

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Francesco Totti ItalyTime to go home. Francesco Totti drove a spot kick high into the net eight seconds from end of the game. A heart breaking loss for Australia who thought extra time is needed to decide the outcome of the game; defender Lucas Neill tackled down Fabio Grosso which left Spanish referee Luis Medina Cantalejo no choice but to point to the spot.

Italy played with only ten man for most part of the game because of a red card handed down to Marco Materazzi five minutes into the second half. A disadvantage that surely made a lot Italian fans pessimistic about their chances, but the team on the field had other things in mind. They kept their pace throughout the game defending smartly and attacking cautiously knowing a minor breakdown could cause them a game.

It was good to see the Italians winning this match and a sigh of relief for coach Marcello for placing Francesco to the bench in favor of Alessandro Del Piero behind attacking duo Alberto Gilardino and Luca Toni who could have faced a terrible and cruel Italian scrutiny.

How cruel were the referees to the Socceroos?

Australian fans worldwide were slighted by the way they were sent out of the tournament via a penalty eight seconds before extra time who felt a slight tackle could have not brought Fabio down.

A simple message to all Socceroo fans —

Eight seconds before time ends does not give any player nor team the right to tackle players in the hope that referees are going to let it go.

You were bound to lose so be happy you enjoyed more than 90 minutes of hope and dreams on the field.

[tags]FIFA World Cup, World Cup, FIFA World Cup 2006, Italy, Australia[/tags]

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