Up at 3:25am this morning! Crazy I know, but not really if you're a Socceroos supporter.
So S & I had heard that Circle on Cavill (highrise and outdoor shopping mall in Surfers Paradise) was screening all Aussie World Cup games on a big suspended screen in their piazza and that the atmosphere there for last two games had been amazing. We decided we wanted to be part of that kind of atmosphere for what could be our last tournament game so we braved the dark rainy cold morning and headed in.
Got there and it was dismal! Maybe 6 people there all huddled close to the building for cover. S was very disappointed. I was a little, but mostly glad for the opportunity to find somewhere indoors and warm for the game. We now had 30 mins before kickoff to find a new venue. I suggested the Casino and S had no idea so Casino it was.
What an eye opener! The tables and pokies were actually busy at 4am on a Thursday morning - scary I know.
We found our spots in the J Bar and settled in to watch the big screen.
Our morning quickly went downhill. The bar was filled with drunks and lots of drunk English supporters - now I'm all for England (S is English) but they were obnoxious and mocking the Australian Anthem. S explained this was likely because they were cocky as their team just scraped in qualification around 1/2am this morning. We agreed we would head for home (5 mins away) at half time rather than suffer through this crowd).
Wow, what a game! Socceroos played with passion, vigour and desperation. Disappointingly, (and I know the Socceroos do it at times but not this much) it seemed that Serbia were going to use dirty tricks to help them along and took a dive or clutched a body part at every opportunity whether struck or not. I was absolutely thrilled when Cahill scored (he is a menace to other teams in the air, he is that good), especially with the red card issue and all. Happier still that Holman followed up with his second for the series. I had only just said to S before Holman's goal that I hoped he got another one in.
The game deflated a little for S and I when they announced Germany had scored but we held out hope for a miracle. As you all know, no miracle was forthcoming but I am still so proud of the Socceroos and Australia's efforts! Do you know that last World Cup, we also finished round 1 on a loss, a draw and a win but this time it just wasn't enough.
Feeling a little sorry for Verbeek now as we all know he is going to be labelled the Anti-Christ by Aussie media (I admit, I slammed him too) when in fact on reflection, he took a risk, played a different tactic in game one and it failed because our team didnt play that style well but imagine if the risk had of paid off? Verbeek would be a hero now. At least he gave it a go, changed things up and showed us we have a lot of work ahead of us if we want to be World class.
Me, I will now be cheering for ??? Still to be decided (but it wont be Germany).