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WC 2006 Match Chat: Italy vs. Australia, 8 am PT
2006-06-26 04:00
by Bob Timmermann

Live from Kaiserslautern!

The Azzurri will be wearing white for this one while the Socceroos get to wear their yellow shirts.

Italy came out on top of its very tough group with wins over Ghana and the Czech Republic and a tie against the USA. Midfielder Daniele De Rossi is out with a suspension for his elbow to Brian McBride's head. Italy was knocked out of the 2002 World Cup in a loss to Korea.

Australia moved on to the second round for the first time in its history. Australia beat Japan in its opener, lost to Brazil, and then got a tie against Croatia in a contentious matchup that saw the English referee actually lose count of how many yellow cards he handed out. The man in the middle today will be from Spain, Luis Medina Cantalejo.

The two sides have met only once before and that was in the Olympics in 2000 and Italy won 1-0.

Australia may be without striker Harry Kewell who has been fighting injuries. Mark Schwarzer should get the start as keeper. Schwarzer started the first two matches and then Australia went to Zeljko Kalac for the match against Croatia. Kalac was very shaky and Schwarzer is back in goal.

Italy will have Gianluigi Buffon starting in goal and I'm thinking of put him on one of two lists I have. I'll wait and see.

Comments (94)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-06-26 04:14:52
1.   Sam DC
I think we should have a contest for lamest
"Bend It Like Beckham" pun (the yak it like Beckham one from yesterday was actually not lame, I'd say).

The Wash Post has a big picture on A1 with the title: "It's Just Like Beckham To Bend It"

weak stuff

2006-06-26 06:00:03
2.   Penarol1916
Was it ever explained why Kalac started in that last game? I mean he was just awful.
2006-06-26 06:16:47
3.   Ravenscar
I've got the underdog today in my ongoing effort to catch up from my late start in the contest.... go Austalia!
2006-06-26 06:27:26
4.   Penarol1916
I think I coin-flipped this game to Italy, as I couldn't use my patented pick the team I hate more technique since I really don't like either side, the only team I dislike more in the tournament is England.
2006-06-26 07:07:41
5.   Ravenscar
Daily News back page:


2006-06-26 07:10:17
6.   Ravenscar
Austalia being that country inbetween Austria and, um Italia.
2006-06-26 07:10:42
7.   Ken Arneson
Uh-oh, the Dutch didn't get to wear their orange jerseys and they lost. Will the white jersey curse strike Italy, too?
2006-06-26 07:26:34
8.   Bob Timmermann
13 picks for Italy
3 for Australia

Penarol1916's hatred of the Australian team overcame him.

The three people who picked Australia also picked the Socceroos to win in the quarterfinals.

2006-06-26 07:36:17
9.   Suffering Bruin
8 It's an attitude thing. I thought going into the tournament that Australia would play with fire against anybody and that they would play together; they are the anti-England. They are the Turks of '02.

That said, if they lose, my bracket is in tatters.

2006-06-26 07:41:47
10.   Bob Timmermann
This game is just the opening act for the big game in Cologne.
2006-06-26 07:48:27
11.   Bob Timmermann
Chilavert would not be an effective keeper now unless he plans to become wide enough to cover the entire goal.
2006-06-26 08:00:11
12.   scarface
Hi guys, long-time lurker here, great blog Bob; and your world cup game previews have become indispensable for me.

Bob, why is Buffon hovering near the gates to your lists (I presume you're talking about the Dead to Me and On Notice lists)? He's not done anything bad AFAIK. His smack talk, if that, was pretty mild.

2006-06-26 08:01:09
13.   Mark T.R. Donohue
Uh-oh, the satellite feed clipped out during the Italian national anthem. That can't be a good omen for the Azzurri.
2006-06-26 08:02:50
14.   Ken Arneson
Italy is wearing blue, not white. Well, unless you count the pants.
2006-06-26 08:03:36
15.   Ken Arneson
A scoring chance for each team right away. This should be interesting.
2006-06-26 08:04:50
16.   Mark T.R. Donohue
Hey, the Italians are wearing blue. Are there official rules about this somewhere? Like, the Portugese maroon and Dutch orange are too close to be worn together in the same match, but not Italian blue and Australian yellow? Is there a fashion coordinator somewhere who makes judgement calls on this?
2006-06-26 08:08:48
17.   Ken Arneson
I would think that blue and yellow are easier to tell apart than white and yellow.
2006-06-26 08:11:34
18.   Ken Arneson
Australia seems to be winning the possession battle so far.
2006-06-26 08:12:27
19.   Mark T.R. Donohue
I've been impressed by the quality of the Australian back line this whole tournament.
2006-06-26 08:14:30
20.   Penarol1916
I have a feeling this game is going to penalties, and you know that isn't good news for the Italians.
2006-06-26 08:17:02
21.   Mark T.R. Donohue
But good news for the Aussies: They qualified for the Cup finals by beating Uruguay on penalties on the road.
2006-06-26 08:21:26
22.   scarface
Interesting free-flowing, no-fouls style from the players and the ref. Good contrast to the previous game...
2006-06-26 08:21:45
23.   Mark T.R. Donohue
I have to say, with the exception of the first half of Germany-Sweden, none of these games have really yet had that magically tense World Cup feeling. I blame the refs, since that seems to be in vogue this tournament.
2006-06-26 08:23:57
24.   scarface
I hope I don't have to eat my last comment about the no-fouls...I like the offensive flow though, hope they keep this tempo going
2006-06-26 08:24:44
25.   Penarol1916
21. Thanks for the reminder, but the penalties were taken in Australia. I still remember those stupid Aussie fans storming the field afterwards.
2006-06-26 08:25:43
26.   Ravenscar
I'm working, so I can't watch - I'm getting my updates from here..... I guess I could go to the gamecast, but this is more fun.

I picked Australia to win this game AND the next game? That seems to be a combination of brilliance and..... not-so-brilliance.

2006-06-26 08:29:34
27.   Penarol1916
Schwarzer seems to be playing extremely well, does anyone have any idea why he didn't start against Croatia?
2006-06-26 08:30:06
28.   Mark T.R. Donohue
25 You're absolutely right. And I read the account of that game in The Thinking Fan's Guide to the World Cup only about two days ago. Where is my mind?
2006-06-26 08:31:01
29.   Ken Arneson
Chipperfield almost had one there.

Is that a great soccer name, or what? It sounds like one of those Hello Kitty Japanese names.

Happy Soccer! Chipperfield!

2006-06-26 08:32:00
30.   scarface
Nice! Both goalies having had to sprawl hastily already...

Seems like Italy can move the ball from its box to the Oz box with surprising speed given how few men seem to be committed on attack. I mean some of the camera shots give the appearance of most people being in the Italy half...ah, well, I guess this is exactly what is expected of Italy.

2006-06-26 08:34:01
31.   scarface
Man, I'm totally digging this Tony guy's spin-and-shoot attitude!
2006-06-26 08:35:05
32.   Ken Arneson
Blocking Delight! Chipperfield!
2006-06-26 08:37:45
33.   Bob Timmermann
I got the colors of the uniforms from the preview story Sunday.

I guess they changed their minds.

2006-06-26 08:37:55
34.   scarface
Wow The Italian decided NOT to flop - and paid the price, by getting whistled instead.
2006-06-26 08:42:53
35.   scarface
Wow. I just felt my own knee ligaments tear a bit on that replay of the hit on Toni - got hurt exactly that way 7 yrs ago.
2006-06-26 08:48:30
36.   Bob Timmermann
If Australia were to win, nobody would have a perfect entry anymore. It would be a brand new ballgame!
2006-06-26 08:57:33
37.   Ken Arneson
Hurray Beer! Chipperfield!

That was a fairly entertaining first half. Amazing what fun sports can be when the refs let the players play.

2006-06-26 09:01:39
38.   Ravenscar
I'm little confused, though - wasn't it the ref NOT calling fouls that allowed the Portugal game to get out of control in the first place?

In which case, isn't the fault primarily with the players for being jerks when the ref was letting the players play?

2006-06-26 09:03:29
39.   Ravenscar
In fact, I got the impression that's what the ref was responding to with his non-calls at the start of the game, the complaints about too many yellow cards.

Are we trying to have our cake and eat it too?

2006-06-26 09:06:33
40.   Ken Arneson
I spoke too soon, I guess.
2006-06-26 09:07:05
41.   Bob Timmermann
Away with you, Marco!
2006-06-26 09:07:18
42.   D4P
So much for the refs letting the players play...
2006-06-26 09:08:31
43.   Bob Timmermann
So how many home runs left for Nomar?
2006-06-26 09:10:17
44.   D4P
Nomar has zero home...Oh, never mind.
2006-06-26 09:12:21
45.   scarface
Normally, I hate for a defensively discliplined team to go a man down - 'cos I usually see them retreating into a 10-man defensive shell, content to go to penalties, and therefore making a terribly boring game. I guess we'll see here what happens...
2006-06-26 09:16:24
46.   Mark T.R. Donohue
Man, I was really hoping for Chipperfield to score so I could call him "Chipperfield: Rescue Ranger."
2006-06-26 09:20:45
47.   scarface
Oh, boy! Bad cross, and bad defense by Aus. Would have been a goal is that were Germany :)
2006-06-26 09:21:44
48.   Bob Timmermann
Was it a searching cross?
2006-06-26 09:21:54
49.   Kayaker7
Go Hiddinkeroos!
2006-06-26 09:22:25
50.   Mark T.R. Donohue
I would rate it as "hopeful."
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-06-26 09:24:30
51.   scarface
Bob, I don't know if that's some pun sailing over my head :), but anyway the cross sailed over an unmarked Del Piero's head...hey also, again, what's your beef with Buffon?
2006-06-26 09:25:46
52.   Ken Arneson
45 I think you've nailed it. Italy has gone into a shell, and it's gotten pretty boring.
2006-06-26 09:27:24
53.   Bob Timmermann
Mark has commented earlier that U.S. announcers don't use the phrase "searching cross" like the British ones do.

He misses the phrase.

2006-06-26 09:27:34
54.   Mark T.R. Donohue
English football announcers have a quaint, but very specific language when it comes to the quality of long passes. "Clever" is better than "searching" which is better than "hopeful." Very rarely do they actually come out and say, "Boy, that was a bad pass."
2006-06-26 09:29:03
55.   scarface
Re: 52:

Yeah, Ken, remember the Argentina-Germany game couple of Cups ago when Beckham got sent off? High-flying game suddenly slowed down when England decided to get conservative since they only had 10 men. At least that's my recollection.

Australia also needs to advance the ball quickly on the rare occasions they draw Italians into their own half - counterattacks aren't just for the short-handed team...

2006-06-26 09:29:23
56.   Ravenscar
Well, the game will be 30 extra minutes of boring before the penalties start, then. How does Australia look, objectively? Does is seem they can win this by skill orr will it be a more luck-oriented goal?

I can't really tell if my earlier question was ignored because it was ridiculous or brilliant. ;-)

2006-06-26 09:31:47
57.   D4P
Univision's coverage makes a point of identifying attractive young female soccer fans in the crowd.

Just sayin'.

2006-06-26 09:32:51
58.   scarface
Re: 53,54:
Ah, I understand now :) I'm actually not a stranger to the language used by Brit "commentators" in the soccer and cricket worlds, but it's been a while since I last heard such announcers.
2006-06-26 09:35:36
59.   Mark T.R. Donohue
About the penalties? I was hoping somewhat else would handle it because it's kind of an involved question and I do want to watch the game.

But, briefly...the trouble with the Portugal-Holland game started because of the non-calls in the first half. Because the ref wasn't defusing the mounting enmity between the two teams (and he also allowed the players who had been ejected to stand on the sidelines afterwards, which is really stupid), the players on both teams starting fouling constantly, partly to see what they could get away with and partly out of anger. By the time the cards started coming out it was too late, and since seemingly everyone on both teams quickly had yellows the flopping and whining started getting out of control as well.

2006-06-26 09:36:50
60.   scarface
Re. 56:

Yeah, personally, I can't really answer your earlier question, though I am mostly ok with the ref this game. The thing with the previous game though was that the ref appeared to miss multiple genuine fouls, and react over-aggressively to non-fouls or to the wrong person. Players were at fault too, I think, and should pay the price by losing to England with a weakened team.

2006-06-26 09:37:34
61.   Mark T.R. Donohue
Continuing the thought...a ref who is calling too many fouls is just as likely to encourage dirty play as one who is calling too few. Because if you're going to get kicked out for a touch foul, then you might as well go on in spikes up and wreck the guy. Make your ejection count.
2006-06-26 09:37:47
62.   Ken Arneson
56 I don't know that they can win this by skill, but they can win this by their numerical advantage. The game is stuck at about the 30 yard line right now.
2006-06-26 09:38:00
63.   Kayaker7
57 Galavision too. :)
2006-06-26 09:38:08
64.   Bob Timmermann
When this match is over or in a break, there is reaction from Blatter about Ivanov in the post above.
2006-06-26 09:39:34
65.   Ravenscar
Thanks! I was also thinking that the lack of replies were more in line with actually watching the game, which I'm not doing.

62 - yeah, I get the impression it has ground to a halt.

2006-06-26 09:40:12
66.   Bob Timmermann
Univision also likes to show babies in the crowd and the announcers coo over them, Vin Scully-like.
2006-06-26 09:40:45
67.   scarface

Well, Australia looks too relaxed and slow, basically, in my eyes - they don't seem to pushing their numerical advantage enough. Maybe they are really afraid of the Italian counter-attack threat or something...also I thought Aus had several great long-kickers - haven't seen enough evidence today.

2006-06-26 09:42:43
68.   D4P
Babes >>> Babies
2006-06-26 09:43:43
69.   Ravenscar
Bob -

I read that, but it doesn't seem like a particurlarly well-thought out response by Blatter, just a lot of bleating in response to pressure he's obviusly receiving to, um, bleat. I'm not saying he has to agree with my sentiment that the ref was basically in an unwinnable situation, but at least show cognitive (if not holistic) reasoning while responding.

I realize that may often be too much to hope for. -grin-

2006-06-26 09:44:00
70.   Bob Timmermann
"Hey, everybody, if you can make out to Kaiserslautern for the match, bring the whole family! We love to see the kids here!"
2006-06-26 09:45:30
71.   D4P
Does Vin realize that the radio listeners can't actually see the babies he coos over?
2006-06-26 09:45:33
72.   Bob Timmermann
Sepp Blatter is not known for being diplomatic in his speech.
2006-06-26 09:48:41
73.   Ken Arneson
61 This is a sport that is played in every corner of the planet. It's amazing to me that they can't find 30 people who know how to officiate a game with the right balance of too many and too few fouls.
2006-06-26 09:49:52
74.   scarface
First reaction - referee made the perfect two decisions in a row - non-call and then call. Replays will tell...
2006-06-26 09:49:56
75.   Bob Timmermann
Here we go!
2006-06-26 09:50:15
76.   Mark T.R. Donohue
There are plenty of qualified candidates, Ken. It's just that they're all on Juventus's payroll.
2006-06-26 09:50:16
77.   D4P
Wow, that looks like a bad call, no?
2006-06-26 09:50:27
78.   Ken Arneson
Awful. A guy trips trying to climb over a guy should not be a penalty kick.
2006-06-26 09:50:44
79.   scarface
Actually, I don't know the rules here - the Aussie guy did not move but WAS lying in the Italian's path...
2006-06-26 09:50:48
80.   Ravenscar

That would probably be because there are not 2 people on the planet who follow the game who would agree on where that balance lies. And if there are 2, there definitely aren't 30.

2006-06-26 09:51:59
81.   D4P
Oh, I just realized that the game is over.
2006-06-26 09:53:02
82.   Ravenscar
goddammit -

That HAD to have been a terrible call, because it went against me and my team.


2006-06-26 09:53:34
83.   scarface
I was rooting for Aus when it was 11-on-11, but have trouble feeling any sympathy for them after seeing them waste an entire half of 11-on-10...
2006-06-26 09:54:20
84.   Bob Timmermann
The same five people still have perfect entries :

Los Longhorns
humma kuvala
John Matthew

2006-06-26 09:55:10
85.   Sam DC
Hey -- I had to go empty one of my many leaky roof buckets (aside: AAAARRRGGHHHH!). Did this game really end on a (weak, per Ken) PK in the 95th minute?
2006-06-26 09:56:32
86.   Penarol1916
I picked Switzerland for the next match? Bad move by me, of course I'll get burned in the one game where my system does not apply.
2006-06-26 09:56:50
87.   Bob Timmermann
Totti (95', pen.)
2006-06-26 09:57:25
88.   Ken Arneson
Yes. It wasn't the worst call in the world, but it wasn't so bad that he had to call it either. The ref could have let it go, and very few people would have complained.
2006-06-26 09:58:08
89.   scarface
Re. 85:
Kinda. Strong work by the Italian attacker fighting off two defenders - the second Aussie defender fell after being faked out, but fell in the path of the Italian (in the box). It could be argued that the Italian could have climbed over the defender - maybe, maybe not.
2006-06-26 09:58:46
90.   Ravenscar
Having lost the Germany game by default due toa late entry and this one due to TERRIBLE OFFICIATING (cough - note I saw not one minute of the game) I'm wondering now if there's any way I'm still in it at all. I guess so, both my finals teams are still alive.
2006-06-26 10:09:41
91.   Bob Timmermann
You're the only person with Spain in the final, so that would be an edge.
2006-06-26 10:16:29
92.   Ravenscar


2006-06-26 10:18:43
93.   Ravenscar
I'm simply convinced that because everyone has been saying Brazil's going to win, they are desitined to lose, and Spain's the best bet to take care of them, I think.
2006-06-26 11:14:47
94.   Xeifrank
Mark Cuban just called and said the World Cup is rigged. vr, Xei

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