To Russia with love

Over 77,000 fans packed Homebush stadium to watch the Socceroo’s last ditch attempt to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The Honduran fans will limp home disappointed, but the Aussie fans will be celebrating after Captain Mile Jedinak scored a hat trick of goals in a 3-1 demolition.
I know that the officials ruled his first goal as an own goal by a Honduran defender, but in my book, it was a hat trick.
I’m not a soccer fan, but I did sit through the whole game and actually found myself getting excited.
Thankfully our new house does not have close neighbours, so my raucous cheering won’t lead to a noise complaint.
I certainly wasn’t as noisy as when the mighty Rabbitohs are playing, but judging by the way the cat shot out of the when Jedinak scored his first goal – I must have had a fair bit of volume.
Match winner . . . Mile Jedinak in action for the Socceroos.

It was slow start by the Aussies, who controlled most of game, but at half time, we had  nothing to show for it.

Players looked very nervous as the game went on.
Their problem was we drew 0-0 in Honduras, so we had to win tonight.
Another nil-all draw would have led to extra time, and eventually a penalty shootout.
A 1-all or 2-all draw would have put Honduras through on aggregate as away goals have greater value if total goals are equal for both team.
Had Honduras managed to score early in the second half, Australia would have been under immense pressure, needing to score another two goals to book their flights to Russia.
Eventually the pressure that the Socceroos applied broke the Hondurans.
Once they scored one, another two followed courtesy of two penalties that not even the most one-eyed Honduran could argue with.
So now we head to Russia, while the Hondurans join the Italians as countries that don’t need to apply for visa’s from Vladimir Putin.
Now that the Socceroos have qualified for their fourth straight World Cup Final, I can get back to the real World Cup and cheer on the Kangaroos this Friday night against that other Rugby League powerhouse – the Samoans.
And remember, there is no such thing as too much sport!

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