Italy 1 Australia 0
I hate to point it out again, but my post a few weeks ago criticizing the Italians was spot on and today proves it. First it was De Rossi elbowing Brian McBride in the skull in the game against the U.S., today it was Fabio Grosso diving in the box to earn a game-deciding penalty kick in the 93rd minute. Cheaters and divers. Italians. Fuck 'em.
Total fuckin' bullshit.
Look, Italy had no right winning this game. None. They pretty much sucked, let's be honest. Things were fairly even before Marco Materazzi was red-carded in the 60th minute (a bit unfairly, true) and Italy was thoroughly dominated thereafter. Dominated. Thoroughly. Australia controlled the game undeniably, surging forward while Italy rarely sniffed the Australian net, rarely venturing past midfield and dissolving into little more than a defensive shell, which is what Italy does best anyway, but the cowards were even more blatant about it today.
But then, so, so predictably, typical Italian antics changed everything, and for the worse. In the 93rd minute, with the game looking set to head to extra time, Lucas Neill slid for the ball in his own box but touched nothing. Not Grosso, not the ball, nothing. Grosso lunged over him and dove forward as if he'd been hot. He initiated the contact. The ref bought it, Franceso Totti converted the penalty kick, the final whistle was blown, and that was that.
Yet another game in this World Cup tainted by horrendous officiating.
How bad was the call? My buddy J called immediately upon the final whistle to bitch and, for the record, he's not Australian. Usually when you get the "I'm so pissed off I have to bitch as soon as this is over" call, somebody screwed up. I'd look up the ref's name but I'm tired of learning the names of these men who should remain nameless. Jorge Lorriando. Vanentin Ivanov. Why do we learn their names? Because they suck, because they damage the game, because they're incompetent.
It's baffling that that FIFA has allowed these officiating travesties to continue on game after game after game.
FIFA needs to take a long in the mirror. I hesitate to jump on the "Hey, the refs, suck!" bandwagon because, frankly, the bitching about the refs in this World Cup has become tiresome, but there really has been some bad decisions. It makes you wonder, Is it really that difficult to ref a game at this level?
Or do the guys FIFA has hired to ref these games simply stink?
I don't know, but I think I smell incompetency.
Even worse, the Italians will now get the winner of Ukraine and Switzerland. On paper at least, this is a game the Italians will be favored in, meaning they are flopping and diving, tripping and crying right through the easiest portion of the bracket. Fuckin' Italians. This is like watching Duke get all the calls while playing an NCAA tournament game game on a "neutral" court in Greensboro. Like J said, this is reminiscent of the Italy getting Bulgaria in the 1994 semifinals. Lucky breaks for the pretty boys.
Italy stabs a man in the back. Cheating fuckers.