• The athleticism of Australia was crucial. Croatia were breathless in
    the face of it and Hiddink’s decision to put the squad through a fierce
    fitness programme looked as if it was being vindicated, even if the
    club managers might wonder just how depleted these men will be when the
    time comes, soon enough, to start a new domestic season. – Kevin McCarra, The Guardian

  • For the entire match it seemed as if the Australians were chasing a
    win, battering at the Croatian defense, which looked closer and closer
    to buckling but kept holding up. – Eugene Brcic, Seattle Post Intelligencer

  • It was a joyous night for Harry Kewell, who extinguished his own
    torment on the grand occasion by pilfering the equaliser that sent the
    Socceroos into a mouth-watering contest with Italy at the expense of
    Croatia, but will have been a sleepless one for Graham Poll, whose
    failure to disallow the Liverpool midfielder’s precious goal for
    offside was the least of his misjudgements in a performance that will
    almost certainly represent his last in Germany. – Andy Hunter, The Independent

  • Amid the madness in Stuttgart last night, as Graham
    Poll, the English
    referee, saw this astonishing match cascade out of his control,
    Australia qualified for the second round with a point that proved that
    although they may be relative football novices, the nation’s
    traditional sporting hallmarks – determination, athleticism and a
    never-say-die attitude – hold true in this game as much as any other
    … An already febrile atmosphere in Stuttgart, the city with the
    population of Croats in Germany, became even louder with five minutes
    left when Dario Simic tripped Kewell and received his second yellow
    card and Croatian protests almost turned ugly. Then Igor Tudor had a
    superb chance close in but took too long to get away his shot, and Poll
    dismissed Brett Emerton for deliberate handball – his second yellow,
    too. – Tom Dart, The Times

  • The most pulsating, dramatic, heart-stopping contest
    of a thrilling
    World Cup ended with Australia booking a last-16 meeting with Italy. – ESPN

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey