Due to excessive consumption of biltong, Guy Rundle is unable to present a match report on the Australia-Serbia game last night. Substituting for him is Trevor McCorquodale, who was all-sports all-roundsman on the Launceston Examiner for more than forty-four years, and now runs a dude ranch near Bulawayo.

The Green and Gold flashed like a beacon on the darkening veldt of Mbombela last night as the Socceroos dealt a hammer blow victory against the White Eagles of Serbia, with a stonking two-one victory that was, alas, not enough to carry them through to the final sixteen.

Before an enthusiastic crowd comprising tens of thousands of our nation’s finest youth, many sporting coloured wigs, plastic marsupials and our beautiful flag worn as a cape, the ‘Roos gave at least a hundred and ten percent in a game of two full halves, our brave lads showing their true mettle in the face of a concerted and typically shifty aggressive play from the team of the well-known war-torn nation.

Pointy heads and traitors might suggest that our brave lads were pretty much outclassed in the first half, with no command of the midfield, and a relentless attack on goal from on-point Serbian forwards, in particular Balkan wonderboy Milos Krasic, raining hammer blows and lightning bolts on the down-under goal mouth from his coward’s castle on the right.

Krasic’s flashy, ostentatiously effective play was treated by our fair-minded and upstanding supporters as it should be, with relentless booing, but the self-confessed Europeans continued to pursue their fashionable strategy of excellence, marred only by poor shooting, and a failure of Krasic’s team-mates to match his fancy schmancy skills.

Being forced into the unmanly business of defence must have flummoxed our boys, which is why they barely troubled the sinister-looking Serbian goalkeeper throughout the entire first half.

But it was around twenty minutes into the second term when that genuine hero Tim Cahill stepped up to the mark and took the bull by the horns before ramming it home. The Serbs, nervous, prissy types, were quite unhinged by this display, and as the heathen sound of plastic horns was drowned out by full-throated rendition of the Qantas advertisement music, Australia scored again a mere four minutes later, with Brett Holman sinking the spheroid deep into the net.

Sadly this display of ANZAC fortitude merely enraged our monobrowed opponents who resorted to oriental cunning, with Pantelic hitting home after a first attempt by the well-named Tosic.

Given your average European’s propensity for neuroticism it was inevitable that, their wings smartly clipped, the White Eagles would gesticulate furiously about a trifling incident in the dying minutes of the game when ‘our Tim’ allowed the ball to hit a part of his body (commonly known as the hand). The ref (a stout man for a Latin) let it go, but that was more than the gypsies would, bleating in a frankly shaming way that it had cost them the possibility of an equaliser and other nonsense in their glutinous all-consonant language.

They were also narked at having a goal disallowed in the first half as offside, and made all sort of technical points about it.

When the final whistle went, our boys knew we had had a great victory, a clean victory, one to be proud of.

However, the backroom boffins at the Cup appear to have short-sheeted our WYSIWYG Aussie boys with their so-called points “system”, which holds against us our uncharacteristic 4-0 loss to the Fritz in a frankly vindictive manner. That sends Fritz, and Ghana, our latest addition to the Commonwealth, into the 16.

Ah well, our boys go home to a hero’s welcome, with only the possibility that New Zealand, our smaller, mentally slower cousins, might carry antipodean honour through.

Hammer blows. Green and gold. Oi oi oi.

Peter Fray

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