As we say in football, it’s hope and then the four goals conceded that kill.
A dream turned into a nightmare for the Socceroos and their fans, as they were humiliated 4-1 by defending champions France at the World Cup in Qatar.
Here’s how the internet reacted to a whiplash-inducing match.
After watching Saudi Arabia beat Argentina a few hours earlier, there was a small outburst of why not us too that spread among the Socceroos faithful.
Of course, that buttery optimism was also mixed with a whole lot of mealy pessimism – a Soccer-redhead, if you will.
Meanwhile, the international community was repeating its quadrennial discussion over the name of the Australian national football team.
But then the match started, and suddenly all the possibilities were…well, possible, and we all dipped deep into that cocktail of hope and fate and luck and luck, but not those of between us in the stadium of course, where such drinks are prohibited. .
And then, in the ninth minute, it happened: Craig Goodwin scored the Socceroos’ first World Cup goal from open play in eight years.
A lobbed pass from the back was superbly controlled by Mathew Leckie on the right wing, who then beat his man and sent a spearing cross to Goodwin, arriving at the far post.
The Adelaide United striker crashed into the roof of the net and Australia were 1-0 down to the reigning world champions.
The intoxicating smell of an upset filled Australian nostrils and the Socceroos were stoned.
Mitchell Duke had a shot a few minutes later.
It was 18 minutes of unbridled ecstasy.
But then this (an ‘it’ different from the first ‘it’, a worse ‘it’) happened.
Adrien Rabiot equalized for France, heading from close range, totally unmarked in the center of the Australian penalty area.
Five minutes later, the relative bliss of scorecard parity gave way to the horror of the scorecard deficit.
A defensive error from Nathaniel Atkinson allowed Kylian Mbappe to cross for Olivier Giroud, who tapped nicely from close range.
The Aussie faithful, feeling the tide of the game beginning to drag their team into treacherous waters, began posting like a man caught in a tear at Bondi Beach, thrashing wildly, desperate for something to keep their hopes afloat.
The Socceroos entered half-time in grim darkness and were lucky to be trailing just 2-1.
And the faithful were already clamoring for the two Australian strikers who could light up the second half; Jason Cummings and Garang Kuol.
When France decided it would be fair to grab 70 per cent possession in the first 15 minutes of the second half, the calls for Cummings and Kuol intensified.
And then this (a third ‘this’, a very, very welcome ‘this’) happened.
Cummings came on in the 56th minute and Kuol followed in the 74th.
Oh the game? Yes, France had already made it 4-1 and spiced up the Australian goal like it was Peter Weller at the start of Robocop.
Olivier Giroud equaled Thierry Henry’s national team goalscoring record, a great moment for a player who has quietly become one of the best strikers of his generation.
The second half clearly showed – if it wasn’t already – just how overmatched Australia were, particularly in defence; Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele routinely glided past the Socceroos full-backs as if they were slightly wilted potted houseplants.
The idea that Australia could have defended their unexpected one-goal lead was fanciful, which put the decision to sit deep after scoring in a rather damning light; somehow surviving a shootout in the desert was probably our best hope for a positive result, as France weren’t defending as well as they were attacking.
The seven minutes of stoppage time was the final excruciating ordeal.
Australia need to be a more sustained and consistent threat in attack if they are to thrive in the upcoming game against Tunisia.
I “4-1” would like to see that.
#internet #reacted #Socceroos #loss #France