Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Off to Beijing

Congratulations to the Olyroos for making it through to the 2008 Beijing Olympics after securing the necessary point to progress with a 1-1 draw against North Korea in Pyongyang. I can't make much comment on the game as I only saw the last half of the match after rushing to regular football watching haunt, The Charles Dickens Tavern, after I had finished work. Up until then I had been relying on updates from the Melbourne Victory forum and the FourFourTwo website to keep me informed. And in those early stages it didn't look to good as the Olyroos conceded an early goal and there was a number of close calls.

From what I saw of the second it again looked fairly scrappy from the Olyroos as the North Koreans looked to do everything to kill the game off and waste time. Even the equaliser was scrappy with a hint of hand ball from Leijer as it crossed the goal line. Ultimately the goal was credited to Milligan, who headed the ball towards goal from a well taken Sarkies free kick, although the AFC website does there was a touch of controversy to the goal. From then on in the six or seven of us that were actually watching the game, chewed on our fingernails constantly, especially when the Koreans looked to be creating a scoring opportunity. There was a sense of relief when the final whistle sounded.

Even though they have now made the Olympics I am not sure that I will watch them play. Up until now I had vowed that I would not watch any part of the 2008 Beijing Olympics as my own form of protest at the very fact that China is hosting these games. It is my belief that a country that regularly abuses human and democratic rights is illegally occupying Tibet should not be able to host such an event. The Olyroos qualification now makes it slightly more difficult as I would be very interested to see how they perform against countries outside of the Asian region. Anyway, I wish them all the best and look forward to some favourable results.


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