Sunday, June 1, 2008

Australia Defeats Iraq

A bit ironic that Australia's football team was knocking Iraq out of the World Cup on the same day as our "combat troops" were withdrawing from their country. Our new Dutch coach says the win was undeserved, but it's widely seen as "vengeance" for our defeat by Iraq in last year's Asian Cup. Let's just hope all Iraqis don't have the same thirst for revenge.

So how to we attain the Holy Grail of World Cup qualification? Australia now has seven points from three games in Asia's Round Three, with three games left to play. According to FIFA, the top two teams in each group then progress to Round Four, which consists of two groups of five teams. These teams play another round robin, with home and away matches.

The two winners and the two runners-up from these two Round Four groups progress directly to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The two third-placed teams play a home-and-away series to determine who advances to a playoff with the top team from Oceania. The winner of that home-and-away playoff also advances to the World Cup.

So we still have at least eleven more qualifying games to play, if not fifteen, assuming we are not eliminated before then.

No doubt there will be a few more casualties along the way, but we are committed to the task and we won't be pulling out any players until the job is done.

UPDATE: Speaking of revenge, Australia will get to play Italy again next year. If you remember, the diving Italians knocked us out of the last World Cup...