A national disaster of epic proportions unfolded today as some no-name Italian low-life snuck into the Australian penalty box and stole a 95th minute penalty, robbing Australia of a place in the quarter finals of the 2006 World Cup in Germany.Now, I am definitely not Australian, in fact, I have frequently been heard to say that Australia would be a great place to live if there weren't so many bloody Australians there, but that is of course in trans-Tasman jest and rivalry, but if I was, today I would be in mourning for their tragic exit to the competition. Truth be known, there is not a team I would have liked more to progress in this world cup. Australia for me have played the most enjoyable football of all the teams in the tournament, and have proved to the world they are a force to be reckoned with in international football. And who would have thought! Australia were all over the Italians, having about 60% of the possession, and numerous attempts on goal, but they just couldn't put it away, but the writing was on the wall for the Italians! Had the Aussies managed to hold out for about another 5 seconds, the game would have gone into extra time. Aussie still had 2 new subs, and Italy only had 10 men, so in extra time these pressures would have come into force, and I believe Italy would have come out second best (they were second best for the first 94 minutes anyway!) To add insult to injury, I reckon it wasn't a fould anyway - the bloody eyeteye took a dive, and was rewarded for it by the referee. THIS is exactly the kind of thing that spoils the game of football for me. Not only have you got a cheat being rewarded for his bad sportsmanship, we now have a team going into the next round who DO NOT DESERVE to be there. Bring in the video ref I reckon, and start laying some heavy penalties upon the INDIVIDUALS who twist the final outcome of a game of skill into a game of deception, cheating and bad sportsmanship. What made all this worse for me was to see the Italians celebrating the Australians loss - They were not celebrating THEIR WIN because they did nothing to deserve it. The next round of the world cup will now suffer because of this. The Italians take with them a boring yawn-fest, whereas the Australians would have taken the FEAR FACTOR. They would be a new opponent to many of the teams going through to the next round with a new style, new tactics, whereas the Italians are just more of the same old same old - a bunch of greasy pompous drama queens trading on the achievements of their predecessors - YAWN. SPORT is the loser, but AUSTRALIA is the winner - I don't hold any hopes for my own country to make it there anytime in the near future, so I look forward to seeing Aussie there again in 4 years time.