Its a bit late topic this, but I felt that the Australian media (at least on the web) are a bit one sided, so I thought I will write this.

BERLIN, June 14 (Reuters) – Japan should have been awarded a penalty in the second half of Monday’s 3-1 World Cup loss to Australia, a top FIFA official said on Wednesday.

Asked why there had been no penalties in the tournament’s first 14 matches, FIFA communications director Markus Siegler told a news conference that the Japan-Australia match was the only one in which a penalty should have been given.

“I think there were no situations for penalties. We saw one, but it was a clear mistake of the referee. I would not be credible if I didn’t say a mistake was made there,” he said.

Siegler was referring to a second-half incident where Australia’s substitute Tim Cahill clipped the legs of Japan midfielder Yuichi Komano as he headed for goal.

So FIFA admits that, that incident should be P.K. This was very a costly decision. Because whether we converted the penalty kick or not, Tim Cahill should been sent off for his second yellow card of the game.

The Japanese goal

Perhaps the Australians would say “what about the Japanese goal !!”. True, it was rather a dodgy goal, but a difficult one for any referee. The Australian defender won the aerial battle against the Japanese forward, Yanagisawa, as you would expect from a battle between the physically big against the small. Yanagisawa was pushed away and accidentally bumped into the GK. Would you call that a clear foul ? While Takahara’s charge did miss the ball, but you are allowed to charge at the GK, as long as you don’t push him, or pull him down, etc, etc. Just like the normal play. Also, the GK was already out of the position from the initial bump by Yanagisawa.

Depending on where the referee stands, some would make that as a foul. But its a difficult one, and can turn either way, I think.

Costly and decisive

On the other hand, Cahill-Komano incident was much more decisive one for the game. Australia had sixty-something minutes to score a goal from the 1st incident, and indeed they did succeed. But this was at the closing stage of the game, Australia could been one man down, with Cahill, the eventual goal scorer, would been off the pitch. We might have not won, but was more likely to be a draw.

I am not blaming here for the referee that, we lost because of him. We should have finished the game off with our bundle of chances in the second half. Its our Achilles heel for past several decades. For some reason, we cannot come up with true striker talent. Always the midfield, or chance-making forward. (Perhaps I will write about that some other day)

He will definitely be going home

Well, we drew yet another game that we should have won, against Croatia. Brazil is playing Australia right now.

It is not finalised who will go on, yet. But what I am certain is that Mr. Essam Abd El Fatah should definitely on the plane home to Egypt. If not, I will be very surprised.