Australia v Tajikistan World Cup Qualifier, Adelaide Oval
On the eve of Easter, and the eve of the AFL (Aussie Rules) season, thirty five thousand football fans turned up to watch the Socceroos versus Tajikistan in a World Cup qualifier at the Adelaide Oval. Not bad for a country that only just embraces the world game, where most people think that the natural shape of a ball is an elongated ellipsoid, and nobody understands the offside rule…
The offside rule:
Simple. Just don’t receive the ball from a team mate if you are beyond the last defender.
This was also my first ever competitive international match- except that it wasn’t very competitive at all. A team with only one player I had heard of (and Cahill wasn’t even playing) toying with a team from a country I hadn’t heard of – no offence intended either way. With Australia’s opening goal coming after only two minutes, the Socceroos could have cut the throttle, but instead they went on to throttle their bemused opponents – metaphorically of course- with strong running, robust challenges and six more goals. But no Timmy.
As ever, it was a delight to attend an event at the Oval- plenty of space, food outlets, bars, toilets and relatively comfy seats. Afterwards at the Strathmore Hotel, when the songs and chants began, with everyone discussing whether Tottenham will catch Leicester City for the Premiership, it really felt like proper football.
Until next week with the return of the odd shaped ball and no offsides.
More Socceroo exploits at