Australia got absolutely jobbed when the referee got mesmerized by the Italian Diving Team with 15 seconds left in extra time. Un-freaking-believable. Neill slides, anticipating a shot, the ball is gone, Grosso trips over Neill's arm and extends into a face-plant. Penalty, shot, score, game over. Poor Socceroos; they deserved better than that. Even with the earlier red card to Italy.
Okay, now that the US, Australia, Ivory Coast, and Ecuador are out, it looks like Ghana is my new designated underdog. Of course, they have Brazil next, so I'll be pooch-shopping again round about this time tomorrow (plus about three hours).
The referee coordinator for the local recreational leagues (yes, people, even if your little darling plays for one of the elite clubs, it's still Amateur Hour out here) has issued an edict that referees are never to criticize or agree with criticism leveled at another referee, no matter who or what, ever ever ever. Or we'll lose our jobs. Uh, Lou? Sometimes folks just fuck up, and pretending they don't or pretending we were looking at something else and didn't quite see the call doesn't change that. Think the local guys are going to look at us part-time refs with additional respect after watching the pros and putative best in the world make glaring errors? I don't think so either.