Will Swanton, from The Weekend Australian, 7-8 July 2018, where the title is “When Our Heroes cross the Line”
The Socceroos are playing Italy at the 2006 World Cup. Lucas Neill slides into a tackle on Fabio Grosso. His left elbow and hand make contact with the Azzurri player’s legs. Grosso goes down with the theatricality of Macbeth being slain by Macduff. The referee blows his whistle for a penalty. Francesco Totti kicks the last-minute goal and the Australians are on their way to the airport. All because of Grosso’s con job.
It’s a famous moment in Australian sport. The most potent of all Socceroos teams has threatened to beat a powerhouse of the global game and reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup for the first time.