For more than 92 minutes Mondaymorning, the raucous chants of “Aussie, Aussie Aussie!” rang through The Irish Bank pub as a throng of devoted Australians cheered on their beloved Word Cup underdogs, affectionately dubbed the “Socceroos.”
Unfortunately for the Aussies, on the 93rd minute of their match against heavily favored Italy, those screams of adoration came to a shocking, screeching halt.
Italian striker Francesco Totti scored on a penalty kick — after a questionable foul in the box on Australian Lucas Neil — in the final minutes, sending the vociferous Australian contingency staggering out of the pub in disbelief of their team’s elimination.
“I’m shattered,” said 23-year-old Matt Robison of Sydney, a software developer who has been in San Francisco for three weeks. “Still, we got to love how we played today. We made it this far and played great against a great team.”
Robison was just one of more than 30 Australian fans who made it down to The Irish Bank on Market Lane, an event organized by the Australian consulate in San Francisco.
“This really epitomizes Australian patriotism,” said Nick Gordon, a Sydney native who has lived in San Francisco for four years. “We are all massive rugby fans, but we’ve got to come out and support our squad. It’s been awesome to see Australia be this successful.”
The Australians have gained an impressive reputation at The Irish Bank, a bar known for attracting a huge international gathering due to its proximity to the Financial District.
“Australians have been by far the best fans here,” bartender Daragh Sandford said. “The most vocal, boisterous group we’ve had. They came for one game at noon and stayed all the way until 9:30. They’re great for business, and they bring so much enthusiasm.”
While Monday’s gathering didn’t
quite reach the outpouring that came out to see the Aussie’s match Thursday against Croatia, the fans who didattend showed plenty of spirit in rooting on their Cinderella team.
“This is huge for us,” Robison said. “Every game has been amazing. There has been some great entertainment for all Australians the last three weeks.”