Socceroos fans at the Plantation Hotel celebrate the end of Australia?s 2-2 draw with Croatia that put the Aussies into the nex
Socceroos fans at the Plantation Hotel celebrate the end of Australia?s 2-2 draw with Croatia that put the Aussies into the nex

And now for Italy

By BRADGREENSHIELDS

EVEN if you've been to the World Cup before as a player, it doesn't leave you immune to a dose of Cup fever.

Atti Abonyi was a member of the 1974 Socceroos World Cup team but yesterday morning his Boambee East home was close to becoming an emergency ward as he watched Australia's dramatic 2-2 draw with Croatia in Stuttgart.

"Like everyone else, I must've died three times in that last 10 minutes," he joked. "I'm normally calm when I watch but that was the first time in years that I really got excited about it, it was real edge-of-the-seat stuff."

To make matters worse for Abonyi, when the final whistle was blown to start celebrations as the Socceroos made the final 16, the former Socceroo had no time to sit back as he was straight out the door for work.

On Monday night Abonyi will again be watching when Australia take on the might of Italy and he can't see any reason why we can't progress to the quarter finals.

"Years ago if you said we were playing Italy, you'd think 'Oh my god'," he said. "I think from now on with the final 16, every game is 50-50 so there's no reason why we can't win."

See Monday's Coffs Coast Advocate to find out where you can watch Tuesday morning's all-important clash with Italy.



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