Liveblog: upstart’s coverage of the US Presidential election

3 November 2012

Written by: Christopher Scanlon

12.09

Nine’s profits to increase by 0 million

Nine Entertainment is expecting it’s  full-year earnings to increase by over 0 million with the Fairfax merger.

 

The co chief executive of Nine Entertainment Hugh Marks has posted that merging with Fairfax will increase profits by 26.8 percent over the 2019 financial year.

Nine Entertainment’s earnings for 2019 are expected to rise to 0-0 million,  up from 3.6 million for the 2018 financial year.

The merger between the television and newspaper companies has been made possible by last year’s changes to cross-media ownership laws but still needs to be approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The ACCC are expected to make a decision in November and if approved a shareholder vote will be held.

#fairfax merger #Fairfax #Nine #finance

 

02.15

A see-sawing, roller-coaster season of English Premier League football comes to a close once more. It finishes with ecstasy at the Etihad and satisfaction and mild disappointment at Anfield.

Domestic football plays it’s cup finals in the next fortnight before the FIFA World Cup kicks-off in Brazil on June 13.

Thanks for joining me tonight for upstart’s coverage of the EPL’s final day, keep your eye on our twitter handle @upstartmagazine, and search upstart magazine on Facebook for daily pieces from emerging journalists at La Trobe University.

I’ve been Luke Sale, good morning.

 

02.10

A thoroughly professional performance from Manchester City on the final day, finding the net on two occasions through Samir Nasri and captain Vincent Kompany, while they did not allow one shot on target from West Ham.

Following their mid-April loss to Liverpool, City drew with Sunderland and won five straight games to return to the summit which had only been theirs on 14 days this season after winning the title in 2012-13.

For Liverpool, a season of further progress as they return to the Champions League, which was the target of Brendan Rodgers back in August, they weren’t quite able to clinch the title when their opportunity arose. But with a couple more key signings allowing for tactical tinkering from Rodgers in key games they will be back, there’s no doubt about that.

28 goals across England in the 10 games provided a less-dramatic final day than it threatened to be in the lead-up to kick-off. City took the lead and never let up.

02.01

Full time across England

Cardiff City 1 Chelsea 2

Fulham 2 Crystal Palace 2

Hull City 0 Everton 2

Liverpool 2 Newcastle United 1

Manchester City 2 West Ham United 0

Norwich City 0 Arsenal 2

Southampton 1 Manchester United 1

Sunderland 1 Swansea City 3

Tottenham Hotspur 3 Aston Villa 0

West Bromwich Albion 1 Stoke City 2

 

Manchester City are Champions, Liverpool are runner-up, Tottenham finish in sixth, Norwich City are relegated.

01.57

Fulham 2 Crystal Palace 2

Some late joy for the Cottagers as Chris David finds the net in stoppage time.

01.56

Full time Liverpool 2 Newcastle United 1.

 

Brendan Rodgers’ Reds finish high-above expectation as EPL runners-up.

01.54

Congratulations to Manuel Pellegrini and his Sky Blues.

01.54

MANCHESTER CITY ARE CHAMPIONS

… And a pitch-invasion ensues.

01.52

Full time at Carrow Road, Norwich 0 Arsenal 2.

The Canaries two-year stint in the Premier League is over.

01.49

Newcastle RED CARD Paul Dummett

 

Ferocious challenge on Uruguayan ace Luis Suarez. Newcastle down to nine-men, a really poor capitulation for Pardew’s men here.

01.48

West Brom 1 Stoke City 2 (Adam)

If rumours are to be believed, Pepe Mel could be on his way out of the Hawthorns as a loser here.

01.47

Fulham 1 Crystal Palace 2 (Gayle)

Misery for the already relegated Fulham as Dwight Gayle finds his second brace in as many games late on. 5 minutes to play.

01.42

Substitution Liverpool

Daniel Sturridge comes off for Lucas, the end of a magnificent campaign for the Englishmen. He’ll be Brazil bound.

01.40

Back to Spain?

Torres puts Chelsea in front in Wales, but his celebration is incredibly muted as he waves away teammates. Could be a bit of a revolving door at Stamford Bridge in the summer.

01.38

Substitution City

David Silva comes off to rapturous applause, for James Milner. 15 minutes to play.

01.35

Cardiff City 1 Chelsea 1 (Schurrle)

01.33

20 MINUTES TO GO

Is the countdown on, City fans?

01.28

Fulham 1 (Woodrow) Crystal Palace 1

01.28

Shola Ameobi RED CARD

 

From bad to worse for the Geordies on Merseyside.

01.27

LIVERPOOL 2 (Sturridge) Newcastle 1

 

Liverpool have roared back into this. 2-1 inside two minutes, both from set pieces. Over to you, West Ham.

01.25

Is this the long road back?

Liverpool 1 (Agger) Newcastle 1, just over an hour played.

01.25

Norwich 0 Arsenal 2 (Jenkinson)

01.24

Jedinak injury

Not fantastic news for Australian fans ahead of Brazil 2014, Mile is limping off Craven Cottage. Missing his first EPL minutes for the season.

01.19

West Brom 1 (Sessegnon) Stoke City 1

01.17

Southampton 1 Manchester United 1 (Juan Mata)

The Spaniard continues his late-season scoring run.

01.16

Sunderland 1 Swansea 3 (Bony)

Wilfried Bony responds for Swansea with his 16th goal of the season. Prolific in his first season in England.

01.15

Norwich City 0 Arsenal 1 (Ramsey)

The returning Welsh midfielder volleys home from Giroud’s assist, is this the combination that will win the Gunners the FA Cup next Saturday?

01.13

BLUE MOON

The crowd really is bumping inside the Etihad now, the ‘Poznan’ evident on each side and end.

01.12

Sunderland 1 (Borini) Swansea 2

Fabio Borini finds the net in his final game on-loan. Is the comeback on?

01.11

MANCHESTER CITY 2 (Kompany) WEST HAM UNITED 0

 

This could be it. Kompany finds himself free from a Nasri corner and following a scramble. The skipper bundles it home from six yards, Manchester City – Champions elect?

01.08

Hull City 0 Everton 2 (Lukaku)

A great start to the second half for the Toffees as the on-loan Belgian finds the KC net.

01.06

SECOND HALF UNDERWAY

 

When is this next twist coming?

01.06

What can Big Sam do?

The answer is not a lot. The first half has gone pretty perfectly thus far for City, a goal of their own must open the game up while Liverpool’s lack of drive is perfect for Newcastle.

01.03

Is it time for Coutinho?

Liverpool’s lack of creativity in midfield is leading to their demise. Henderson is more of a late arriving passing midfielder while Gerrard and Allen sit deep and spread the play, the lack of the Brazilian ace is clear and Suarez and Sturridge were being starved of better service in the first period.

00.58

This can’t be all she wrote, can it?

As mentioned prior to kick-off, too many times this season has a foregone conclusion been predicted, it really will be a story if there’s to be a turnaround to Liverpool’s favour from here. But right now it seems a mile off, Liverpool lack creativity and inspiration, and West Ham can’t get out of their own half with impetus.

00.55

What a hit, Samir.

Nasri picked the ball up semi-well marked by West Ham defenders 20 yards from goal, but he knew what he was going to do before he got the ball from Toure, and didn’t he he do it well! His low shot arrowed through bodies, Hammers ‘keeper Adrian may be disappointed after getting a hand to it, but the shot had a fair bit behind it from the Frenchman.

00.54

HALF TIME

Two goals needed for Liverpool at Anfield and two needed for West Ham at the Etihad means only a four-goal swing will grasp Liverpool the title now, it looks as though City have one hand on it.

Elsewhere, Tottenham have sewn up the final Europa League placing as they lead 3-0 at home to Aston Villa, while Manchester United are trailing at Southampton as the Saints look to finish a great season on a high note.

Palace are leading Fulham, Stoke over West Brom, Swansea over Sunderland, Cardiff over Chelsea, Everton over Hull are the other leading sides while Norwich and Arsenal is goalless.

00.44

MANCHESTER CITY 1 (Nasri) West Ham United 0

There’s the goal. And what a goal. Could that be it?

00.42

Tottenham 3 (Adebayor) Aston Villa 0

00.42

Nearing half-time

 

Liverpool need two at home while they need West Ham to score across the way in Manchester. Big, big ask.

00.40

Tottenham 2 (Nathan Baker OG) Aston Villa 0

00.38

Liverpool 0 Newcastle 1

Luis Suarez weaves past Coloccini before fluffing his attempt straight at Krul when well placed.

00.34

Fulham 0 Crystal Palace 1 (Dwight Gayle)

 

Gayle’s late-season scoring run continues at Craven Cottage.

00.32

Southampton 1 (Lambert) Manchester United 0

 

A season of disappointment is continuing on the south coast for United.

00.31

Liverpool 0 Newcastle 1

 

Mignolet saves well from Gouffran who was one-on-one. 25 minutes gone.

00.27

West Brom 0 Stoke City 1 (Macauley OG)

 

 

00.24

Liverpool 0 Newcastle 1 (Skrtel OG)

After many a goal for Liverpool this season, Skrtel turns villain for Liverpool as they chase a goal. His clearance deflects awkwardly off his chin and flies beyond Mignolet. 20 minutes gone.

00.23

Liverpool 0 Newcastle 0

 

Should that have stood? Luis Suarez takes a quick free kick which dribbles into Tim Krul’s net. Phil Dowd waves it off.

00.21

Cardiff 1 (Bellamy) Chelsea 0

 

A deflected Craig Bellamy strike flies past Australian-retiree Mark Schwarzer.

00.19

Sunderland 0 Swansea 2 (Marvin Emnes)

Tottenham 1 (Paulinho) Aston Villa 0

15 minutes gone nationwide.

00.16

City 0 West Ham 0

 

David Silva with a snap shot from Zabaleta’s cutback flies narrowly over.

00.15

Liverpool 0 Newcastle 0

 

Liverpool threatening as a penalty shout is turned down and then Sterling is floored as he broke into space.

00.14

Hull 0 Everton 1 (McCarthy)

Everton’s season looks to be finishing on a high as they venture into the Europa League.

00.13

Liverpool 0 Newcastle 0

 

Sturridge flagged marginally offside as he was odds-on to score.

00.12

Sunderland 0 Swansea 1 (Dyer)

Sunderland’s buoyant fans might be muted somewhat by this early goal.

00.10

Balloons in Cardiff

 

Neither side has too much to play for in Wales, but play has been stopped while balloons get cleared off the pitch. One would think of it as one final protest from Cardiff fans over the colour of their side.

00.05

Goals and key moments here as they happen.

00.00

KICK OFF

 

Here we go…

23.59

Red or Sky Blue?

 

A slip of monumental proportions will see Liverpool win their first Premier League title, while what would be a routine home win for City on any other day of the season will get the Citizens over the line, can they handle the pressure? If they hear Liverpool are a goal up things will become very interesting.

23.56

Can a former-flop still do the job?

23.53

10 MINUTES UNTIL KICK OFF

 

How’re the nerves, City and Liverpool fans?

 

Do you want to be in the Europa League, Spurs and United fans?

 

Get involved on Twitter @upstartmagazine

 

23.47

One dream too many for Liverpool fans?

23.45

United in disappointment

 

The less said about this season, the better, for Manchester United. After an incredible stretch of stability and success under the imperial Sir Alex Ferguson, replacement was sought and seemingly suitably found in fellow-Scot David Moyes. However Moyes struggled with the rigours of being a powerhouse in the transfer market and never got going as United manager. For many clubs a top six finish would be incredible, but anything below third for Manchester United is simply unacceptable, leading to Moyes’ dismissal late last month.

Are the years of managerial-stability gone for dead across world football?

23.41

The Pulis Factor

 

Tony Pulis and the Crystal Palace board may lay claim to plotting a better escape, though. The Eagles of South London went an age without a win to begin the season and were every punter’s choice to go straight back down. Promotion mastermind Ian Holloway then took an age to be replaced following a mutual termination of his contract. But the right choice was certainly found, and Fortress Selhurst can look forward to consecutive season’s of top flight football, as Riley Beveridge explains in better detail here.

23.35

Relegation escapees

 

There won’t be too many more stirring escapes to survival than the one Sunderland plotted this season.

They looked down with trips to City and Chelsea consecutively in the penultimate week, every football fan thought that except the Black Cats’ players.

They drew 2-2 at City and won 2-1 at Chelsea, ending Jose Mourinho’s Stamford Bridge unbeaten record in the process.

They completed their escape with a 1-0 win at Old Trafford and a 4-0 home drubbing of West Brom. Their fans will be a buoyant mood as they welcome Swansea today. As will the Swans fans, a successful campaign last time around including a League Cup crown meant a small squad had to compete with the twice-a-week rigours of Europa League football. Michael Laudrup’s job was sacrificed as reinvigoration was sought, ex-player Garry Monk hasn’t done too impressively, but he’s pulled them to safety, and now the board has gone for stability before instant success it seems, as Monk has signed a three-year deal.

23.29

Goodbye Fulham, Cardiff and (barring an incredible scoreline at Carrow Road and the Britannia) Norwich City.

We've arrived at Craven Cottage ahead of today's clash with @FulhamFC. Team news coming your way in 35 minutes! pic.twitter.com/HGu2Hw9hij

— Crystal Palace FC (@Official_CPFC) May 11, 2014

'Nothing to play for.' Who are they kidding? As the boss said, there are 27,000 people to play for. #YellowArmy pic.twitter.com/orS3sP3VQo

— Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) May 11, 2014

Nice stadium here in Cardiff- a loss to the PremierLeague pic.twitter.com/CdX95X7w9C

— Paul Lagan (@CFCJourno) May 11, 2014

23.28

Goodbye Fulham, Cardiff and (barring an incredible scoreline at Carrow Road and the Britannia) Norwich City.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p>We&#39;ve arrived at Craven Cottage ahead of today&#39;s clash with <a href=”https://twitter.com/FulhamFC”>@FulhamFC</a>. Team news coming your way in 35 minutes! <a href=”http://t.co/HGu2Hw9hij”>pic.twitter.com/HGu2Hw9hij</a></p>&mdash; Crystal Palace FC (@Official_CPFC) <a href=”https://twitter.com/Official_CPFC/statuses/465467171767083009″>May 11, 2014</a></blockquote>
<script async src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p>&#39;Nothing to play for.&#39; Who are they kidding? As the boss said, there are 27,000 people to play for. <a href=”https://twitter.com/search?q=%23YellowArmy&amp;src=hash”>#YellowArmy</a> <a href=”http://t.co/orS3sP3VQo”>pic.twitter.com/orS3sP3VQo</a></p>&mdash; Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) <a href=”https://twitter.com/NorwichCityFC/statuses/465457636402798592″>May 11, 2014</a></blockquote>
<script async src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p>Nice stadium here in Cardiff- a loss to the PremierLeague <a href=”http://t.co/CdX95X7w9C”>pic.twitter.com/CdX95X7w9C</a></p>&mdash; Paul Lagan (@CFCJourno) <a href=”https://twitter.com/CFCJourno/statuses/465480184733634560″>May 11, 2014</a></blockquote>
<script async src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

23.21

45 minutes until kick-off.

 

Will it be a sense of over-achievement but still disappointment for Liverpool supporters, and a sense of justification of a complete squad and money-spent for Manchester City?

23.17

Sergio Aguero is obviously fit enough to begin for Manchester City as they chase the point they need. Fernandinho unlucky to miss out, he’s on the bench with Javi Garcia playing his role in holding-midfield.

 

 

23.15

Everton name a near-full strength XI for their final game of a very impressive first season under Roberto Martinez.

23.12

23.12

No Ryan Giggs on the bench for United, does a player manager have to name himself on the bench?

23.10

No surprises from Brendan Rodgers, Sturridge and Suarez up top, Sterling free to roam behind them and in front of Gerrard, Allen and the late-arriving Jordan Henderson.

 

23.09

23.07

All team news will become available imminently, just how fit is City’s Sergio Aguero after missing out midweek?

23.05

So why might things be different today?

West Ham are ranked in the top 10 defences in the Premier League, and Allardyce has had the ability to have his side being organised at the back in the run-in as the East London side have climbed to safety once more. Although Jose Mourinho accused him of playing 19th century football in a 0-0 at Stamford Bridge, they were able to achieve what they set out to do. Can the Hammers do that once more?

He’s voiced his plans to try and spoil City’s party today, can West Ham become giant killers?

The first goal at either Anfield or in Manchester is extremely key, anything can happen on the League’s final day, City only have to look as far back as 2012 for evidence of that.

23.02

How much chance is there of a West Ham win?

A 6-0 drubbing up at the Etihad in the League Cup semi-final first leg back in January suggests Liverpool fans may have to be content with second.

Hammers boss Sam Allardyce could only praise his opponents’ quality and publicly revealed his side simply could not cope.

23.00

What will today bring?

If Liverpool can manage to get themselves into a lead before Manchester City do, things will begin to get very nervous in the stands at the Etihad.

The fans’ reverberations of the score on Anfield Road will make their way onto the pitch leading to some very anxiously watched counter-attacking Hammers football.

Rodgers will instruct his team to start hell-bent on finding a goal, just as they have all year. The first goal nationwide is key for the Reds as they try to heap pressure on the Citizens to the east.

 

22.56

Another twist?

A mid-April clash between today’s top-two ended with in a Liverpool win by the odd goal in five.

Combine this with a near-home defeat to Sunderland and City were considered to be out of this year’s title race.

However, Chelsea then went to Liverpool and won, bringing themselves back into the title race following their own poor result vs. Sunderland. But inconsistency struck the Blues once more and they will watch today’s battle from third place, with a dead-rubber in the Welsh capital.

With it being either City or Liverpool’s title from last Saturday until now, the Reds capitulated at Crystal Palace in a 3-3 draw, while City then climbed to the summit with a 4-0 home win vs. Aston Villa.

City have spent only 14 days of this season atop the Premier League, but they are just a point away from securing their post-takeover crown.

22.48

Could there be a bigger contrast in potential champion?

Manuel Pellegrini swapped the Spanish coastal town Malaga for the industrious Manchester last summer following roles at Real Madrid and Villarreal and inherited a near-complete squad compiled with the hundreds of millions of pounds of Middle-Eastern oil magnates following a game-changing takeover in 2008.

Combative midfielder Yaya Toure has enjoyed arguably his best season yet in a Sky Blue shirt while Pellegrini has been got the best out of Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko, who has covered extremely well for the also-impressive Sergio Aguero.

33 not-so-metric miles west, is Liverpool, and Brendan Rodgers’ not-so expensively assembled Reds.

Rodgers began his managerial career with Chelsea’s reserve squad under the eye of Jose Mourinho, before fruitless spells at Reading and Watford. It was at Swansea, though, where Rodgers really found his feet, gaining promotion with the Swans in 2011 before a first-ever top flight season for both himself and the Welsh side achieved 11th place when they were tipped to be bounce straight back down to the Championship.

Liverpool then came calling for his services in the summer, and after a tough first season in charge, the potential for great progress was clear and after (just) retaining the services of Uruguayan ace Luis Suarez, the Reds have brought back the glory days of the 1980’s as the red half of Merseyside strive for domestic ecstasy.

Even the most passionate Everton or Manchester United fan could deny Steven Gerrard is very deserving of a Premier League crown, if he’s to win one we could be in for the most enthralling final day yet, but who can forget 2012?

22.41

Potential for European Change

Despite for obvious potential for change at the top, the final European place is up for grabs, too. A Tottenham loss and a Manchester United win on the south coast would see a late-change in English Europa League participants for 2014-15.

There are arguments flying around the interwebs that neither side wants to be in the competition at all, Liverpool is Exhibit A of the advantage no European football can hand a side if they aren’t to make the top four.

To the contrary, though, if you’re good enough to make the latter stages of the tournament then the drive to win a European trophy remains, just ask last season’s Chelsea side, or this season’s semi-finalists Juventus.

22.36

Tonight’s fixtures are:

Manchester City vs. West Ham

Liverpool vs. Newcastle

Tottenham vs. Aston Villa

Southampton vs. Manchester United

West Brom vs. Stoke City

Norwich City vs. Arsenal

Sunderland vs. Swansea

Hull City vs. Everton

Fulham vs. Crystal Palace

Cardiff vs. Chelsea

22.32

Hello and welcome to upstart’s live coverage of the English Premier League’s final day, where 10 top-flight games from Southampton on the coast to the northern regions of Merseyside and Manchester will kick off simultaneously.

Today is suitability known as the Mecca of all football days for fans anywhere around the globe. In years past relegation battles, title races and European places have yet to be decided.

While the climax of the 2013-14 season may not look as potentially exciting from a quick glance at the table, there is still a realistic possibility of some squeaky-bum-time at the very top.

A win or a draw for Manchester City and the title returns to the Etihad following a season’s absence, a loss for the Sky Blues, and a Liverpool win, and the Reds win their first ever Premier League title, and win the English division for the first time since 1989-90.

Will it be Manchester City?

Will it be Liverpool?

Join me, Luke Sale, and join in via upstart’s Twitter handle @upstartmagazine as the goals (hopefully) fly-in around England from midnight EST.

But, before then, we’ll have team news as it comes to hand and provide lead-up coverage on the possible permutations of today and background information giving you the best opportunity to decide on your pick of title-winner come approximately 2am

The potential for cliff-hanging levels of tense is very real; providing you’re a Sky Blue or a Red tonight may make you hate being a football fanatic, but isn’t that what makes it all the more fantastic?

The season has experienced more twists and turns than ever, is there one more shock to come?

It’s the English Premier League’s final day, here we go.

19.28

Welcome to the live blog. We’ll get going from 10.30pm. Stay tuned.

09.18

That’s all from me. It has been another wonderful installment of what is a tournament that is as hard to win physically as it is mentally.

Congratulations to Bubba Watson, the left-hander with a brute of a drive and enough poise and determination to go forth and win.

The good news is that it’s only 365 more sleeps until we’re back at Augusta to do it all again.

The bad news is that that’s a really long time.

Thanks for tuning in. Now go and work on your short game.

09.14

Perhaps a reality check for all Australians this weekend as to how hard it is to win the Masters.

John Senden was the pick of the bunch, finishing at even par, While Adam Scott and Jason Day ended up at +1 and +2 respectively.

Steven Bowditch finished at +4 while Ollie Goss was the leading amateur with a fantastic score of +10.

09.08

What a thrill for 20-year old West Australian Oliver Goss, who was present when fellow Australian Adam Scott presented Bubba Watson with his jacket.

09.07

“I really don’t know. I don’t remember the last few holes,” Bubba says when asked how he won today.

“After giving away that jacket last year, I wanted it back, so I told Adam we should just keep switching it.”

09.06

And now it’s time for the most awkward post-match presentation in the history of anything ever, the green jacket ceremony in Butler Cabin.

09.03

Watson wins the Masters with rounds of 69, 68, 74 and 69 to finish at -8 (280).

Image source: @BBCSporf, Twitter

08.58

Bubba and Spieth head to the scorer’s hut for the formalities.

Bubba Watson wins his 2nd Masters in just 6 starts. 1st player to win 2 in first 6 starts since Arnold Palmer. pic.twitter.com/a4IUFZgjie

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 13, 2014

08.56

“He hits it like a man.”

CBS commentator Jim Nantz simplifies the way Bubba Watson plays the game, typified no more than on the 15th fairway where he flew the green with a second shot through the trees.

 

<blockquote lang=”en”><p>Bubba Watson shoots 69 in the final round to win the Masters for the second time in three years.</p>&mdash; Masters Tournament (@The_Masters) <a href=”https://twitter.com/The_Masters/statuses/455479379087622144″>April 13, 2014</a></blockquote>
<script async src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

08.54

There it is. Bubba Watson wins the 2014 Masters at Augusta.

It was a tap-in from inches away before he stood over the hole in shock. His young son, born just after his last Masters victory in 2012 stumbled onto the green and Bubba broke down.

A final round of 69 handed him a three stroke win over Jordan Spieth and Jonas Blixt.

08.49

08.47

The tears are already in Bubba Watson’s eyes, as he is about to win a second Masters title in three years.

Both players stick their short-irons to within 10-feet. Bubba will play first and no doubt tap-in for another green jacket.

08.42

Watson opts for a fairway metal off the tee, while Spieth pumps his driver. Both settle in the middle of the 18th fairway.

The galleries have lined the 72nd hole to see the finish.

Up ahead on the green, Jonas Blixt has a 5-foot par putt for a 71, and to finish at -5, while Matt Kuchar has two putts from Adam Scott circa 2013 territory to finish at -4.

08.38

GOT IT!

Watson lets the ball do the work and surely that is the ball-game.

Steps up to the 18th tee, one that certainly doesn’t suit his power slice, with a two shot lead over Speith.

08.36

Speith’s flop is beautiful and runs out of legs two inches short of the cup. Taps in for par and puts the onus on Watson to go up and down.

He nudges his chip behind the hole, will has a few feet down the hill to take a two-shot advantage to the 72nd hole.

08.32

Drives from identical positions in the left rough on the 17th, which slants around to the left.

Watson proves how violent his slice can be, finishing just short of the green.

Spieth’s ball landed about four rows deep, but he has plenty of green into the up-slope.

08.27

I’m hoping Bubba has a spare coathanger in his wardrobe because he’s in the box seat now.

Both Spieth and Watson two-putt to make par at 16.

08.21

The final group strides to the 16th green, with Bubba Watson (-8) leading his partner and fellow American Jordan Spieth (-5) by three strokes, with two holes to play.

08.19

“That’s the first time I’ve seen a ball land on an Augusta green and just stop.”

A quote from my housemate as Bubba sticks a 9-iron high into the heart of the 16th.

Spieth is dirty with his swing but only finishes a few feet behind Bubba’s ball. Bubba will get a great read here.

08.10

Madness from Watson. Between two trees and below branches, decides to take on the creek and attack the green.

Settles over the back for a tough upcoming chip. Desperate to go forth and win.

Spieth’s ball settles right of the green, near a bunker where just moments ago Matt Kuchar struggled to get his ball to steady before the pin.

08.04

Watson stuck between and behind some trees on the edge of the 15th fairway. would be crazy not to lay up and try to go up and down, with the pin at the back of the green.

Meanwhile, Spieth has a clear angle at the stick and needs to pull the trigger now. Is concerned by the breeze.

08.01

Interesting response to the finish here at Augusta on social media.

It seems half of those tuning in are thrilled to be experiencing the majesty that comes with a Sunday at the Masters, while the other half are bemoaning a ‘boring’ finish.

Hard to agree that a 20-year old debutant and powerful left-handed larrikin duking it out falls in the ‘boring’ category.

07.58

With four to play, Bubba Watson leads the 2014 Masters by three strokes.

He is at -8, with Jordan Spieth and Jonas Blixt (-5) trailing him.

This tournament is far from over.

07.56

A Sunday 69 for Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy sees him finish in a tie for 10th as it stands, at even par.

He will get his chance.

07.54

07.49

Mike Weir was only the second left-hander in to win a major when he claimed the green jacket in 2003, with 5 of the last 11 Masters going to left-handers.

Is Augusta’s layout vulnerable to lefties?

07.43

Birdie for Bubba!

He deserved a birdie or better for that monstrous tee shot alone. Bubba is now at -8, a lead of three strokes with five holes to play.

Jordan Spieth gave himself a chance to reduce the lead, but settles for an adventurous par at 13.

07.37

Bubba with an “unforced error” as described by the CBS commentary team.

Tries to turn a draw from right to left, back towards the pin, but his ball doesn’t release and settles about 25-feet from the stick.

Jordan Spieth was forced to punch out and lay up from an unfavourable lie.

07.35

Meanwhile, in the penultimate pairing, Swede Jonas Blixt has joined Jordan Spieth at  -5.

Matt Kuchar can’t get a major breakthrough and sits at -4.

 

07.32

I’ve come to the conclusion that Bubba Watson hates his golf ball.

He stands on the tee box of the right-turning 13th and wallops his drive over the trees on the left. Has to be one of the best drives in history there.

Spieth goes right into the pine straw with a suspect lie. Watson at -7, Spieth -5.

07.27

Great up and down from Spieth but he drops a shot and Bubba’s par stretches his lead to two strokes.

An eventful hole but that downhill save from Spieth really keeps him in the tournament.

07.21

Splash!

Spieth’s tee shot at the par 3 12th is a foot short and trickles back down the slope in a massive turning point!

Watson makes sure he capitalises and clubs up over the back of the green, a chance at a relatively simple up and down.

07.18

A renowned Christian, I’m sure a prayer or two wouldn’t go astray here from Bubba.

07.16

Congratulations to 20-year old West Australian Ollie Goss!

Not entirely sure what ‘first’ we’ll achieve next year, but we’ll think of something.

07.12

Watson and Spieth are both on in two on 11, but Spieth has the closer birdie putt.

06.58

Jordan Spieth out-drives Watson at 10 (still ringing around to find out how on earth that’s happened) but both make a meal of their second shots.

Watson goes pin-high and right of the stick, but Spieth siezes up and pushes his ball short and right.

May be the first sign that the 20-year old is rattled.

06.51

If the next two tweets don’t sum up what this entire weekend is about then I’ll jump into Rae’s Creek.

06.47

In two holes, the roles have been reversed.

Consecutive birdies and bogeys to Watson and Spieth respectively leave Bubba at -8 with a two shot lead as the final pair strides to the 10th tee for the back nine on Sunday.

06.44

After a 339-yard drive (gulp), Bubba gets his ball to settle pin-high… AND BANG!

Massive birdie putt there from Watson! He takes the lead at -8!

Spieth’s ball sucked back off the front of the green and now he has a slippery downhill try to save face… and it lips out! He drops to -6 and Bubba has a two shot lead.

06.34

Disaster hole from Spieth on 8. Bubba is clinical.

Spieth goes short with 3-wood off the tee, too far right on his second, gets far too much spin on his chip and a sloppy three-putt lets Bubba regain a share of the lead at -7.

06.30

Rickie Fowler with ridiculously stupid putt of the week, holing out a 40-footer that goes at right angles on the 9th.

He is up to -4 and is a chance to post a score and put pressure on those ahead of him.

06.25

Could this be the shot that separates these two in a couple of hours time?

06.22

As our final pairings approach the end of the front nine, Speith leads by two strokes at -8.

Bubba Watson is at -6, with Blixt and Kuchar back at -4.

06.17

Spieth all but rules out reaching the 8th green in two by taking 3-wood off the tee.

Bubba steps up and I can only assume, he tries to hit his driver as far as he possibly can. It proves to be a good tactic.

Here is Bubba in Hawaii three years ago, going for a driver off the deck:

06.10

“Absolutely marvellous by Bubba Watson.” But it’s Spieth by two.

Out of the front bunker on 7, with a tough lie and not much green to work with, Watson splashes it out past the pin before it sucks back to three feet for his par.

Spieth lets his ball do the talking, tickling it ten feet down the hill for his fourth birdie in seven holes!

 

06.04

Kuchar and Jonas Blixt hang in at -4, while the veteran and the apprentice, Couples and Fowler, are at -3 and not finished yet.

 

05.56

Bubba with a slippery downhill birdie try… it’s good!

Spieth with a gimme and keeps Watson at arms-length.

Both players have birdied this morning’s par 3s.

05.54

The 54-year old goes out in 34 and is only three shots off the pace.

Beware…

05.53

Anything you can do, I can do better.

Bubba launches one at the par 3 6th pin, but Spieth steps up to put his ball inside that of Watson, leaving an uphill 5-footer.

Both a chance for Birdie.

05.46

Here I am forgetting that Bubba Watson is playing golf left-handed, as per usual.

Spieth flies his out of the bunker and has a tester for bogey now, while Bubba converts his 3-footer for par.

Spieth’s lead back to one stroke.

05.42

“Oh Jordan, come on! Not again!”

Spieth duck-hooks his drive on the 5th and flies his second into the back bunker. He might just like his chances out of there.

Bubba’s ball settles an inch from trickling into the same bunker, not sure he’s going to have much of a stance for his next shot.

05.38

Outrageous goggle from Spieth at the 4th!

Drops one in at great pace from the front bunker, below the hole to move to -7.

Watson replies instantly by draining his birdie putt and moving to second (-5).

05.27

Spieth leads by two shots without lifting a finger.

Kuchard has a double bogey five at the par 3 4th, while Bubba Watson misses a curling putt to make bogey at the 3rd.

But Bubba has just stiffed his tee shot at 4 for an 8-footer up the hill to make amends.

05.24

Aussie 20-year old Ollie Goss has just signed for a 75, making his victory of the Amatuer title a formality with a final score of +10.

We’ll see him in Butler Cabin for the very odd and substantially awkward presentation following the tournament.

 

05.15

Here they come! Matt Kuchar with a birdie on 2 and a delicate chip in from over the back of the third green sees him join Spieth at -6!

The reliable putter was my tip to threaten following the conclusion of round 3.

Meanwhile 54-year old Fred Couples drains a putt from the long stuff to save par and remain at -3.

05.12

We have a new leader. Spieth holes a 15-footer on the 2nd and is alone at -6.

Watson makes a meal of the downhill par 5 and settles for a par.

I sense Bubba will be happy to not let Spieth out of his sights for most of the morning and wait until the final stretch to make an assault on the Masters debutant.

05.09

For the Aussies, our three overnight chances are all at +1 and look to be too far back.

Adam Scott has just birdied 7 and 8 but has a lot of work to do, while Jason Day and John Senden would need something incredible on the back nine to have any chance of Masters glory.

There are ten players at -3 or better, with overnight leaders Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth still sharing the Sunday burden at -5.

05.02

Good morning everybody and welcome to the fourth and final round of the 2014 Masters!

With the final pairings teeing off in the last half an hour, there has been barely any movement at the top of the leaderboard so far.

09.03

There is a heap of support for Jordan Spieth but I fear a debutant may not be able to close out the biggest golf tournament in the world.

Look for Lee Westwood and Matt Kuchar to post competitive scores and be in the clubhouse, nervously watching the final groups roll in tomorrow afternoon.

That’s all from me. Go to bed and I’ll see you again at 5am tomorrow for the final round from Augusta.

09.01

No player has come from outside the top 10 going into the final round and won the Masters since 1959, indicating it would take a score of -2 or better from here to claim the green jacket.

Today was no disaster for Bubba Watson. Although his three shot lead disappeared on moving day, he has proven he can hold upon Sunday at Augusta before.

 

08.58

It was a dirty day for the Australians, with Adam Scott posting a 76 to be at +1, while Jason Day managed a riound of 72 but looks out of reach at two over par.

John Senden sits at -1, only four shots back after his round of 76.

08.55

Senden bogeys while Watson converts his par to set up a final pairing shootout with young gun Jordan Spieth tomorrow, with both at -5.

Matt Kuchar and Jonas Blixt are at -4, with Miguel Angel Jimenez and Rickie Fowler alone at -3 after they finished with a combined 11 under par today.

Lee Westwood, Thomas Bjorn and Jim Furyk all enter the final round at -2.

08.50

Watson nearly chips in but is visibly frustrated that he let his ball rolle about four feet by the hole. Looks as though he can’t get into the clubhouse soon enough.

Senden’s chip slides by aswell, he is left with about 8 feet for his par and a round of 74.

08.45

Nick Faldo credits Bubba with a “pretty darn good miss”, as his exaggerated draw sees him leave it out right. He finishes pin high, near Senden.

Both have plenty of green to work with to go up and down.

08.41

The final pairing of Watson and Senden arrive at the 18th tee, one of the toughest for Watson to play with his long fade.

Watson gets a lucky kick to finish on the fairway, but Senden went way right onto the next fairway.

Jonas Blixt finishes with a par to be one shot behind the leaders at -4.

08.30

Adam Scott finished even par on the back nine, but the damage was done. Finishes at +1.

Playing partner Jordan Spieth has a 70 to finish at -5, in a share of the lead with Watson.

08.21

Watson and Senden both leave their birdie putts to within inches on 15 and settle for pars.

They then both go right of the pin on 16, just off the green. Bubba’s five-footer misses on the low side and John Senden makes par.

08.20

Jimmy Walker incredibly opts to chip from on the 18th green.

Up the slope, he is obstructed by the bank on the right. Puts his ball to four feet, great shot.

 

08.09

Adam Scott blows out to +2, with a 5-over round so far with 2 two to play.

Currently eight shots back from Watson at -6.

08.07

Bubba had 179 yards down to the 15th green, flies it with a 9-iron. Incredible distance.

John Senden’s ball stays right, pin-high, but has a lengthy yet simple chip. He is at -2.

07.52

Jordan Spieth birdies 14 and 15 to move to -5 cut Bubba’s lead to one.

07.45

Bubba three-putts to keep his lead at two strokes. Had custard arms with the eagle attempt and couldn’t knock in a 4-footer for birdie.

07.43

Too soon.

07.40

Watson leads at -6, two shots clear of Bjorn, Kuchar and Spieth who are all at -4.

Bubba has a 40-foot eagle putt up the hill at 13 to extend his lead.

07.35

At a place like Augusta, it could turn into a battle of who can be the ‘Least Worst’ tomorow.

07.34

Bubba stands at the 13th tee in Amen Corner and I’m pretty sure the Lord may have just lifted his ball an extra 30 yards.

Crushed it down the right of the fairway.

Meanwhile Jordan Spieth badly loses his swing off the 14th tee. Looks rattled.

07.31

Bubba leaves his birdie putt just short on at 12 and holds his lead.

Meanwhile, Blixt and Bjorn in the group ahead attack the 13th green and go straight into the drink. Jim Furyk just did the same on 15.

07.17

A score of -10 could win this tournament.

Hard to score late on a Sunday. Unless you’re Charl Schwartzel.

07.14

A very ‘glass half-full’ approach from the great South African.

07.12

54-year od veteran Fred Couples won’t go away, bounces back with a birdie to remain at -1.

Meanwhile, Jordan Spieth (-3) reaches for the big dog on the tee at 13 and loses it right into ‘Phil Mickelson through the trees shot’ territory.

07.07

Jonas Blixt finds the drink on 11, but misses out on chipping in from the drop zone by about an inch.

Drops a shot to be back at -4, two shots behind Bubba.

07.04

Bubba Watson approaches the green on 10 with a mid-iron and nearly rolls it in. He taps in for birdie and regains the outright lead at -6.

It wasn’t as good as this green-jacket winning effort from Bubba on the 10th but I’ll pay it.

06.58

Adam Scott is +4 today through 10 holes and needs to flick the switch on this back nine like he did yesterday.

Don't know who this golfer is with the popped orange collar but I'm rooting for him to hit every shot in the water now #masters

— TA (@ClevTA) April 12, 2014

06.55

You sir are not going to enjoy seeing Rickie Fowler tomorrow.

06.54

Like the first 3 and a half quarters of a Geelong vs Hawthorn game?

06.52

With the leaders at just -5, Jason Day is only 7 back and still withing striking distance.

Is a proven performer at Augusta and has spoken about the drive to finish off well after he had every chance of snatching last year’s green jacket late on Sunday.

06.50

Senden taps in after flushing one onto the 9th green and nearly holing out.

C

06.48

Matt Kuchar with another birdie at 14, after one on previous hole, leaps to -4.

06.41

All of a sudden its a three-way tie at the top.

Thomas Bjorn and Jonas Blixt join Bubba at -5, who makes a disappointing par at the par 5 8th.

06.39

Lee Westwood joins Westwood as a real danger man, both are at-3, only two shots back.

06.37

“The man whose swing looks like an octopus falling out of a tree” as David Feherty once described him, Jim Furyk, lurking at -3.

Meanwhile Bubba and John Senden are a combined +6 through 7 holes. Final group pressure.

06.22

Wonderful effort from 20-year old American Jordan Spieth to be just two shots back in a tie for second.

But is hard to see him holding up if he hits the lead late on his first Sunday afternoon at August, as we saw with Rory McIlroy’s back nine in 2011.

06.09

Jordan Speith’s grandmother excluded:

06.07

Leaderboard as it stands:

06.06

Rickie Fowler, following his 67, tells Jim Nantz in Butler Cabin “I knew I had to attack the par 5s today and I did that.

He also says that “green and orange go together”, so now I don’t know what to believe.

05.52

Bubba Watson at -7 as he hits the 5th green, with nine players trailing him on -3.

If Watson can post a sub-70 round, he may just have a lead he can hold on to tomorrow. Maybe.

05.41

A solid round of 70 from Jason Day sees him in the clubhouse at +2, probably too far back to challenge.

 

05.37

Aussie update: Aussie teenager Oliver Goss has just carded a tough 4-over 76, but as the only amateur to make the weekend, the pressure is off.

Meanwhile, Adam Scott misses a short putt to card a double bogey on the 5th, while John Senden has a three-putt at the 4rd to drop back to -3.

05.30

Veteran Fred Couples spoke yesterday after his round of the need to hit greens and make putts if he is to stay in contention.

He finds himself 2-over through five holes today to drop back to even par.

05.27

Young gun Rickie Fowler is also burning up the course. He’s -3 with two to play.

05.21

Today’s biggest mover is the cigar-smoking Miguel Angel Jiminez, whose 6-under 66 has him in the clubhouse at -3. A real dark horse.

05.18

Bubba Watson crushes his second into the par 5 second hole and makes the putt for an eagle. He goes to -8.

Aussie John Senden remaines at -4, with Adam Scott dropping a shot on the first to drift back to -2. A host of players stand between him and Bubba.

05.05

Good morning everybody!

Welcome to the third morning of the 2014 Masters tournament. Get set for a big ‘moving day’ where hopefully we can see Adam Scott and John Sended finish somewhere high on the leaderboard bfor an assault on the green jacket in the final round.

09.36

All in all a great morning for the Australians, with defending champ Adam Scott joined by his playing partner from last year’s final round, Marc Leishman, in the top five.

I’ll be back at the same time tomorrow morning to see J-Day have a blinder and watch Bubba drive a green on a par 5.

Thanks for joining me!

 

09.32

Here is a detailed look at the leaderboard, with Bill Haas out in front by one shot.

But with 54 holes of golf left, there is still a long way to.

 

09.30

And that’s Round One complete from Augusta National Golf Club.

Scoring proved difficult in the afternoon, with plenty of blowout holes ruining the chances for many.

Shot of the day would have to go to Sang-Moon Bae for his chip in from over the back of the 15th green, however Marc Leishman’s second shot into the 18th green would not be far behind him.

09.22

Phil Mickelson finishes his dirty day with a 76.

He had two sevens, two birdies and a bogey. Will need to burn it up tomorrow morning when conditions are friendly in order to stay in touch. A big opportunity for him with Tiger not playing.

09.11

Jason Day has a dodgy thumb, had a cortisone shot last week and has said it is feeling better already.

Winning the Masters is hard enough, let alone without a thumb.

09.06

Warrnambool’s Marc Leishman is getting used to being in the top five at Augusta.

Knows his way around the course and is a real threat this week.

09.05

Englishman Lee Westwood is still plugging away at even par, the only player still on couse who is not over par.

Young American Keegan Bradly finishes a solid up and down from behind the 18th green where so many players have ended up today as they attack that back pin position.

Frenchman Victor Dubuisson finishes with a bogey to head inside at +2.

08.58

Scoring has slowed in the afternoon, with Bill Haas still the leader at -4.

Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen and Bubba Watson all have a share of second place at -3, while a host of players sit at -2, including Australia’s Marc Leishman.

08.51

Marc Leishman clubs his second shot into the 18th, before his ball rolls right by the hole but changes its mind and rolls back down towards the cup.

He will have a near-gimmie for birdie to hand him a round of 70, putting him only two shots back.

08.45

After a wayward tee shot on 17, Phil Mickelson remembers that trees at Augusta should be no obstacle.

He pierces a small gap to land just over the green. A great result from there.

08.43

2012 Masters champ Bubba Watson whips off the visor after a par on 18, to sign for a 69 and a share of second with last year’s winner Adam Scott.

Sergio Garcia fails to go up and down from row 15 of the Great Southern Stand to finish with a 74.

08.34

That’s a crowd-killer from Sergio Garcia.

Had to punch a hybrid under low branches, and flew a stinger about 20 yards into the crowd. Watson goes safely from the fairway bunker to the middle of the green with a high wedge.

08.33

Time to check up on the Australian contingent.

Adam Scott is second, one shot back after his 3-over 75. Marc Leishman is -1 with two to play, while John Senden had a 72. Steven Bowditch and Matt Jones both shot 74 today to be +2 and Olly Goss is the equal leading amateur at +4.

 

08.26

Wonderful putt from off the back of the 18th green by Jason Day. He will have a 4-footer to finish for a 3-over 75.

Meanwhile, Phil Mickelson trudged off the 15th green with a double bogey seven beside his name to blow out to +4 with three to play.

08.20

“The man who knows the yardages from both the back of the sprinkler and the front of the sprinkler!”

Nick Faldo acknowledges the seasoned campaigner, Bernhard Langer, who chips in for par on 18 on his 31st trip to Augusta.

08.10

Watson’s birdie putt on 17 slides by. Giving himself plenty of chances to score, such is his game.

Bubba has only had one round without a bogey in 80 career rounds at the majors. He walks to the 18th tee with no bogeys next to his name today.

08.07

A quick leaderboard check.

08.03

Jason Day knocks in a long birdie putt on 17 to go back to +3. He is certainly still in touch.

Meanwhile Bubba’s drive on 17 nearly goes into orbit. Straight down the middle.

 

07.53

Bubba Watson takes a 9-iron to the 170-yard par 3 16th… Welp.

He leaves himself only 10 feet but narrowly misses a curling putt on the low side. Remains one shot back at -3.

07.49

Ernie Els reaches for the gumboots and hacks at one with two feet in the creek at 13.

A poor chip onto the green but he nails his putt to remain at +2.

07.45

Marc Leishman into the red numbers, with a birdie at 13 taking him to -1.

A par at 14 means he now heads to the very gettable par 5 15th.

07.37

Bubba Watson with an eagle chance coming up at 15.

He is at -2 with a chance to grab a share of the lead. Louis Oosthuizen has joined Adam Scott tied for second at -3 following his round.

07.30

Splash.

Dustin Johnson catches his approach to the 15th fat, and chunks it straight into the drink. There is some confusion as to where DJ can take his second from. I wonder if Tiger is watching, after his debacle here last year.

07.24

“If it’s calm im gonna take it at it.”

Phil Mickelson lays it down to his caddy on the tee box of the par 3 12th, before sticking a 9-iron to about 10 feet. This blog could quickly become the Phil Mickelson quote wall.

07.20

Definitely worth another share.

Ryan Moore with his son as his caddy following his win in the Par 3 Contest.

07.16

No change at the top of the leaderboard for a while now.

Bill Haas still the clubhouse leader at -4, with Adam Scott just one shot back following his 69. South African Louis Oosthuizen is also at -3 and has two to play.

07.09

Where’s Tiger?

It is a strange feeling with no T. Woods on the leaderboard. Normally the first name you look for.

07.08

Sang Moon-Bae chips in for eagle!

From over the back of 15, he lands it short and rolls it another 25 feet down the slope. One for the highlights reel.

07.03

This morning’s ceremonial tee shots from Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.

07.00

Only three players (Oosthuizen, Gallacher and Watson) on the course at the moment are under par.

Considering conditions have hardly changed since this morning, it seems scores on the board are putting pressure on the rest of the field.

06.56

“Are you kidding me?!”

Phil Mickelson nails a huge curling putt for birdie on the 10th green and throws his arms in the air and mouths that to the crowd. Great start to his back nine.

06.55

Henrik Stenson (3rd), Jason Day (4th) and Dustin Johnson (11th) all grouped together today.

They are thre of the highest ranked players in the world without a major victory.

06.51

Young 19-year old Aussie Olly Goss leading all amateurs at this point.

 

06.48

Nobody missing out on any action at the fan-less Amen Corner at the par three 12th.

Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald all hit the green and two-putt for par. Boring. Hit your driver Bubba.

06.43

You can’t win the Masters on the first day, but you can certainly lose it.

Any score under par in round one is a fantastic result.

06.41

It generally is.

 

06.39

Aussie Steve Bowditch finished with an opening-round 74, but not without some added drama.

 

06.29

Lee Westwood has entered 63 major tournaments now without a win, the most of any player in the field.

With four a year, thats over 15 years of losing. Like the Chris Newman of golf.

06.27

And there is our man Victor Dubuisson!

He chips in from the front of the 9th green and in front of an excitable crowd. He proved late last year on the European tour that he can duke it out with the best of them.

06.25

Phil Mickelson again produces the Big Dog at 9, so there seems to be no sign of an injury.

Will be fascinating to here post round why he opted for an iron on the previous tee box. His drive here has lande right on the edge of the fairway in a ditch between the pine straw. Nightmare.

06.17

A double bogey at 10 drops Jason Day back to +3.

Meanwhile, Warrnambool boy Marc Leishman is halfway through his first round. His fourth-place finish at last year’s Masters often goes unacknowledged. He certainly knows his way around at Augusta.

06.12

Rory McIlroy finishes with a three-putt on 18 after being on the green in two. A disappointing finish that will no doubt linger overnight. Signs for a one-under par 71, just three shots back from Haas.

06.10

Massive news, Phil Mickelson stands on the tee and whips out an iron instead of his driver. Murmurs of a slight niggle or muscle twinge perhaps required on a recent hole.

Meanwhile, Adam Scott says he only hit one bad shot for the day, a venture into Rae’s Creek (his first ever) which cost him a double bogey on the par-3 12th.

06.05

For those of you playing at home, it is American Ben Crenshaw at the bottom of the leaderboard. He carded an 11-over 83 that I’m sure he’d rather forget.

06.01

For all the talk of how tough the pin positions have been for the first round, there has been a fair amount of red numbers. Course currently averaging at 74.5 however, 2.5 shots over par.

05.59

Jump onto the Masters official leaderboard for all the numbers throughout the first round.

05.56

This certainly can’t be a bad thing! Although we have seen Scott’s ability, or lack of, at closing out tournaments in the last couple of years.

 

05.55

Adam Scott with a really solid up and down from behind the 18th green to sign for a 69. Turns out his opening round last year was also a 69. An omen perhaps?

Well I’ve put the mozz on Phil there. Definite not ‘lucky seven’ for the former champion, as he has a triple-bogey seven on the seventh hole, with some putting you might see at a kids’ seventh putt-putt birthday party.

05.45

Phil Mickelson is prowling after six holes, at even par. Danger for most if Phil can hang around intil the weekend.

Adam Scott attacks the back-right pin at 18 and goes just over the back. Will be a slippery chip going up onto the green and back down the hill.

05.40

Adam Scott’s drive at 18 goes long and just left into the first cut of rough. No damage done there.

Meanwhile on 17, Rory McIlroy sticks his approach to the middle of the green, a definite birdie chance.

05.30

Most of those at the top of the leaderboard have at least a couple of holes to play. Rory McIlroy’s long birdie putt on 16 rides by, much like Phil Mickelson’s similar  birdie putt at the 6th.

From Butler Cabin, Bill Haas admits he knew that until his 68 today, he had never broken 74 at the Masters in sixteen previous rounds.

05.27

If you need a little reminder about last year’s tournament, here’s your chance. Surely no one is sick of seeing this yet? Maybe Angel Cabrera.

 

05.23

A birdie on 18 for Bill Haas sees him sign his card for a 68, and the clubhouse lead at -4.

After a brutal winter where even the famous Eisenhower Tree was a casualty, the course looks absolutely immaculate.Whatever they are paying the groundstaff, it is not enough.

05.20

Frenchman Victor Dubuisson’s tee shot on the par-3 sixth hole has just lipped out on its second bounce, an incredible shot! He taps in for a birdie and walks away at 1-over. He is definitely dangerous this week after 18 months of solid golf.

Meanwhile on the 13th, Aussie Matt Jones, who qualified for the Masters just last week, knocks in a long eagle try to get back to even par.

05.17

Conditions have been ideal for scoring through the morning at Augusta National so it is no surprise to see so many players under par.

Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy finds himself on the same part of the 15th green as Adam Scott previously and makes much better work of that putt, keeping it on the high side of the back part of the green.

05.12

A host of players sit at -2, with Australian Jason Day currently at -1 through 7 holes, after a birdie on the par-2 second.

05.08

If you’re up this early than here’s the good news, last year’s champion Adam Scott sits atop of the leaderboard at -3. He is joined by Bill Haas, Brandt Snedeker and Louis Oosthuizen.

And a three-putt at 15 has seen Scott remain at -3. He would have hoped for more.

05.03

Good morning everybody and welcome to upstart’s coverage of the 2014 Masters, from Augusta National Golf Club! I’m Justin Falconer and I’ll be keeping one eye on Bubba Watson’s driver and the other on Adam Scott’s back nine of this major tournament.

I’ll be up early for each of the four rounds to cover proceedings as seven Australians hit Augusta in search of our second green jacket in the tournament’s 80-year history. Hopefully my live-blogging is better than my short game.

23.09

Thanks for joining our coverage of the Brownlow Medal. It has been my pleasure to keep you entertained.

 

 

Grant Roberts is a third year Bachelor of Journalism student at La Trobe University.
You can follow him on Twitter via @GBRRD4L

23.02

Grant says: My tip to steal the prize Michael Barlow finished joint 16th with 14 votes. I was well off it seems.

22.59

Grant says: Congratulations to Gary Ablett. The Gold Coast Suns have only been in the competition for three years and already have a Brownlow Medalist in their ranks. Well done by the captain.

22.56

Grant says: Gary Ablett has won the 2013 Brownlow Medal with 28 votes.

22.55

Grant says: Swan also doesn’t poll. Ablett in with a chance.

22.54

Grant says: Selwood does not poll in the final round. Opens the door for Swan and Ablett.

22.54

Grant says: Looks like a Bond movie set up with the three on screen.

22.51

Grant says: One round remains as Dane Swan could become the first Collingwood player to win two Brownlow medals, Joel Selwood could become the first Geelong captain to win one, and Gary Ablett could win his second Brownlow. It’s heating up, yet the commentary remains a bit dull.

22.46

Grant says: Demetriou speed reading now until he gets to the Gold Coast, Geelong and Collingwood games, then the stalling begins. Selwood and Ablett miss out on votes in Round 22, but Swan picks up two (26).

22.43

Grant says: After 21 rounds the players appear to be getting restless poking and prodding each other when the camera cuts to them. The beverages must be sinking in. In more important news Selwood has now risen to the top of the leaderboard on 27 votes. Swan up to 24 and Ablett, who hasn’t polled for a while, remains on 25.

22.39

Grant says: Channel 7 believe it’s just a three horse race now.

22.37

Grant says: Selwood another three (24), Swan another two (23). Ablett still leading on 25. Channel 7 have trimmed the leaderboard to just 5 names with the ineligible Steve Johnson rounding out the top 5. Three rounds to go.

22.33

Grant says: Selwood and Swan received best on ground applauds in round 20 and could edge even closer to Ablett as the Deemons, yes the Deemons, held him to just 19 possessions.

22.30

Grant says: Round 19 and only four rounds remain. Ablett comfortably on top with 25 votes, Hannabery, Swan and Selwood all with 21. Strange round there as none of the front runners polled but the ineligible Steve Johnson climbed the ladder to 20.

22.26

Grant says: Ablett comes back from the toilet with a thumbs up as he receives another vote (25). Swan another three (21) as does Selwood (21)

22.18

Grant says: Cameron Ling interrupts the boss there to interview Selwood. G…Ablett 3 votes (24). Hannabery another 3 votes (21), Dangerfield, Selwood, Swan (18). One of these men will win it.

22.15

Grant says: 49 possessions for Ablett in Round 17, surely 3 votes here.

22.14

Grant says: Barlow up to 10 votes now. Grand finalists Fremantle not getting the recognition they deserve. In more important news Swan adds another two votes to his tally (18) as G.Ablett adds one (21)

22.12

Grant says: Dane Swan received 5 best on grounds in the next 8 rounds as Ablett and Hannabery only received 3. Could Swan add a second Brownlow medal to his collection?

22.06

Grant says: After Round 15 Selwood (14) and Swan (16) rise up the leaderboard with three votes each. It’s getting serious now as Demetriou begins to slow down with the names. Ablett still leads on 20 votes, 8 rounds to go.

21.55

Grant says: Dangerfield up to 18 votes now in behind Ablett after Round 14 where Adelaide defeated Gold Coast. An omen perhaps of things to come?

21.52

Grant says: Round 13 and Ablett doesn’t poll. However, Dane Swan has come from virtually nowhere into tied 4th on 13 votes.

21.37

Grant says: Channel 7’s inclusion of sporting celebrities giving their 2 cents isn’t sitting well with some, given the talent.

21.35

Grant says: Past the halfway mark now and I think I backed the wrong horse as Barlow is only up to 7 now. Ablett leaves Hannabery behind up to 20 votes now equaling the best ever polling result on record.

21.32

Grant says: Hannabery cheekily grinning away as he polls yet another 3 votes alongside Ablett (18).

21.28

Grant says: Think it’s over for Collingwood duo Pendlebury and Swan now. Not the best season for the pies, sadly.

21.27

Grant says: 10 rounds in and Andrew Demetriou is continuing to add an emphasis to P…Dangerfield (13) every time it’s read. G.Ablett and D.Hannabery lead the pack on 15 votes. Fantastic stuff so far by Hannabery.

21.21

Grant says: Could this be the 2013 Brownlow medalist? At least he’s got a purse to go with his jewellery.

21.13

Grant says: Ablett with three votes in consecutive rounds (10). Making a charge now.

21.05

Grant says: The midfield, sorry, Brownlow medal is currently being led by North Melbourne captain Andrew Swallow, on 11 votes, after six rounds but an injury late in the season will see him slowly slip away from the top of the standings. Daniel Hannebery has shot up to second overall on 10 votes, with Jobe Watson still leading the likely candidates in third on 9 votes.

20.59

Grant says: My pick Michael Barlow up to 3 votes now. Still no pauses by Andrew Demetriou.

20.56

Grant says: Round 5 and there’s that stray boot that has cost Nathan Fyfe any chance of winning tonight.

20.53

Grant says: After four rounds of voting, Trent Cotchin and Joel Selwood lead the pack on 8 votes with Jobe Watson close behind on 7. Gary Ablett is down the pack with 3 votes, could the bookies be wrong?

20.49

Grant says: Already at round 4, a round where Travis Cloke scored 7, Majak Daw made his debut and Chris Yarran ran the entire length of the field to score a stunning goal.

20.46

Grant says: Dane Swan has finally joined the party, polling 2 votes in the loss to grand finalists Hawthorn in round 3.

20.44

Grant says: Must be heartbreaking for Fremantle supports to watch this with their best player all season Nathan Fyfe likely to poll strongly and be right amongst it later on, however, is ineligible for the prize.

20.35

Grant says: Andrew Demetriou has began pronouncing the player’s names fluently so far, as G.Ablett has already polled 3 votes as does S.Mitchell.

20.33

Grant says: Jobe Watson starts off the round one recap. We are almost underway.

20.29

Grant says: Watching that Brownlow medal being made was amazing. I think I speak for everyone here.

20.26

Grant says: The room is almost full as Missy Higgins performs the Hunters and Collectors classic ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’

20.25

Grant says: Nic Naitanui’s WAG catching the eye of the Swiss red carpet experts. And Campbell Brown.

20.22

Grant says: Campbell Brown summed it up beautifully there. Dyson Heppell certainly takes longer to do his hair, no doubt about it.

20.17

Grant says: Hawthorn certainly giving their backing behind Sam Mitchell

20.02

Grant says: The Swiss red carpet is in full swing with the AFLs best, footballers, sorry WAGs showing off their best designer gowns. Campbell Brown unsure of who to ask questions to.

19.48

The AFL’s night of nights is here, where the league’s biggest stars chuck on their best tux and their wags strut the blue carpet.

Once again Gary Ablett looms as an unbackable favourite this season with the bookies having the ball magnet at just under two dollars. He has led the Goast Coast Suns brilliantly all season taking out a record fifth AFL Players Association MVP.

Joel Selwood appears to be Ablett’s biggest threat, if the bookies are any indication, and for the first time I can remember, Selwood hasn’t been Ineligible for the coveted prize.

After a very impressive preliminary final, Sam Mitchell, who was as far out as 18 dollars, has closed the gap storming in as third favourite. Although his performance in the final won’t count, he has performed strongly all season and could figure as a dark horse to steal the prize away from Gary Ablett’s fingers.

Collingwood duo Scott Pendlebury and Dane Swan are once again appear as figure heads for the prize, however, run the risk of polling quite low as each rover will steal votes from one another, not to mention Travis Cloke’s goalkicking form.

Its been said before and I’ll say it again, being favourite doesn’t always mean you are guaranteed to take home the Brownlow Medal. I will be giving my backing for, a name from left field, Michael Barlow. After his side stormed into the Grand Final, the Fremantle midfielder has had a stellar season and could upset quite a lot of people flying well below the radar.

I, Grant Roberts a third year Bachelor of Journalism student will be covering the event with a live blog of tonight’s proceedings, with polling results and anything you might have missed.

19.32

Erdem says: And that’s that. I can go to bed now.

19.28

Rudd reaffirms support for marriage equality, says his government would have a conscience vote.

19.25

Liam says: “We haven’t got the time to get the to-and-fro on all the issues.” It’s a debate, isn’t that the point?

19.23

Erdem says: Abbott gets quote of the night with “it’s just the same old waffle”. Pot, kettle.

19.14

A timely reminder from the Australian Electoral Commission.

19.09

Erdem says: It’s all good for Rudd to be so animated with his hands until he pokes himself in the face.

19.08

Liam says: The worm really likes Kevin. Whatever the hell that means.

19.07

Liam says: Stay strong Erdem, we’re halfway there.

19.04

Erdem says: I’m not going to lie – I’m struggling here.

18.58

Adam Bandt suggesting Mr Abbott’s “two Somalis'” remark mightn’t quite add up:

18.56

A message for the leaders tonight.

18.53

Time for some humour.

18.52

Tony Abbott: “We will salvage what we can from the arrangements Mr Rudd has made with PNG. We invented off-shore processing…”

18.48

Liam says: 15 minutes in, we’ve learnt one thing so far. GST is the new dirty word of the campaign.

18.48

Erdem says: Someone should say, “There will be no GST increase under a government I lead.”

18.47

Abbott criticises government for running scare campaign against the Coalition. Denies any plans to make changes to the GST.

18.47

Ken Henry has said that the GST will need to raise, despite which party comes to power.

18.44

Liam says: The worm does not like Tony Abbott here. Couldn’t be any lower.

18.43

Erdem says: Is it a coincidence that the phrase “three word slogan” is a three word slogan?

18.40

The Greens are playing from home tonight.

18.39

Liam says: “This debate is between Mr Rudd and me.”

Nice start Tony, glad to see you’ve read the rules.

18.38

Rudd delivers his opening address, focusing on economy, health, disability care, and throws to the future by saying it’s time for a “transition” – hence why he keeps saying “a new way”.

18.37

We flipped a coin too, and Erdem will be summing up Mr Rudd’s remarks; while Liam has the task of summarising Mr. Abbott.

18.33

Liam says: “Across Asia and the Pacific.”

Uh oh, Kevin might just break out some Mandarin here.

18.32

Team Rudd getting in on the action, with Jess Rudd sending out this snap:

18.30

Erdem says: Another hashtag discovery #2013debate.  Seriously Twitter, this is unacceptable.

18.26

Liam says: Personally, if you have to say you’re having fun, usually you aren’t.

18.26

Abbott support team also in attendance:

18.24

Here’s a good compilation of the best, or worst, moments from US presidential debates.

18.22

Liam says: One final pre-debate hashtag: #DebateDrinkingGame. Sounds like it could be worth a look.

18.21

Tony Abbott has entered the building.

18.19

Erdem says: I’d like to see Rudd flick his hair at least once tonight. If you missed it, this was what our cartoonist Hayden Morris drew earlier this week.

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18.19

Liam says: On a much more serious note, it’ll be interesting to see if reports about Rudd raising gay marriage issue are correct. Perhaps he’ll go down the President Obama path of “personal belief” rather than signalling national change.

18.16

Liam says: Erdem, you left out #derpbate. One of my personal favourites so far.

18.14

Erdem says:  Why are there so many hashtags for the debate? So far I’ve seen, #debate, #leadersdebate, #BelieveRudd, #BelieveAbbott… Add to that the already-popular hashtags #auspol and #ausvotes…

18.10

Rudd to attempt to show he’s more a social progressive than what Abbott is by bringing in gay marriage to tonight’s debate, or so news.com.au claims.

18.07

Throughout the night, Erdem Koc and Liam Quinn will attempt to bring some insight and analysis, while adding their proverbial two cents along the way.

Let us know what you think throughout the night @upstartmagazine – or contact our two would-be debaters at @erdemkoc and @Quinn_LP.

18.06

Kevin Rudd has won the toss and will be batting first tonight.

18.04

As we get started with our debate live blog tonight, spare a thought for the hundreds of journos covering the election campaign.

17.50

Before we get this show on the road, Latika Bourke has a rundown of how the debate will work tonight:

21.39

Paddy says:

The fairy tale finish that Australian football fans have been waiting for for months now has finally come true. It’s been tough, frustrating, and not very pretty.

But we’ve made it.

That’s all that matters.

Get ready Brazil. The Socceroos are coming for you.

21.31

https://twitter.com/Jude_Bolton/status/346950748459913216

21.30

Riley says:

An unbelievable night. An unbelievable campaign. We left it late – SO LATE – but we’re going to Brazil!

With our backs to the wall, we’ve done it yet again! Josh Kennedy’s goal was almost John Aloisi-esque! We’re going to the World Cup for the third time in a row!

I’m having to settle myself while I’m writing this. Tonight, we celebrate!

BRAZIL!

21.26

Paddy says:

In true Australian fashion, the Socceroos qualified in the the most nail-biting fashion imaginable. Kennedy’s late header will take us to the World Cup. What a game! I’m shaking whilst typing this!

21.24

Full Time: Australia 1-0 Iraq | WE’RE GOING TO BRAZIL!

We’re going to Brazil! Josh Kennedy’s incredible late goal has sealed qualification for the Socceroos!

Tonight was a microcosm of the qualification campaign as a whole. The Aussies made it hard for themselves, but they did it!

21.19

Paddy says:

Just keep possession boys, just keep possession.

21.18

90th minute

Three minutes of stoppage time. Three minutes separating Australia from a third consecutive World Cup campaign.

21.14

Paddy says:

HALLELUJAH!

Josh Kennedy, the man whose nickname is Jesus, may have just become Australia’s saviour.

Get in!

21.13

82nd minute: GOAL – AUSTRALIA – JOSH KENNEDY

Relief! Sweet, sweet relief! With less than 10 minutes remaining Josh Kennedy has done it! It’s a masterstroke from Holger Osieck!

Mark Bresciano stands up a fantastic cross and Kennedy finds himself in space, unmarked. He rises and nods the ball into the bottom corner. Homebush erupts! Australia erupts!

Is that the goal that sends us to Brazil? It may just be.

21.07

79th minute

One final roll of the dice from Holger Osieck. The man everyone wanted to see at half-time, Archie Thompson, is on for Robbie Kruse.

This is it now for Australia. It’s do or die. 10 minutes to go.

21.05

77th minute

Australia is now making their second substitution and it’s a strange one. The home fans certainly don’t approve. Josh Kennedy, who hasn’t played for the Socceroos since 2011, is coming on for the Aussie hero, Tim Cahill.

Cahill has a quick exchange with Holger Osieck on the touchline, where he makes his disappointment known.

21.05

Paddy says:

This is getting tense. The match is very much in the balance and there have been chances for both teams. Australia really needs to lift here.

20.48

61st minute

The crowd has been calling for it, we’ve been calling for it, now the time has come. Tommy Rogic is on for Brett Holman.

Can he be the injection of creativity and imagination that Australia so desperately needs?

20.47

Paddy says:

It’s got to be time for Holger Osieck to turn to his substitutes. Australia are in danger of becoming stagnant. It’s time to mix things up.

20.45

57th minute

This is better from Australia. Some patient build-up play concludes with Tommy Oar laying the ball to Mark Bresciano in space. However the man who scored that crucial goal against Uruguay in 2005 hammers his effort well over the bar.

Meanwhile the rain is beginning to tumble down quite heavily in Sydney. The ball is skimming around all over the place, making it very hard to control. These are difficult conditions.

20.36

Paddy says:

That was a perfect example of what Australia has to watch out for. Iraq have some great players who will punish Australia if given the chance, just like Abdul-Amir did there.

20.36

47th minute

Iraq finally gets their first shot on target away and it’s a fantastic effort from Saad Abdul-Amir. The Iraqi midfielder dummies past Mark Milligan before firing a swerving effort on goal from 30 yards out. It’s an awkward shot for Mark Schwarzer to save, but the Aussie veteran gets down well to smother the ball.

A few nervous moments for Australia.

20.32

Kickoff

We’re back for the second half. Australia has 45 minutes to find a goal – a goal that will book our third consecutive trip to the World Cup finals.

Can we do it? Stay tuned and you’ll soon find out.

Australia kicks us off…

20.28

Riley says:

So what will Holger Osieck be thinking at half-time?

From the first 45 minutes I think we’ve lacked creativity, imagination and pace. Therefore could Tommy Rogic and Archie Thompson be the answers? Rogic would certainly add some invention in our final third, while Thompson would give a much-needed injection of speed.

I think they could be the first men Osieck turns to on the bench in the second half.

20.28

Paddy says:

We need this win more than Bozza needs a new hair piece. With only 45 minutes to go,the game can still go either way. Australia needs to keep the pressure on Iraq, and attack with everything we have.

Kruse and Oar have been great down the sides, although I’m a little disappointed in Brett Holman. I think he needs to get more involved and be the game changer that we know he can be.

It’s also imperative that we take our chances when they come. We can’t afford to keep on squandering them.

20.20

Half Time: Australia 0-0 Iraq

Well, it’s been frustrating, it’s been tense and it’s been goalless. Australia has had the better of the chances, but they count for nothing unless one goes in.

At the moment, we’ve just lacked the quality in the final third that we had against Jordan. Instead, we’ve been too impatient and too slow.

20.14

Paddy says:

It’s been a pretty tense game so far. Australia have had the lion’s share of chances, yet haven’t been able to completely break down the Iraqi defence.

As we approach half-time, that elusive goal that Australia so desperately needs is still missing.

20.08

35th minute

Tim Cahill looks the most likely for Australia at the moment and he goes close yet again. A floating cross is dinked into the area by Matt McKay and after Noor Sabri gets cleaned up by his own player coming out for the ball, Cahill has an open goal to shoot into. The only problem is that the ball’s behind him and he can only hook the shot over his shoulder and wide of the target under enormous pressure.

Better from the Socceroos.

19.57

Riley says:

Iraq plays a good brand of football and we’ve seen that in the opening 20 minutes or so. They’re frustrating Australia a little at the moment, getting back in numbers and then spreading nicely on the counter attack.

Just for the time being, Australia looks a little slow and also a little impatient in their build-up play. There are gaps to exploit in Iraq’s defence, so we must remain patient.

19.48

Paddy says:

The big man found himself in an unusual position and almost didn’t know what to do with himself there. Another great chance goes begging for Australia.

19.48

15th minute

That would have been an unusual goal, as Australia’s two centre-backs combine to create another brilliant chance. This time Lucas Neill floats a lovely near-post cross and finds his defensive partner Sasa Ognenovski in the middle. However he gets too much contact on his glancing header and fires it well over the bar.

Territorially, Australia is beginning to press the Iraqis deeper into defence.

19.38

Paddy says:

That was a huge chance for Australia. Kruse is looking lively early. Hopefully there will be plenty more chances like that coming up.

19.35

2nd minute

Brilliant chance for Australia less than two minutes in. Some fantastic link-up play between Tim Cahill and Robbie Kruse ends with the former hammering a left-footed shot on target from the edge of the area. However Iraq’s keeper, Noor Sabri, gets a lot behind it and pushes his effort wide.

What a chance.

19.32

Kickoff

ANZ Stadium is steeped in green and gold tonight, and amid a huge cheer from the vocal Sydney crowd, Iraq gets us underway. Will Australia be heading to Brazil in 2014? We’ll know in 90 minutes’ time.

19.31

Paddy says:

The nerves are kicking in. Here we go. C’mon Australia!

19.27

Kickoff is upon us.

The two sides are out onto the field to an amazing roar from the crowd. The national anthems have been sung. Is this the night where Australia finally books their tickets to Brazil? We’ll soon find out.

19.16

Even the PM is feeling the Socceroos love!

 

19.15

Riley says:

The last time Australia faced Iraq was back in October. The Socceroos got up in Doha, but only just. Alaa Abdul-Zahra put Iraq ahead with less than 20 minutes remaining, only for Tim Cahill and Archie Thompson to score very late and earn the Aussies a dramatic 2-1 win.

I’m just not sure neither mine, nor Paddy’s fingernails will be able to take that sort of tension and drama tonight.

19.07

Paddy says:

You’re absolutely right, Riley. Iraq is a very proud footballing nation, and for a country that has been ravaged by war and terror over the past decade, football has been a real distraction for many people. They will be playing for pride tonight.

19.00

Riley says:

Although Iraq is fielding an extremely weakened side in the wake of their failure to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, the task is no less easier for Australia. If anything, guarding against complacency almost makes it a little more difficult.

Such has been the hype and expectancy surrounding qualification this week, I’m hoping Holger Osieck has been reiterating to his players that they haven’t qualified yet. There’s still a job to do tonight.

18.57

The rain is tumbling down at ANZ Stadium as the Socceroos are out on the pitch warming up for the game. Kick off is at 7:30pm AEST.

18.53

Riley says:

Three weeks ago, World Cup qualification seemed a pipe-dream, especially considering the way we were playing. But, typical of Australia as a sporting nation, we have performed with our backs to the walls. Now it comes down to this.

Win and we’re off to Brazil in 2014. Lose and we will be forced to endure another gruelling two-phase qualification campaign. It’s as simple as that for the Socceroos.

Iraq, who has no way of qualifying tonight, comes to Sydney with an extremely weakened squad. A falling out between key players and management has seen several retirements and axings ahead of this match. Yet could it be, as it so often is, that the side with nothing to play for shocks the footballing world?

Surely not. Australia has it all on the line. They simply can’t lose. Expect a night almost like the one eight years ago when John Aloisi sent us to Germany. Let’s hope there will be nothing but celebrations in two hours time.

Australia 3-0 Iraq

18.48

The starting lineup for Iraq is as follows:

Noor SABRI; Ibrahmid AHMED; Ali BAHJAT; Khaldoon MOHAMMED; Ali ADNAN; Saif SALMAN; Humam TARIQ; Mohammad ABDUL-RAHEEM; Dhurgham ISMAIL; Saad ABDUL-ADMIR; Waleed SALEM.

18.45

Paddy says:

And so it’s come to this. If Australia wins this match, the Socceroos qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Standing between them however is the Iraq football team.

I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself here, but I’m predicting the Socceroos will prove far too strong for the weakened Iraqi squad.

Australia 3 – 1 Iraq

18.31

Starting lineup for Australia:

For the third time in three weeks, Holger Osieck has named an unchanged starting lineup.

17.40

https://twitter.com/Socceroos/status/346879510718849024

21.00

Riley says:

That just about does it from the Etihad Stadium. Australia was superb, dominating that Jordanians, crushing them 4-0 and moving one step closer to Brazil in 2014.

Once again, you can join myself at upstart.net.au at the same time next week as Australia takes on Iraq in the final World Cup qualifier.

It will be a nervous occasion, but hopefully for Socceroos fans across the country it’s another memorable evening in Sydney.

I’ll see you then!

20.58

Riley says:

There is no doubting that a star has been made on the international stage this evening. Robbie Kruse’s performance was simply outstanding.

A goal and two assists added to a lively performance down the right hand side. The 24-year-old was magnificent from start to finish, setting up Mark Bresciano and Tim Cahill with two superb passes and scoring an extraordinary goal himself.

That, right there, is the future of Australian football.

20.56

Riley says:

A relatively comfortable evening for Australia and we’re now one game away from booking our place at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

A draw against Iraq next Tuesday could, and probably should, be enough for the Socceroos to qualify, however a win will 100% seal the deal regardless of other results.

Socceroos fans can now breathe easy for another seven days before what could be another memorable night in Sydney next Tuesday.

20.53

Full Time: Australia 4-0 Jordan

That’s it! What promised to a tension-filled evening proved to be anything but as Australia made light work of the Jordanians.

Goals from Mark Bresciano, Tim Cahill, Robbie Kruse and Lucas Neill have the Socceroos one step closer to Brazil in 2014.

20.47

87th minute

Dario Vidosic is on for the man of the match, Robbie Kruse.

The striker is immediately into the action as well, receiving a pass from Tomas Rogic and shooting at goal, only for Amer Shafi to push his effort just wide.

Quite bizarrely, Shafi is then taken off the field as Adnan Hamad brings on his reserves keeper.

20.45

84th minute: GOAL – AUSTRALIA – LUCAS NEILL

It’s only taken him 91 appearances, but Lucas Neill finally has his first ever international goal for Australia. Firstly, Archie Thompson is denied by the flailing legs of Amer Shafi. From the resulting corner, Tim Cahill nods the ball on, Tomas Rogic beats the advancing Shafi and Lucas Neill nods into an empty net.

It’s party time for the Socceroos! 4-0 and game over!

20.41

https://twitter.com/Socceroos/status/344400109766836224

20.38

79th minute

Holger Osieck prepares his second substitution and it sees Celtic’s Tomas Rogic come on in place of the ever-impressive and hardworking Brett Holman.

20.36

75th minute: GOAL – AUSTRALIA – ROBBIE KRUSE

That is fantastic from Robbie Kruse and he gets his extremely deserved goal. The No.10 expertly slaloms into the box with a clever nutmeg through the legs of a Jordanian defender before slicing his shot high into the roof of the net.

It’s 3-0, it’s game over, and Australia can start focusing their attentions on Iraq next Tuesday.

20.27

68th minute

Another chance for Australia and another solid save from Amer Shafi. After some brilliant interplay down the right, Brett Holman plays in Luke Wilshere. The Socceroos’ right-back attempts an audacious effort from an extremely tight angle, however Shafi is down well to make the block.

20.21

61st minute: GOAL – AUSTRALIA – TIM CAHILL

Robbie Kruse take a bow… again! The winger brilliantly picks out Tim Cahill at the back post with a superb floating cross and Australia’s No.4 has the simple task of nodding into a relatively empty net.

It’s 2-0 Australia and this game could be just about over.

20.19

60th minute

Arguably the biggest cheer of the night has been reserved for this man – hometown hero Archie Thompson makes his way onto the field in place of Tommy Oar.

20.16

57th minute

Decent chance for Jordan’s Saeed Murjan, and if I can remember correctly, I think it’s their first shot in anger for the entirety of this match. The deep-lying midfielder bustles through Australia’s defence and lines up the target 30 yards from goal, only to see his shot fly just over the crossbar.

A warning sign of things to come perhaps for Australia?

20.13

55th minute

Robbie Kruse showcases his pace and strength yet again, twirling around Shadi Abu Hashhash and finding his way to the byline. He picks out Mark Milligan on the edge of the area, however the Melbourne Victory midfielder flashes his volley well over the bar.

20.03

Kickoff

The players are back out for the second half. Neither manager has made any changes at the break. Australia leads 1-0, but can they maintain that advantage and take a huge step towards World Cup qualification? They kick us off for this second period…

 

19.56

Riley says:

The longer this game stays at 1-0, the more nervous Australia gets. There’s no doubt Holger Osieck would love for his team to come out and ice this game by the hour mark to eradicate some of those nerves.

Some may say that the result should have already been put beyond doubt. Amer Shafi made a brilliant save to deny Brett Holman prior to Bresciano giving Australia the lead, while Tim Cahill shot wide from a glorious opportunity created again by Robbie Kruse.

19.52

Riley says:

It’s been a really intriguing half of football from the Australians. In some patches, they’ve looked particularly impressive. Robbie Kruse has been brilliant down the right hand side, Brett Holman is acting as the technician in midfield, Mark Bresciano is orchestrating the play and Mark Milligan is covering well.

However the Socceroos have gone through strange lapses throughout the half as well. Both defensively and in midfield we perhaps haven’t been as tight as Holger Osieck would have liked. Opposition players such as Odai Al Saidy and Ahmed Hayel have broken the lines a couple of times, and that would be extremely worrying for Osieck and co.

19.48

Half Time: Australia 1-0 Jordan

Mark Bresciano’s 15th minute goal has Australia in the lead in this crucial World Cup qualifier, however it hasn’t all gone Australia’s way in the opening 45 minutes.

It’s been an on-again, off-again half of football, but mostly importantly, the Australians lead.

19.44

43rd minute

After a slight lull in proceedings, Australia wins a free kick 30 yards from goal. Mark Bresciano lines it up, and although it’s on target, it flies straight into the midriff of Jordanian keeper Amer Shafi.

Jordan has done well to take the sting and intensity out of this match after the Australians went through a decent spell midway through the half.

19.27

25th minute

A brilliant opportunity for Tim Cahill to double Australia’s advantage goes begging. Brett Holman slides Robbie Kruse through on goal with a sublime pass, and the Aussie right-winger cuts back for Cahill.

Unfortunately Australia’s most reliable hit-man just can’t re-shape his body in time and angles his volley narrowly wide of the far post. Australia is pressing hard for the second.

19.23

21st minute

Robbie Kruse is at it again. His fast-break results in a cynical foul from Jordan’s Khalil Baniateyeh and he becomes the first man into the book for the evening. Kruse certainly looks the most dangerous for Australia.

19.20

Riley says:

The goal was coming and you knew it was coming from the right hand side. Luke Wilkshere and Robbie Kruse had showcased an almost telepathic understanding in the opening 15 minutes, with Kruse already the beneficiary of some fantastic Wilkshere through balls prior to setting up Bresciano’s opener.

19.17

15th minute: GOAL – AUSTRALIA – MARK BRESCIANO

Australia takes the lead in Melbourne! Again, Robbie Kruse and Luke Wilkshere combine down the right hand side, with the former racing to the byline and picking out Mark Bresciano’s late run into the box. The Melbourne-born midfielder taps home with the easiest finish you’ll ever see and the Socceroos lead.

It comes just moments after Jordanian keeper Amer Shafi denied Brett Holman with a terrific save.

19.00

Kickoff

We’re underway at the Etihad Stadium. It’s do or die for the Australians. Strap yourselves in for what should be a tension-filled evening. Jordan kicks us off.

18.55

Riley says:

The two sides are out on the pitch. This vocal Melbourne crowd has sung the national anthem loudly and proudly. We’re just about ready to go at the Etihad Stadium.

18.46

Riley predicts:

Socceroos fans would have realised that last week against Japan, Australian boss Holger Osieck adopted a pragmatic and counter-attacking approach. I wouldn’t expect that tonight.

Australia needs to come out and dominate Jordan. They need to press them onto the back foot from the outset. Jordan is a predominantly attacking side, so if we can stretch them from the first whistle and nullify their strengths, I’m confident we can expose their weaknesses.

Australia has been poor so far in this phase of World Cup qualifying, yet the Aussie spirit always shines through when our backs are against the wall. I think we’ll see this fighting spirit again tonight.

Australia 3-1 Jordan

18.38

Weather update:

It’s been raining heavily across Melbourne throughout the day, yet the Etihad Stadium staff have, upon Australian request, left the roof open for tonight’s fixture. Is that due the Jordanian’s not being used to wet conditions? How will it affect the result? We’ll soon find out.

18.32

Riley says:

Just one last word on Jordan. They proved their giant-killing ability when they backed up their 2-1 victory over Australia with a 2-1 victory over Japan just two months ago.

They also had the bye last week whereas Australia travelled to Japan, meaning they should be fresh, fully fit and ready to go for tonight.

18.28

Riley says:

Lucas Neill warned against complacency during the week, saying Jordan were by no means pushovers despite FIFA ranking the side as the 75th best team in the world. The Aussies were made fully aware of this back in September last year, where goals from Hassan Abdel-Fattah and Amer Deeb gave the Jordanians a 2-1 victory over the Socceroos.

We also must remember that Jordan is, like Australia, fighting for their World Cup ambitions. The equation is the exact same for Jordan as it is for Australia, albeit with a lesser goal difference, four points from their final two matches and they should gain automatic qualification through to the 2014 World Cup.

Both nations have it all to play for.

18.24

Riley says:

The situation for Australia is as follows – four points from our final two matches should be enough to qualify automatically for the 2014 World Cup. Therefore a win or a draw tonight is essential, a loss and we must go through a gruelling two-phase knockout system, where we could end up renewing old rivalries with Uruguay, just to qualify.

A win tonight against Jordan would mean a draw against Iraq next week would suffice. A draw tonight and we face a must-win qualifier against the 2007 Asian Cup champions on Tuesday.

It’s all to play for this evening at the Etihad Stadium.

18.19

The starting lineup for Jordan is as follows:

Amer Shafi, Adnan Adous, Saeed Murjan, Amer Deeb (c), Mohammad Mustafa, Odai Al Saify, Ahmed Hayel, Khalil Baniateyeh, Shadi Abu Hashhash, Basem Fathi, Anas Bani Yaseen.

18.12

Australian team news:

Many people have speculated this would be the case throughout the week, and the rumours have proven to be true – Australia has named an unchanged starting lineup to the side that drew 1-1 with Japan last week.

17.23

We’re finishing stretching and getting ready to lace up our boots.

Join us at 6:30 for kick-off.

17.20

 

17.16

 

22.47

And, with that, a big thanks to everyone who joined us tonight.

We’ll be blogging away again next Tuesday night, when the Socceroos square off against Jordan.

22.33

Liam says:

Couldn’t agree more Riley.

A win would’ve been great, but picking up a point from the game was crucial.

And, despite it feeling like two points were lost with the late penalty, the importance of the one gained cannot be forgotten.

It’s going to be tough from here, but there’s still a chance.

22.30

Riley says:

An unbelievable conclusion to that match; much like when the sides met in Kaiserslautern in 2006, much like when they met in the Asian Cup final in 2011, much like when they met last June for the reverse fixture of this match.

In the heat of the moment, this result and the way we relinquished all three points is difficult to take. But in the context of our qualifying campaign, a point away from home to Japan is crucial.

We now need four points – a win and a draw at the very least – from our final two home matches against Jordan and Iraq. It will be difficult, any match is, but it’s well and truly do-able.

22.26

Liam says:

An unlucky penalty, but not an incorrect one.

Heart break at the end, but overall, a point was still a good result.

22.25

Full Time: Japan 1-1 Australia

There’s the final whistle. Keisuke Honda’s stoppage-time penalty has shocked Australia and left their World Cup hopes hanging in the balance. Japan is heading to Brazil, but Australia is still in limbo.

Tommy Oar thought he had won the Socceroos the three points when he struck in the 81st minute, but a Matt McKay handball and an unstoppable Honda penalty means there’s still work to do for the Aussies.

22.22

91st minute: GOAL – JAPAN – KEISUKE HONDA

Heartbreak for the Australians, but Japan is going to the World Cup. Attempting to defend a corner kick, Matt McKay handles in the area and a penalty is awarded. Keisuke Honda steps up and thrashes an emphatic penalty straight down the middle.

On the balance of play, it’s a deserved equaliser for Japan, but it’s devastation for the Socceroos. Our World Cup hopes, once again, hang in the balance.

22.17

86th minute:

As Robbie Kruse hammers a left-footed shot straight into the Japanese keeper, the Blue Samurai makes their final substitutions. Mike Havenaar and Hiroshi Kiyotaki replaces Atsuto Uchida and Shinji Okazaki as Japan chases an equaliser. They don’t have much time remaining.

22.13

81st minute: GOAL – AUSTRALIA – TOMMY OAR

In the most fortuitous of circumstances, Tommy Oar has somehow put Australia in the lead with under 10 minutes remaining! The youngster drifts out on the left flank and floats a dangerous cross to the back post. Amid grappling in the penalty area, the ball quite amazingly floats over everyone, beats the back-peddling Eiji Kawashima and nestles into the top corner.

It’s 1-0 to Australia and the pressures of World Cup qualifying ease for now.

22.12

Liam says:

GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

I think I can safely assume, Tommy Oar is trending across the country…

22.11

The old guy is having a good night:

22.09

79th minute:

The man who scored against Australia the last time these two nations met, Yuzo Kurihara, is on as Japan’s first substitution. He replaces Ryoichi Maeda for the Blue Samurai.

Meanwhile with just over 10 minutes remaining, we’re still locked at 0-0.

22.02

72nd minute:

Holger Osieck prepares his first change and it’s the excellent Brett Holman, who has put in a workman-like shift, who is replaced by Adelaide United’s Dario Vidosic. A like-for-like substitution.

21.56

Riley says:

This is ominous for the Socceroos. Shinji Kagawa and Keisuke Honda are beginning to find their way into those little pockets of space and as a result they’re pushing the Australian defence much deeper. Therefore Mark Milligan and Mark Bresciano are unable to find release balls when they do eventually gain possession.

It’s important now for Australia to take the sting out of this game. They need to string together 15-20 passes and kill Japan’s momentum.

21.54

Japan was this close…

21.53

Liam says:

Holman is copping a lot of flak on Twitter from the fans. Not sure what game they’re watching, he’s been good value for mine.

21.50

59th minute:

What a sublime effort from Shinji Kagawa. He has been outstanding to start this second half and he clips the bar with a delightful shot this time around.

He’s virtually unplayable as he skips around Luke Wilshere, before dinking a lobbed effort over Mark Schwarzer. The keeper is beaten all ends up and can only watch as the ball flicks off the crossbar and heads out for a goalkick.

Australia is being pegged back at the moment.

21.49

Liam says:

Concerning start to the second half. Japan look the much better side. Need to get back in control, quickly.

21.47

56th minute:

A couple of half-chances for Japan, as Shinji Kagawa begins to find more space on the ball. Firstly, the Manchester United midfielder works space for himself down the left flank before dinking a lovely cross towards the back post. Mark Schwarzer is on hand again though to tip the ball into space.

Moments later and it’s Kagawa again. This time he finds space 20 yards from goal before propping on the ball and shooting straight at Australia’s veteran keeper.

21.36

Kickoff:

Japan get us underway in this second-half. We’re as we were at 0-0, so can any side break this deadlock? Strap yourselves in for a big second period at the Saitama Stadium.

21.35

Riley says:

Defensively, I’d change nothing. We’ve been well organised and we look like we’ve got a structure that’s able to withhold Japan’s attacking threat.

Going forward, I think the way Australia can win this game is by countering with more potency and a lot quicker. Robbie Kruse’s chance was a direct result of a fast breakaway. Other than that, I think that rather than relentlessly lumping balls to the head of Tim Cahill, who has been far too isolated, we should look to get numbers around Cahill. If we’re going to play long-ball football, fine, but we need players like Brett Holman, Tommy Oar and Robbie Kruse to be the first to those knockdowns.

If we can remain tight defensively and counter more quickly, we can snatch a victory.

21.34

Liam says:

Agree, the defence has been fantastic.

Where do you think this will be won or lost?

21.27

Riley says:

Well, Liam, I think we’ve seen that it’s hard to keep every one of Japan’s dangerous assets under lock and key. While Shinji Kagawa has been held relatively quiet in midfield, Keisuke Honda has got off the hook and is at the heart of every Japanese attack. Overall though, our defence has been rock solid. I’ve been really impressed by the likes of Sasa Ognenovski and Lucas Neill – they’ve both been fantastic.

21.25

Liam says:

Interesting opening 45; great work by the defence to keep Japan off the scoreboard.

Looked at our best when we’ve been able to hit the through ball.

Riley, your thoughts?

21.21

Half Time: Japan 0-0 Australia

So that’s the first half done and dusted. Both sides have had their chances, yet we go into the break locked at 0-0. Yasuhito Endo produced Japan’s best effort with a fizzing shot that flew just over the bar, while Robbie Kruse was denied by Eiji Kawashima in a one-on-one with the Japanese keeper.

Stay tuned for some half-time analysis before we bring you the second period as it happens…

21.12

Liam says:

How…what…why?

Should’ve scored. Two great chances gone begging in three seconds.

21.09

34th minute:

Fantastic chance for Australia. They break quickly out of defence and a brilliant Brett Holman pass sets Robbie Kruse through on goal. The Australian holds of his marker before forcing a wonderful save out of Japan’s keeper, Eiji Kawashima, with Tim Cahill skying the rebound well over the bar.

It’s the best chance of the game for Australia and, not surprisingly, it’s when the Socceroos have broken with pace and incision.

21.03

Riley says:

Sasa Ognenovski and Lucas Neill have been fantastic thus far. Their ability to read the play and intercept Japan’s forward threats have been integral in Australia not conceding inside the opening half-hour.

In possession, Australia has been building, but slowly. If the Socceroos are to snatch a goal on the counter attack, their thrusts forward need to be much quicker and more incisive.

20.57

22nd minute:

The first name is into the book, with Japan’s Makoto Hasebe diving into a tackle on Australia’s Tommy Oar and picking up a yellow card. The youngster has looked Australia’s most dangerous outlet down that left flank.

20.56

Paul says:

“I have so much love for Mark Schwarzer.”

You’re not alone, Paul.

20.54

19th minute:

Sublime save from Mark Schwarzer! An intricate passing move sees Japan slice through Australia’s defence, with Keisuke Honda teeing up Maeda Ryoichi just out from the six-yard box. However he doesn’t strike his shot cleanly and Schwarzer comes to Australia’s rescue with a lovely paw to deny his effort. The Blue Samurai are building in momentum.

20.51

16th minute:

Brilliant chance once again for Yasuhito Endo. Japan’s No.7 works himself into space with a clever dummy before powering an effort narrowly over the bar. I’m not sure Mark Schwarzer had that one covered.

Australia’s Brett Holman follows that effort by dragging his shot well wide of Japan’s goal.

20.45

Some great skill on display early:

20.41

6th minute:

Australia concedes a free-kick 30 yards from goal and Japan’s midfield maestro, Kasuhito Endo, fancies his chances. He steps up to the plate and flashes a dangerous looking effort just wide of Mark Schwarzer’s near post.

There’s no doubt Holger Osieck would want to concede as little fouls as possible from that type of range.

20.41

Liam says:

Paul Bastin chimes in: “Heart just skipped a beat, but i think Schwarzy had it covered….just”

20.34

Kickoff:

The anthems have been sung, the coin has been tossed… We’re underway at the Saitama Stadium. 63,000 vocal Japanese fans – and a few Aussies – are cheering their nation on as the Socceroos kick us off.

Is this the beginning of the road to Rio for Australia? Or is it just the start of a long and arduous do-or-die qualifying campaign? We’ll soon find out.

20.29

Getting close now:

20.25

Liam says:

Considering the rocking crowd on hand, the first 10 minutes will be huge for Australia.

Can’t concede; have to start on the front-foot.

20.22

Liam says:

Can’t get to a Foxtel kitted-out TV? Don’t worry, SBS Radio has you covered:

20.22

Riley says:

Looking at Australia’s forward set-up, Holger Osieck could potentially throw three or four players into a striking role over the course of the 90 minutes. Expect Tim Cahill and Brett Holman to interchange between positions up front and sitting deeper in midfield, with Robbie Kruse and Tommy Oar likely to drift out onto the wings.

However there’s an element of unpredictability about those players. Kruse can drop in up front, while Oar can slip behind into a No.10 role. Those two could also switch flanks if Osieck is keen to mix things up. Meanwhile both Holman and Cahill can drop into midfield if the Socceroos are pressed deep by the Japanese.

20.10

Riley says:

A key factor in Australia getting a result tonight is stopping Japan’s most dangerous assets in midfield – Keisuke Honda, Shinji Kagawa and Kasuhito Endo.

The trio are extremely dangerous when they press into the final third, and they’ve all been key figures in Japan’s rise to the top of Asian football. Holger Osieck has adopted what looks like a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Mark Milligan and Mark Bresciano sitting deep in midfield. Those two players will therefore be imperative to Australia’s chances tonight.

Honda and Kagawa, in particular, will look to float in and out of the No.10 role behind the striker, so if Milligan and Bresciano can limit their space and their room to wreak havoc, Australia should be on their way to snatching a result.

20.08

Holger, pre-game.

20.06

Liam says:

At the risk of having my passport revoked, I think the Socceroos are in for a tough night. We’ll do our best to keep the Japanese at bay, but I don’t think it’ll be enough.

3-1 Japan.

20.03

Riley says:

I’m expecting a cagey contest, Liam. I think we’ll see a typically pragmatic approach from Holger Osieck, especially considering the context of this match. To be honest, I think Osieck and co. would take a goalless draw if offered to them prior to the match. Keeping a clean sheet will be Australia’s No.1 priority, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it ends up that way and this one finishes 0-0. What are your expectations, Liam?

19.59

Liam says:

Just over 30 minutes to go now.

Riley, I think it’s time to get a prediction out of you…

19.45

Japan’s team is in:

19.43

Riley says:

Coming into this fixture, the equation is relatively simple for Australia. Five points from our remaining three matches should be enough to gain automatic qualification through to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Therefore a result of some sort is essential this evening. A loss at the Saitama Stadium would mean the Socceroos will face must-win matches at home to Jordan and Iraq to qualify for the World Cup finals.

19.41

Liam says:

Speaking as someone well versed in fighting an uphill battle, our PM has thrown her support by the Socceroos.

19.40

Riley says:

It was almost a year ago to the day when Australia hosted Japan in the reverse fixture of this 2014 World Cup qualifier at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium. It was a frantic night, which ended in a dramatic 1-1 draw. Both nations had men sent off, before Luke Wilshere’s 70th-minute penalty cancelled out Yuzo Kurihara’s second-half opener.

19.32

Liam says:

Paul Bastin, our fearless sports editor, ignored his heart and picked with his head: “1-1 draw.”

Meanwhile Paddy Naughtin, our talisman up front predicts: “1-0 to Australia. We’ll be outplayed for most of the match, but Cahill will pop up and score a winner.”

19.26

Liam says:

Before the game gets underway, check out upstart’s preview here.

19.19

Australia’s team is in:

17.44

Well, talk about a false alarm. At the end of a dramatic day in Canberra, the status quo remains. A huge thank you to everyone who followed along with us throughout the afternoon, especially those who stuck it out through our technical issues. On behalf of our #spill team, it was a pleasure crashing the site with you.

17.41

Liam says: Incredible, that on a day when the Government bordered on self-destruction, the Leader of the Opposition had the longest time in front of a microphone.

17.35

Tony Abbott, requesting to speak directly to the Australian people:

“It doesn’t have to be as bad as this.

“We are currently let down by a bad government getting worse but that will change.

“We need an election now. We cannot wait until September 14.”

17.34

Abbott starts press conference with all guns blazing.

17.32

Tony Abbott is currently speaking at his press conference.

17.27

Wayne Swan, speaking at Gillard’s 5.15pm presser:

“I think it’s fair to say there was very strong support for the prime minister in the party room today.

“I think today’s result does end these matters once and for all.

“We need to rededicate ourselves to a program that will lift our country up.

“For my part I’ve got a budget to prepare.

“From our perspective it’s back to work.”

17.24

Liam: What a crazy day, and we’ve still got Abbott up at 5:30.

17.18

Julia Gillard:

“I”m grateful to my colleagues for their continuing support of me.”

“I accept their continued support with a sense of deep humility and resolve.”

“I only ever sort office in the interests of the nation.”

“It is in that spirit that I continue to govern.”

“The whole business is at an end.”

17.13

Rumours are circulating that Gillard’s 5.15 press conference won’t be allowing for questions at the conclusion. That presser is imminent, by the way.

17.09

Julia Gillard has scheduled a press conference for 5.15pm. Stay tuned, we’re only minutes away.

17.02

Riley says: Once again Julia Gillard comes up trumps with her back to the wall. Even if you don’t like her policies, you have to admire her fighting qualities.

16.57

Paddy says: Julia Gillard has now walked from a caucus meeting three times as the leader of the Labor party. Pro.

16.54

Joel Fitzgibbon: “You’ll be hearing very little from Joel Fitzgibbon.”

Third person referencing, nice.

16.47

No votes were cast this evening. Julia Gillard was nominated as leader of the Labor party unopposed, while Wayne Swan was nominated as deputy, also unopposed.

16.42

Riley says: This came at the worst possible time for Kevin Rudd. Many believed prior to the spill even being called that it was too early for him to challenge, let alone having two of your biggest supporters out of the country at the time. It was a smart move from Gillard to call it early and to not let the Crean-momentum gather too large. Smart politics, but it still seems unlikely that it will save the Labor party.

16.40

Paddy says: How boss did Gillard look walking down the corridor just then, flanked by her army of supporters.

16.39

Liam says: Does Julia Gillard get a bump from this? She’s arguably been at her best when seen to be battling/fighting.

16.36

A short excerpt of Kevin Rudd’s statement to the media:

“When I said I would not challenged for the Labor leadership I believed in honouring my word.

“Therefore in the absence of anything Simon Crean had to say this morning I will be adherring to my statement.

“This is difficult day….but I take my word seriously.

“I am not prepared to dishonour the word I gave solemnly.

“I suggest to all and sundry across the party that we ensure Tony Abbott does not walk into the Lodge.”

16.32

Gillard walks into the meeting now, and is seemingly going to walk out the winner. Something that didn’t seem likely 30 minutes ago.

16.31

While we were away Albanese backed the PM.

16.31

Apologies for the delay, it appears we temporarily broke everything.

16.23

Paddy says: Wow, I think everyone expected Rudd to challenge. Perhaps the numbers weren’t there at all.

16.21

Liam: Rudd still saying he won’t challenge. Seemingly imploring Gillard to fall on her sword. Talk about a revenge play…

16.13

Eric (upstart’s political editor who chose a terrible time to be away from his computer) says: Rudd will only nominate if he is sure he’ll win. Won’t want to get embarrassed two years in a row. If he nominates, turn out the lights.

16.12

Have a look at the ABC’s compilation of Labor MPs speaking earlier this week about a potential leadership spill.

16.08

Riley says: Dick Adams and Bob Carr, both notorious Rudd supporters, are unavailable to vote in this spill. Adams is currently on a plane, while Carr is in New York. Could those missing numbers prove the difference in this ballot?

16.04

Liam says: All quiet on the Coalition front. Can imagine they’d be all smiles behind closed doors.

16.03

Speaking on ABC1, Meredith Bergmann said that one of her sources told her that it was too close to call, whilst the other said that Rudd had the numbers to win this leadership challenge.

16.01

30 minutes away from the meeting.

15.56

 

15.54

It seems we’ve still got some waiting to do…

15.52

Liam says: Surprised that Gillard hasn’t commented on Twitter. Anyone following the action today will know that this is playing out in social media as much as it is in Parliament House.

15.52

According to Barrie Cassidy: “Disunity is death.”

15.45

MP Michael McCormack telling us how it is inside Parliament House.

 

15.43

Sky News are reporting that a delegation of 20 Labor MP’s are currently residing in Kevin Rudd’s office, urging him to run this afternoon.

15.41

Paddy says: The storm is brewing both inside and outside Parliament House. Dark skies for dark times?

15.39

Riley says: Still no word from Kevin Rudd regarding whether he’ll nominate himself for this afternoon’s spill. Is this a foil to help wade off opinions that he orchestrated the challenge?

15.38

Liam says: If Rudd – as expected – steps up to the plate and falls short, surely that’s it for him. Supporters will be hoping his third time is the charm.

15.35

Barrie Cassidy speaking to ABC: “There’s wobbly supporters of Julia Gillard that could change there mind. One thing’s for certain, Rudd has more than the 31 votes he had in February.”

15.33

La Trobe University’s Rob Burgess with inside analysis of the #spill from Parliament House.

“There’s no win for Labor in the spill” – read it here.

 

15.31

One more hour. At 4:30 we’ll find out who will lead the Labor party into the next election.

15.27

Labor MP Kate Lundy has just tweeted: “Julia Gillard has my full confidence and ongoing support”, only to delete the tweet seconds later.

15.26

Steve Gibbons makes his intentions clear.

 

15.25

Paddy says: We still haven’t heard anything from Rudd himself. It’s hard to picture anyone else standing against Gillard, but he’s keeping his cards close to his chest.

15.24

Ironically, the ABC’s regular scheduling has a program called ‘Majority Rules’ on at 4.30pm this afternoon.

15.21

Riley says: You have to question whether even a narrow victory in this spill will only prolong the inevitable for Julia Gillard. If her numbers aren’t high, even in victory, doubts will grow larger regarding the ALP’s confidence in her leadership.

15.17

Liam says: Swan’s tweet shows he is certainly going to ride this out with the Prime Minister. Whether he goes down with the ship or survives remains to be seen.

15.12

Wayne Swan has thrown his full support behind Julia Gillard ahead of the 4.30pm spill:

15.10

ABC reporter Simon Cullen confirms that Simon Crean has been stripped of all ministerial duties.

15.08

ABC political analyst Antony Green says that if the Labor leadership changes this afternoon, the newly elected leader wouldn’t be bound by the September 14th election date.

15.08

If you’re so inclined, K.Rudd seems the money bet.

14.59

Sky News sources from the Rudd camp say numbers are “tight” ahead of the 4.30pm spill. Meanwhile sources from the Gillard camp remain “confident” they will retain the 51 votes they need to remain in charge.

14.58

As a break from the apocalyptic chatter, Pedestrian TV has a light-hearted recap of a chaotic day. (Black Eyed Peas reference included…)

14.57

There are 102 members of the Labor caucus. With Bob Carr absent, that’s down to 101 MPs and Senators. And so the winner of the ballot will need 51 votes.

 

 

14.56

What’s he thinking?

14.53

This is a great piece from the BBC on Australia’s “spill” culture – read it here.

14.47

This is what the Canberra press gallery was doing between 1-1.45pm today.

14.44

Motion to suspend standing orders has not passed.

14.36

Welcome to our live-blog. It’s #spill day today.

14.33

18.09

And that’s a wrap. Obama wins. Four more years.

A huge thanks to our team covering the election today: Liam Quinn in the US, Henry Belot, Eric George and Erdem Koç.

18.06

Henry says:

William Hague RT: WilliamJHague Congratulations to President @BarackObama and his team. I look forward to working with them on shared #foreignpolicy goals #election2012

18.04

Henry says:

“Despite all the hardships we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington. I’ve never been MORE hopeful about our future”

18.03

Henry says:

“America, I believe we can build on the progress we have made… I believe we can keep the promise of our founding.”

18.01

Henry says:

The debates? What debates?

18.00

Liam says:

Remember when Obama gave a dull speech a few weeks ago? Me neither. Tremendous.

18.00

Henry says:

The final 45 seconds of that speech will be replayed for decades to come. Absolutely remarkable.

17.59

Erdem says:

A brilliant speech. I didn’t think he could out-do 2008, but I think he just did.

17.58

The hometown hero.

17.58

Henry says:

Hope 2.0.

17.58

Henry says:

Health care : “Every parent in that room had tears in their eyes. We knew that little girl could be our own, and I know that every american wants her future to be just as bright.  That’s who we are, and that’s the country I’m so proud to lead as your President”.

17.58

Erdem says:

So much passion.

17.55

17.54

Henry says:

Sorkin, please take notes. This is how you do it without being cheesy.

17.53

Henry says:

Hello JFK. How did you make your way into this speech?

 

17.52

Erdem says:

Flag-hair lady just yawned. She IS real.

17.52

Liam says:

A decade ago, never would have thought Americans would cheer at the mention of wars ending. Shows how the nation is changing.

17.52

Henry says:

“That common bond is where we must begin. Our economy is recovering; a decade of war is ending; and a long campaign is now over”.

He’s warming up.

17.51

Erdem says:

“You’ve made me a better President.”

17.50

Henry says:

Climate change mentioned in an acceptance speech, yet has been lacking coverage in the past few days. The lines gets a subdued applause – just imagine the reaction if it was said four years ago.

17.49

Erdem says:

This is starting to get better than his 2008 victory speech.

17.48

Henry says:

Wow. The symbolism of that remark speaks to Syria for the first time today, even if only subtle and passing.

 

17.46

Henry says:

“Thank-you for believing in me all the way, to every hill, to every valley. You lifted me up the whole way and I will always be grateful for everything that you’ve done,  and all the incredible work that you’ve put in”.

17.44

Henry says:

What! They don’t get another dog!

17.42

Liam says:

Joe Biden is approaching cult-hero status.

17.41

Henry says:

This is shaping up to be a wonderful speech. The man looks exhausted, but those phrases still sing over fatigue.

17.41

Erdem says:

“By the way, we have to fix that.” Brilliant.

17.40

Henry says:

Tonight, 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, that task of perfecting our union moves forward. It moves forward because of you.

17.38

Erdem says:

Brilliant opening. He sounds exhausted.

17.37

Henry says:

And it begins, what a beautiful way to make an entrance. Extra points for Stevie Wonder song. Is Jay-Z jealous?

17.35

Liam says:

Some Republican’s critical of Christie in defeat. New Jersey Governor’s actions of last week should be model of bipartisan approach of next four years. This is no longer about Elephants and Donkeys, it’s about Americans.

17.33

Henry says:

I’m sure that somewhere in Australia, Wayne Swan is now rocking out to the Springsteen tunes blasting at the Chicago conference. While somewhere in New Jersey, Chris Christie may be picturing himself on a similar platform with The Boss.

17.31

Liam says:

More Springsteen. Odds on Obama performing a acoustic cover of Glory Days?

17.30

Henry says:

In case you missed it, here’s the FOX footage of Karl Rove giving the network a lashing for calling Ohio by the merits of the exit poll. It makes for some cringe-worthy and awkward viewing.

17.26

Liam says:

All jokes aside, campaign was predominantly rooted in the past and short term future. Obama now has to ensure that his legacy will be about the success of the next four years, rather than the struggles of preceding four.

17.22

Henry says:

This election may send an important message to political figures back home in Australia heading to the polls in the near future. Constant negativity and hard line pursuits may be on the electoral nose.

17.22

Erdem says:

The now famous ‘four more years’ photo already has more than 1 million likes on Facebook.

17.21

Erdem says:

CNN reporting the Latino vote exceeded 10% for the first time in a presidential election.

17.20

Erdem says:

PM Gillard statement on Obama’s win: “I look forward to continuing to do so with President Obama on behalf of the people we serve.”

17.20

Henry says:

This White House photo released via Twitter just moments after Obama received the phone call from Romney. The man looks exhausted after a hard fought election.

17.18

Erdem says:

Don’t these people have work tomorrow?

17.13

Henry says:

A record number of females were just elected to the House and the Senate in the US. Just one social change among many achieved in this election.

17.10

Liam says:

Land of Hopes and Dreams blaring out in Detroit. Fitting night to align Obama with The Boss.

17.08

Henry says:

Everybody get ready for that U2 song that simply refuses to go away. Speech reportedly minutes away.

17.07

Liam says:

Incredible atmosphere amongst Democrats. Champagne well and truly flowing.

17.04

Henry says:

A graceful speech from Mitt Romney, although no admission that Obama ran a good campaign – perhaps residual bitterness over a campaign that has been defined by hard hitting political ads as opposed to the social media creativity of 2008.

17.04

Liam says:

Bonus points if Obama comes out with an empty chair…

17.03

Erdem says:

The stage is now set for Barack Obama’s victory speech.

17.02

Henry says:

Very succinct from Romney, to a subdued audience.

“I did this because I believe in America. I believe in the people of America”.

 

17.01

Liam says:

After almost seven years campaigning to be President, cannot imagine how humbling giving that speech must be for Romney.

17.00

Erdem says:

Romney keeps it nice and short. Says the main things.

16.59

Erdem says:

Romney: The nation as you know is a critical point. We can’t risk partisan bickering. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle.

16.58

Henry says:

With Romney now confirmed to have conceded the race to Obama, we only await the official announcements to the fans.

For now, Obama can reflect on a job done – and prepare for the soon to come speech. Going by yesterday’s speech in Iowa, we can expect emotion.

 

16.58

Erdem says:

Romney thanks everyone for their support and says Ann would have made a wonderful first lady.

16.51

Erdem says:

Romney to speak shortly.

16.51

Henry says:

AP confirm that Romney has now conceded to Obama over the phone.

16.50

16.50

Henry says:

ABC News (US) is now reporting that Obama claims Virginia. Concession speech reported to be minutes away.

16.47

Erdem says:

CBS reporting Romney has called Obama to congratulate.

16.46

Erdem says:

I might be wrong, but I don’t think Donald Trump is very happy right now.

16.43

Erdem says:

The new Wisconsin Senator.

16.41

Erdem says:

CNN calling Virginia to Obama. Updates count to 303 Obama, 203 Romney.

16.41

Erdem says:

Former Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer tells ABC Australia that the Tea Party has a lot to answer for.

“I think for me the really interesting thing is that within the Republican Party, they’re going to have to resolve the tension between the mainstream traditional Republicans, sometimes referred to as the Republican establishment, and the Tea Party people.”

16.21

Henry says:

While the media swarms around the Obama camp, it appears that not everyone is impressed.

16.16

Henry says:

Mother Jones’ homepage splashed with the headline “47 per cent … and then some”. We wondered how influential the release of this video would be in shaping the election result. I guess we now know.

16.06

Erdem says:

Various sources suggesting Romney campaign now saying it could be 15 minutes to an hour before Romney comes out.

16.04

Erdem says:

The New York Times is yet to call Obama as the victor.

16.04

Henry says:

On a side note, The Denver Post reports that the voters of Colorado have passed an amendment that makes the sale of marijuana for recreational use legal.

15.56

Erdem says:

BBC reporting that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have arrived at Republican HQ in Boston.

15.56

Henry says:

Obama now reported to have claimed Colorado’s electoral votes. This wraps it up despite the vote counting and objections in Ohio, even withstanding the state’s unique vote counting laws.

15.54

After just 22 minutes following its posting, this has become the most popular tweet of all time.

15.50

Henry says:

Obama’s message to supporters:

“I want you to know that this wasn’t fate, and it wasn’t an accident. You made this happen. You organized yourselves block by block. You took ownership of this campaign five and ten dollars at a time. And when it wasn’t easy, you pressed forward.

I will spend the rest of my presidency honoring your support, and doing what I can to finish what we started”.

15.48

Erdem says:

Both CNN and NBC are saying the Romney camp is yet to concede Ohio.

15.45

15.45

Henry says:

Here’s the state-by-state break down of Obama’s electoral victory – with those all important swing-states painted blue.Via BBC News.

 

15.42

Henry says:

Amid the election fanfare, a narrative of the next four years begins to emerge. For Ezra Klein there’s not hope, but change in three key issues; the Affordable Care Act, Wall Street reform, and an end to the Bush era tax breaks.

15.32

Erdem says:

Surely Sorkin is now writing the first episode of the second season of The Newsroom.

15.31

15.29

Erdem says:

Obama’s “Four more years” tweet has been re-tweeted 175,000 in 15 minutes.

15.28

15.24

Eric says:

It seems that Obama will become only the fifth US President to take office without winning the popular vote.

15.24

Erdem says:

CNN projected Obama’s victory 18 minutes later than this time four years ago.

15.23

Eric says:

We heard all week how Ohio would determine the election, and so it was. Obama swept every called swing state except North Carolina. With the potential for further gains in Florida, Colorado, and Nevada this could yet become a healthy victory for the Democrats.

15.22

15.18

Erdem says:

CNN calling Obama victory by getting Ohio.

15.18

Erdem says:

Fox News calling Ohio to Obama.

15.15

Eric says:

CBS has called the race in favour of Obama, with Ohio falling in his favour.

15.14

Eric says:

Oregon also called in favour of Obama by CBS. He’s on the brink now.

15.13

Eric says:

CBS has called Iowa in Obama’s favour, and another swing state turns blue. With leads in Ohio and Colorado, Obama can win tonight without Florida.

15.12

Erdem says:

CNN calling New Mexico to Obama.  He’s now leading Romney 249 to 191. Almost there.

15.11

Obama on why teared up in his last day of campaigning in Iowa, which he’s now projected to win:

15.09

Erdem says:

CNN calling Iowa to Obama.

15.08

Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly says if President Barack Obama wins re-election, it’s because the demographics of the country have changed and “it’s not a traditional America anymore”.

15.05

Erdem says:

CNN now saying a Romney victory is almost impossible.

15.05

Eric says:

North Carolina was the first swing state claimed by Romney, he’ll be hoping that a few more follow over the next hour.

15.04

Eric says:

Obama gained 71 votes from those three Western states, thrusting him into a 238:203 lead according to CBS.

15.03

Erdem says:

Updated CNN projection: 238 Obama, 191 Romney.

15.01

Erdem says:

CNN calls California, Washington and Oregon to Obama, and Idaho and Montana to Romney, as expected.

14.57

Erdem says:

Associated Press calling key state North Carolina (15 electoral votes) to Romney.

14.46

Henry says:

With 95 per cent of electoral votes counted in North Carolina, Romney is leading with 50 percent of the votes to Obama’s 49.

14.40

Henry says:

David Brooks on PBS notes that Obama can still win without Ohio by claiming Iowa, Nevada & Colorado.  Options on the table as new results come in.

14.36

Henry says:

This election isn’t all about Obama and Romney. Wisconsin Senate seat goes to Tammy Baldwin (D), making her the first openly gay/lesbian senator to be elected in the U.S.

14.28

Henry says:

Almost everyone predicted this race would be close, but some have been more accurate in their predictions than others. Here’s a cute map of Nate Silver’s predictions at the New York Times, via Twitter.

14.25

Eric says:

Multiple news sources have Obama leading in Florida by 0.6 per cent. Anything less than 0.5 would require a recount.

14.18

Eric says:

CBS have placed Nevada in their “leaning towards Obama” category, as Obama’s heavy investment in minority vote campaigns begins to pay off in the significantly Hispanic state.

14.10

Henry says:

Electoral College update via PBS & AP – Obama 158 to Romney’s 163. Everyone picked it, but we’re coming right down to the wire and may be waiting some time for a verdict. Polling reportedly 50-50 in Florida making Ohio all the more important, even as polls are closed. West Coast exit polls still to come although results expected to follow the trends, with the exception of swing state Nevada.

13.54

Erdem says:

Dr David Smith from the US Study Centre tells ABC Australia:

“The most promising thing for [Obama] is that the actual votes that are coming in seem to mirror what the public opinion polls were saying before the election – which was that he would win.”

 

13.54

Henry says:

Good news coming in for the Democrats now. While Al Gore lost the election and momentum in New Hampshire, Obama holds the state and picks up another four electoral votes.

13.49

Henry says:

CBS News call  the Senate seat in Massachusetts, the home state of Romney,  for Elizabeth Warren (D). Warren already termed a Democratic hero following her keynote speech at the Convention, and her new form of progressive politics.

13.47

Liam says:

US Congressman John Conyers, the representative for Michigan, tells me: “The big ones are starting to come in. Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York. It’s all adding up.”

13.45

Eric says:

An Obama win in Florida or Ohio would now leave Romney with only a distant chance at winning. With such tight polling in Florida leaving the door open for a recount, all eyes turn to the Buckeye State.

13.37

Eric says:

New Hampshire to Obama as well according to CBS. Another big get for Obama, as his re-election chances continue to firm.

13.34

Henry says:

Sherrod Brown (D) elected to the Senate in Ohio – could this be a sign of the mood in Ohio, a state with an otherwise notoriously fragmented demographic?

13.33

Eric says:

Looks like Florida will go down to the wire, as both candidates are tied with just under 80 per cent of the votes counted, according to Real Clear Politics. Once again, with Obama’s slight lead in Ohio and Wisconsin, Florida is a must-get for the Republicans.

13.32

Henry says:

Wisconsin, the home state of Paul Ryan, goes to President Obama. This makes victory for Romney in Ohio essential – a big boost for Obama.

13.32

Erdem says:

Florida holds 29 electoral votes, and will therefore provide a huge boost to either of the candidates.

13.30

Erdem says:

Florida is ridiculously close. Only 600 odd votes separate the two candidates with around 85% of the vote counted.

13.27

Henry says:

All reports indicate that the Republican Party will maintain control of the House of Representatives. Polling in Florida is reportedly close – could we be seeing a remake of the electoral map in 2000?

13.23

Henry says:

The Guardian is reporting an even greater lead for Governor Romney, 153 electoral votes to 123. Results from the deciding states still to come.

13.23

Erdem says:

Romney has to win Virginia, Wisconsin and another big state like Ohio to get to the 270 votes required to occupy the White House.

13.20

Henry says:

PBS is reporting that Romney is in the lead, according to the following vote breakdown.

Governor Romney 154; President Obama 144 votes.

13.18

Henry says:

We can now begin to put the pieces together and assess the trends. Bill Schneider, professor at George Mason University sees the following, via Al Jazeera.

“We’re seeing a noticeable drop-off of support for President Obama among young voters.  In 2008, voters under 30 voted 66 percent for Obama.  This time, they’re voting 59 percent for Obama”.

13.16

NBC News declares Barack Obama as the projected winner in Pennsylvania.

13.12

CNN update:

With 76% of the vote counted in key state Florida, the two candidates are tied at 50:50.

In Virginia, 42% of the vote counted, Romney ahead slightly.

In Ohio, 27% of the vote counted, Obama ahead slightly.

13.08

Eric says:

CBS has now placed Wisconsin in the “leaning towards Obama” category along with Ohio. If both states go blue, Romney would have to pick up every other battleground state to gain power.

13.07

CNN projecting that Republicans will maintain their control of the House of Representatives.

13.06

Henry says:

AP, PBS and two networks call Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming for Romney.

 

13.04

AP and PBS call Michigan for Obama. Has Romney come unstuck by this article?

13.02

CNN projecting Obama to win Michigan, the heart of the automobile industry.

13.00

Erdem says:

ABC Australia reporting Obama has been eating dinner at home with his family and aides say he is “calm, serene and excited”. He’s told reporters he’s written two speeches, but doesn’t expect to have to deliver the losing one.

12.58

Henry says:

About time for a new round of updates. Wisconsin and Michigan to watch. RT: ‏@acarvin Polls about to close in NE, MN, MI, CO, IA, WI, NE and several other states.

12.53

Liam says:

The calm before the storm at the Michigan Democratic Party.

12.50

Henry says:

In response to the news regarding Romney’s victory speech, it’s bad news for the Governor unless he follows the following instructions very carefully.

12.45

Eric says:

According to CBS, we won’t be hearing anything out of Virginia for some time due to the large amount of voters still waiting in line. In an attempt to avoid swaying those who are yet to vote, Virginia won’t be reporting any results until further notice.

12.44

Henry says:

That’s really gotta hurt.

RT: @Salon GOP’s Linda McMahon spent + 0 million on her Connecticut Senate race… and she just lost http://www.salon.com/2012/11/06/election_day_liveblog/#messageID=384 …

12.41

12.41

Henry says:

Here’s what President Obama wrote on Reddit, via The Guardian.

“I want to thank you all again for the reception you gave me in August for my AMA. Good questions. Definitely not bad. I’m checking in because polls will start closing in this election in just a few hours, and I need you to vote.”

 

12.39

Erdem says:
CNN reporting that officials in key state Virgina are saying that voting lines are still very long, and that polls might not close for another 3 hours.

12.36

Henry says:

AP and PBS call Arkansas for Governor Romney. Not a surprise, but highlights the shift of the state from blue to red.

12.30

Henry says:

Two networks and AP report that New Jersey is going to President Obama. An interesting development as voters face challenges to get to the polls, let alone rebuild their lives. I wonder how Chris Christie is feeling?

12.25

What happens when you mix a horse costume, bad humour and a presidential election? This.

12.25

Eric says:

CBS has just announced New Jersey in Obama’s favour, and more importantly, has also given him a slight advantage in Ohio based on early votes and exit polling.

12.25

Henry says:

12.20

Henry says:

Believe it or not, there are also 33 U.S Senate seats up for grabs in this election.

12.20

RT @macleanbrenda Wouldn’t it be glorious if Romney got 47%.

12.15

Henry says:

PBS reporting that Romney’s grabbed Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, based on AP exit polls.

12.13

Henry says:

Nate Silver at Five Thirty Eight takes a measured tone.

“Mitt Romney is not necessarily poised to lose, however: he led President Obama among independents in both the Ohio and Virginia exit polls. It may be that some conservative-leaning voters are identifying as independent rather than Republican in the surveys, but still voting for Mr. Romney”.

12.09

Henry says:

Polling now closed in 16 states, some new additions. Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island go to Obama.

12.07

Eric says:

After calling a swathe of states, CBS has placed the electoral vote at 82:64 in favour of Romney.

12.03

Henry says:

PBS policy for calling states: Report results as projected by AP, or when two television networks make the call.

12.03

Henry says:

Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky,  West Virginia and South Carolina go to Romney.

12.02

CNN projecting Obama 64 electoral votes, to Romney’s 40.

11.57

Henry says:

AP: “Republicans need to net four seats – three if Mitt Romney wins the presidential race – to take control of the Senate”. Via Al Jazeera

11.54

Henry says:

Chris Christie does the bossy-man act well. I wonder whether he’ll be on a bigger stage in four years?

“The only people who should be applying for their ballots online are voters affected by the storm. Everyone else, get your butt up and go to your polling place like normal.”

11.53

Eric says:

It may be some time yet before we get a clear indication of the result in Virginia. There are still long lines of voters waiting to cast their ballot, as voting laws allow those still waiting in line when the poll closes to participate.

11.50

Polls close at 12pm AEDT in Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, DC, Michigan, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, North Dakota (first results at 12, some voting to 1pm), and South Dakota (about half state ends vote at 12, first results at 1pm).

11.49

Henry says:

Al Jazeera reporting electoral fraud in Oregon,  according to Oregon Live

11.43

Eric says:

CBS news has called South Carolina in Romney’s favour, and then quickly jumped back into breaking down Ohio’s demographics. It’s clear where the focus will lie over the next hour.

11.41

CNN exit poll has Obama leading 51 per cent to 48 per cent in must-win Ohio.

11.33

Eric says:

Sky News’ exit polling is indicating a three per cent lead for Obama in Ohio.

11.28

Erdem says:
I think for next year, we should change the clocks in each Australian state so polls will close at different times. It’s more exciting this way.

11.26

A look at over four decades of presidential victory speeches to come up with what you’re most likely to hear tonight from the winner.

11.26

 

Henry says:

Karma.

Please, please be a real photo via @ClaraJeffrey  on Twitpic

 

 

11.20

Henry says:

‎20+ tabs and 3 live streams make Windows XP very, very unhappy.

11.20

Polls close at 11:30am AEDT in key states Ohio, West Virginia, and North Carolina.

11.17

Mr Burns endorses Mitt Romney:

11.17

RT @JeffJarvis: Tonight is the greatest demonstration of we-know-nothing-but-keep-talking-anyway unjournalism there is.

11.16

Eric says:

CBS projecting that voter turnout in Virginia will break records, which may favour Romney due to a lack of faith in Obama’s economic credentials.

11.12

Henry says:

The New Yorker’s @RyanLizza RT:  Exits: Obama approval over 50%. Seems like a big deal.

11.07

11.03

Henry says:

PBS call Kentucky & Indiana for Romney. No surprises there, despite Obama winning Indiana in ’08.

11.02

CNN saying exit polling in Virgina (a battleground state) shows 49% voters for Obama, 49% for Romney.

11.01

Eric says:

Romney continuing to push his bipartisan credentials in a quick grab on CBS when asked about the divisive nature of US politics. Obama claimed he had the right ideas in his first term, but needs to push harder if re-elected.

10.57

Henry says:

Politico reporting that Hurricane Sandy will make little difference to the outcome, based on an early CBS exit poll. Romney off the hook for FEMA remarks?

10.55

RT @AndrewRomano CNN: if O wins, the Empire State Building turns blue; if R wins, it turns red. A real breakthru for those who get their news from buildings.

10.49

Polls closing at 11Am AEDT (battleground states in bold):  Vermont, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, New Hampshire (some voting to 12pm AEDT).

10.49

Henry says:

We all love a good election, don’t we? Maybe not …

10.46

Fun fact: No Republican has ever won the race to the White House without Ohio.

10.38

Henry says:

Brett Brownell at Mother Jones reporting some ‘strictly parkisan‘ signs at polling booths in Southwest Pennsylvania.

10.20

Henry says:

Obama is back on Reddit. Everybody go crazy.

10.14

Henry says:

Ezra Klein, the wonk blogger himself has these sage words for eager pundits. “Do not succumb to early exit poll mania. Just say no. Or ask President John Kerry how accurate early exit polls are”.

10.10

Henry says:

Liz Mair, Republican Strategist – “Voter turn out high in Ohio”.

10.04

There are 512 paths to the White House.  Know them all? Ohio and Florida the keys to victory.

10.04

In this video from Springfield, Massachusetts, Anne Richmond, a poll observer, describes a scene of frustration at her polling centre.

10.01

Liam says:
90.9% chances for Obama. Numbers might still stay close, but seems the donkey has already bolted.

10.01

First polls closed in Indiana.

09.58

Kevin Rudd, never shy of a camera, is backing Obama to claim a second term. “I know Barack reasonably well, he’s a good man. I’ve only met Governor [Mitt] Romney once,” said Mr Rudd.

09.56

Why hold an election on a Tuesday? Why elephants? Why November? CNN explores some of the quirks of Election Day.

09.51

Barack Obama continues to wage the social media war on all fronts, this time turning to Reddit to get his message out.

09.49

Nate Silver, the New York Times’ numbers nerd behind Five Thirty Eight,  calls it for Obama. His logic? A three per cent lead in Ohio, based on the latest Real Clear Politics polling.

09.49

More election day glitches, this time in the crucial battleground of Cuyahoga, Ohio. But, it seems like all the initial bumps were straightened out in the potential President-deciding county.

09.34

Erdem says:

Has a US election never been an ‘historic’ one? #electioncliches

09.31

In the key state of Florida, equipment breakdowns, long lines and robocall drama is dogging Election Day, according to Politco.

09.15

This amateur video shows the line to vote at a booth in Brooklyn. According to the YouTube user, the line wrapped around three blocks and it took more than three hours to get into the polling centre. The video lasts for more than five minutes as the voter travels from the polling center all the way back to the end of the line.

09.10

09.02

One story making news around the world is from a Pennsylvania voter who found that his touch-screen ballot would not let him vote for Obama.

In this video the voter recorded with his phone’s camera, he is seen tapping the icon next to Obama’s name, but doing so illuminates Mitt Romney’s name.

09.00

08.55

08.41

In poll averages by the RealClearPolitics website, Obama led in Iowa (by 2.4 per cent), Ohio (2.9 per cent), Wisconsin (4.2 per cent), Virginia (0.3 per cent), New Hampshire (2.0 per cent), and Colorado (1.5 per cent).

08.40

How the US is using social media (via CNN):

08.34

Top five shared terms by people in the US today on Facebook:
1. Vote
2. Election
3. Obama
4. Romney
5. Tomorrow

08.29

If you’re up and want to watch a really boring animation, here’s a ‘Tweet punch-off’ between two animated characters throwing a punch at the other each time Obama or Romney is mentioned on Twitter.

08.23

Facebook is watching those who voted.  See its interactive map here, following all those who took to a status update after casting their ballot.

08.09

President Barack Obama kept his tradition of an Election Day basketball game alive in his hometown, even teaming with a Chicago legend.

08.04

“I am far more enthusiastic about President Obama this time than I was four years ago.” – Bill Clinton.

07.58

The Chicago Tribune going rather artistic in their presidential front page this morning.

20.07

7:35 a.m.: Not only will this be the final presidential campaign for Obama, but VP Biden is making his final rounds on the trail according to the Washington Post.

7: 15.a.m.: NBC News confirms voting machine malfunction, turning a vote for Obama into one for Romney.

6:55 a.m.: Dan Rather told MSNBC this morning that he predicts a it’ll be a “good day” for Mitt Romney.

6:45 a.m.: The election is already over…at least according to Twitter.

 

6:25 a.m: Despite not being as visible as the President last week, Romney camp claims to have outspent Obama during the final week, according to Politico.

6:05 a.m.: Reports of voter issues already popping up across the country, with the most amusing being that a woman was said to have been turned away from polls for wearing an MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) t-shirt. Shirt mistaken as a political statement.

6 a.m.: Rumours were rampant this morning that Romney was surging to a sizable Ohio victory, but according to the Wall Street Journal that is not the case.

5:40 a.m.: When the votes starting rolling in across the country, early trends could provide insight into the final result. CBS News breaks down those key indicators.

5:13 a.m.: New York Times election guru Nate Silver writes Romney has only an eight percent chance of defeating Obama. After correctly predicting 49 out of 50 states in 2008, it’s safe to say Silver knows what he’s talking about. Oh, and you can follow him on Twitter here.

5:05 a.m.: During a closing campaign stop in his hometown of Chicago, Obama congratulates Romney on a hard fought campaign.

4:45 a.m.: Both candidates are ramping up the social media side of their Election Day push. Check them out here. (Barack Obama / Mitt Romney)

4:35 a.m.: You’ve read our Upstart team predictions (if not; here), but heres how the pundits at the Washington Post feel the day will unfold.

4:30 a.m.: After months on the campaign trail, polls have officially opened across the country, with Americans set to decide whether to give President Barack Obama a second term or to replace him with Governor Mitt Romney.