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Australia vs Oman

Asian Cup Finals 2015 - Group Stage, Match 2
Australia vs Oman
at Stadium Australia on 2015-01-13T09:00:00
Score: 4-0 (3-0)
Scorers: Matt McKay (27'), Robbie Kruse (30'), Mark Milligan (45+3'), Tomi Juric (70')
Official Info: AFC Details
Previous Match: Australia vs Kuwait
Next Match: Australia vs South Korea

I made the familiar journey to Stadium Australia to be part of an excellent crowd of just over 50,000. The weather held, the predicted heavy rain did not eventuate and we were treated to fine display.

It took a little while again for our play to really click. Oman had an early shot that was well saved, but after that we kept them out of almost the entire match. Things came together in the second quarter. We started to build some consistent pressure and the goal finally came. From there, there was no looking back. We scored a superb goal minutes later and a third on the stroke of half-time. The match was all over bar the shouting.

The players began the second half to a crowd that had almost lost interest. A sure sign of a boring match - in this case, one it was clear we were going to win - is the Mexican wave. These began at about the 50 minute mark. We made some subs to protect/rest our top players and the young guns, determined to prove themselves got a good run. It finished 4-0, but should have been more. My only concern was Bresciano; he had a shocker when he came on.

A few thoughts. Firstly, Oman. We've had trouble beating them in the past, but last night we totally dominated. We did not let them play. Did they have an off night or are we a class above now? It's difficult to tell on the basis of one match, but I saw nothing threatening about Oman. On a night when they needed a win, they simply did not go for it, or were we so good they could not go for it? Somewhere in between, no doubt, but I lean towards our superiority.

Secondly, scoring goals. We've now scored eight in two matches with eight different scorers. This has been the stunning turnaround. Our defence has always been pretty solid, but we've struggled to score for almost a year now. The attacking mindset was evident, but the finishing has been lacking. This has all changed and bodes well. Having so many options outside of Cahill makes us a very difficult prospect.

Thirdly, the refereeing clanger around the third goal. A clear foul on Cahill to be sure and therefore a penalty. But what happened to the advantage? In a tournament where it has been well applied, it was mystifying that the referee did not wait a second or two before blowing the whistle. Then the goal from free play would have stood as it should have. The player who fouled Cahill could still have received a caution. Perplexing.

Finally, where do we stand? There's no doubt we're seeing the fruits of Postecoglou's planning and work. I still feel we're really to test this though. South Korea on Saturday will give us real guidance where we stand. Can't wait.