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Australia vs Iraq

I'm not a big fan of Kewell these days, but credit where credit's due, his late goal was very well taken and put us into the semi-finals. A huge result after our disappointing exit in 2007.

Australia and Iraq have some history now, with both sides recording some key wins. Significantly, Australia's performance improved over their last match. It needed to, but in the end, they probably deserved the win. Iraq had its moments and played very well, but Australia created more chances and edged Iraq in performance.

Australia vs Bahrain

A scrappy match on a wet pitch, but we did enough to win and finish top of the group - objective achieved. However, neither our coach nor our captain sugar-coated it, we'll need to do better in our next match against Iraq.

Bahrain needed the win and were more adventurous as a result. The first half was roughly even, with both sides creating good chances. Jedinak scored his second goal in two games in the first half to give us a very valuable lead.

Republic of Korea vs Australia

The key match up of our group finished 1-1. Overall, not a bad result for us, but we might have been able to win had we not been so wasteful. The key concern out of the match is three injuries.

Obviously a much tougher opponent than India and a very close battle. We wasted several chances early on and then went 0-1 down to a well-taken goal (on the back of some poor marking). We battled well in the second half to earn the equaliser. Not the prettiest of goals, but you take them. We had some chances to win too, as did South Korea, but we might have had the best of it.

Australia vs India

Our opening match at the finals. It's important to get off to a good start (cf: WC 2006 and 2010) and we do, comfortably accounting for football minnows, India, 4-0.

This was a positive match: we won, scored 4, conceded 0, no injuries and no yellow cards. Almost perfect on paper. Our standard of play is important too though and we were a little scratchy. Our first half was quite good. Our performance tapered off a little in the second half though. Understandable given the scoreline at the time and the quality of the opposition. We'll need to lift for our next match.

Our World Cup Bid Presentation

Our world cup hosting bid is in and we live in hope, but it's not looking good. We'll find out soon enough. The final presentation included a cheesy video about a kangaroo that steals the World Cup and brings it to Australia. If you look closely you can see me for about half a second!

Egypt vs Australia

It was billed as the No. 1 team in Africa vs the No. 1 team in Asia. Unfortunately for us, we were thoroughly outplayed. Not the performance you want in our last hit-out before the Asian Cup. Egypt are ranked No. 11 in the world at the moment though. Osiek's first loss too.

Australia vs Paraguay

What an intriguing match. Australia up against World Cup quarter-finalists Paraguay. Both teams had most of their first choice players. The Socceroos first and last match in Australia under Osieck before the Asian Cup finals. In the end, the Socceroos came away with a 1-0 win, but even more importantly they put on a good show.

Oz Politics - An Extraordinary Few Months

I don't usually blog about politics, but the past three months or so of federal politics have been remarkable to say the the least.

Poland vs Australia

A win's a win. And it's always nice to win away from home. We were a bit scrappy and were outplayed towards the end, but we hung on for our first win since the World Cup finals.

A frantic opening 30 minutes should have seen four goals. Australia scored first through Holman, before Poland equalised just four minutes later. Wilkshire converted a penalty shortly afterwards, before Federic saved one. 2-1 up at this point and there it stayed all match.

Switzerland vs Australia

A reasonably strong Australian side could only manage a 0-0 draw against an under-strength Swiss team.

The Swiss have a Euro qualifier coming up and didn't field their first choice side. Australia had most of its top players available. (Can we forget about Kewell now? He was injured again.)

The Socceroos had a pretty good first half and wasted some good chances. The Swiss probably had the better of the second half though and put a penalty over the bar. Schwarzer also made some key saves.

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