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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.

Asian Cup Finals

The big news is that Australia has been confirmed as host for the 2015 Asian Cup Finals. It feels like such an anti-climax after our embarrassing showing in the World Cup bid. However it is big news. It's tempting to put down the bid as we were the only entrant. But many countries pulled out when we announced we were bidding, so this is actually a strong point. It will be a big tournament and an excellent chance to build up some football capital. (It still feels like second prize though, doesn't it.)

U.A.E. vs Australia

The first friendly for 2011, doubling as a practice match for the Asian Cup Finals. We fielded a mix of first-choice players and second-stringers. All up, an okay performance for a team that needs to gel. However, we'll definitely need to lift if we want to do well at the finals.

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.

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.

Slovenia vs Australia

In our first game since the World Cup, we were missing a few regular starters, we had a new (temporary) coach and were very rusty. We had a couple of good chances and could have stolen a draw or even a win, but Slovenia deserved their 2-0 victory.

Slovenia was ranked one place (and just a few points) above us (19th vs 20th) on the FIFA table. We both scored four points in our groups at the World Cup and failed to progress beyond the group stage. From that point of view, things looked pretty even.

Thoughts on the World Cup

It's come and gone for another four years. A look back at the tournament while we wait for the decision on 2022 and Brazil 2014.


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