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Republic of Korea vs Australia

Not long after we'd risen to our highest place on the FIFA rankings (14th) we turned in a sub-par performance in this friendly. Yes, it was the B-team, with many players given a chance to prove themselves, but if we play like this again we can forget about doing well at the World Cup Finals.

A poor start basically cruelled any chance of a win. We were down 0-2 after 20 minutes due to poor defending and from there it was a battle. We pulled one back and lifted a bit. A late goal finished us off.

Ireland vs Australia

An excellent win, even it was a friendly. Ireland are preparing for key world cup qualifiers, so it wasn't meant to be an easy match. Both sides wasted chances, with Australia running out comfortable winners. That man again, Tim Cahill, doing the early damage. Good stuff.

Australia vs Japan

I've been saying for a long time that Tim Cahill is our most valuable player and I think he proved it again here. His two goals gave us a significant psychological advantage over Japan. Sure this game was a dead rubber in terms of qualification, but there's still rankings in Asia and the World to consider. Plus our rivalry with Japan. So inflicting their first defeat of this round as well as maintaining our record were both important.

Australia vs Bahrain

In the end Australia were comfortable winners. It wasn't a great performance, but it was another win and another clean sheet and there's a lot to be said for that.

Naturally I went to the game as it was in Sydney. For the first time ever though, there were issues with the special event buses out to the stadium. I've always found them to be quick, punctual and a very convenient way to get to the game. But for this game the bus was very late and I only just made it in time for kick-off. Talking to someone else on the bus it seems four buses didn't turn up.

Qatar vs Australia

Woo-hoo! Australia secured the point it needed in an exciting 0-0 draw. We're off to South Africa as one of the first qualifiers, instead of the last.

Australia vs Uzbekistan

When Valeri went down and the referee awarded a penalty, there was that feeling again. We're off to the World Cup Finals! A great result for Australia. The other result overnight means technically we can't be certain, but it's all over bar the shouting. We will get the solitary point required from our next three matches. And then it's South Africa here we come.

Australia vs Kuwait

Groan. A lot of talk in the lead-up to this match was about whether the A-League is strong enough and its players good enough. Kuwait probably demonstrated there's a long way to go. We didn't play well, but they outplayed us. Bottom of our group after two matches. Improvement needed!

Japan vs Australia

Circumstances conspired to prevent me from seeing the game. Reports suggest I didn't miss much. We played a defensive game and managed to contain a very well prepared Japan and escape with a 0-0 draw. In the scheme of things, ie. qualifying, a good result.

Japan, and their coach, were under a lot of pressure to win. They spent five weeks preparing and were very sharp all game, but couldn't find the killer blow. We had limited preparation and didn't create much in attack. Nonetheless, a solid defensive effort is something to take from the match.

Indonesia vs Australia

Amidst all the preparation for the 2010 World Cup, we also have to qualify for the 2011 Asian Cup. It seems like a bit of an annoyance, but really the more competitive football we play the better.

The actual match featured a Socceroos team made up entirely of A-League players. The final result, 0-0, is probably a little disappointing as Indonesia is ranked over 100 places behind us. However, given that we had limited preparation and were playing away in humid conditions, we'll take a point.

Bahrain vs Australia

The ultimate snatch-and-grab victory. Bahrain played out of their skins and were on top for most of the match. We were kept in it by some good work by Schwarzer (again). And Bresciano steals victory with an injury-time goal.

Another away win maintains our perfect record in our group. But everybody admits we were lucky to win; we would have been pleased with a point. Next up is Japan away and they had a good win over Qatar. We'll have to be a lot better for that game. Bring it on.

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