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Australia vs China

Groan. What an appalling game. Verbeek experimented with many new players and it showed. We played poorly. China scored a cracker of a goal after 10 minutes and didn't do much more apart from waste time. A 0-1 loss.

Best bit: China was awarded a penalty and scored. Only to be forced to retake it because they encroached on the penalty area. They missed the second attempt.

Worst bit: we've been undefeated in home qualifiers for 24 years. Now that's a record that's going to take a long time to equal.

Qatar vs Australia

Australia has progressed to the next stage of World Cup qualification with an emphatic 3-1 away win over Qatar! A Brett Emerton double did the damage. Kewell wrapped it up with a third before a late consolation to Qatar.

Iraq vs Australia

Another match I didn't get to see. Apparently we didn't play too badly, but we lost 0-1. The goal may have been a bit of a fluke, but we rode our luck in Brisbane last week so we can't complain too much.

Our first loss under Verbeek and our first conceded goal for the qualifiers. It had to happen sometime I suppose. In the other game, Qatar defeated China 1-0 away, to draw level with us on points. This all makes next week's game against Qatar very important.

Australia vs Iraq

Australia secured a very significant win over Iraq in Brisbane to move one step closer to qualifying for the next round. All up, we were pretty lucky to get away with the win, but the three points will be very valuable.

A wet Sunday afternoon, but the Nag's Head filled up not long after kick-off. The crowd was even better at the stadium. A sell-out and they made lots of noise.

China vs Australia

Work commitments prevented me from watching the match. Dang. But the news was good. By all accounts, it proved to be a fairly close, tense encounter. Mark Schwarzer saved the day with yet another penalty save with a few minutes to go. And we could have snatched it in the final minute. All in all, given our preparation, the difficult venue, the absences due to injury, we'll take an away draw.

In the other game Qatar beat Iraq 2-0. So we remain on top of our group. And the team deemed the biggest threat, Iraq, languishes at the bottom. Go figure.

Australia vs Qatar

The Socceroos began their long campaign for a spot at the 2010 World Cup finals with a very encouraging 3-0 win over Qatar last night in Melbourne. There was a lot of pre-match concern about how the Aussies would fair in this match. It was our new coach, Pim Verbeek's, first game in charge. Ten of the starting 11 had flown in from Europe just a day or two before the game. Qatar has been here for a week acclimatising. But in the end none of this mattered.

Asian Cup Wrap

Now that the tournament is over, it's time to reflect on Australia's performance. Our ledger was the same as the World Cup, ie. one win, one draw and one loss in the group stage, second in our group and a narrow loss in the first knockout stage. However, few supporters would rate the performance as anywhere as good.

Socceroos vs Japan

A tense, even game, punctuated by five minutes of mayhem, finished 1-1 before the Socceroos went out on penalties. However, we may be seeing the beginnings of a great football rivalry.

A big crowd was in at the Nags Head for the quarter-final. Japan was in good form, Australia might be - it's hard to tell. The game overall was very even. Japan looked better organised, had slightly more possession and created more chances. But for all that, they lacked the killer punch and Australia stayed with them. 0-0 at half time.

Socceroos vs Thailand

Australia finally delivered! A 4-0 win over Thailand overnight was sufficient to see us through to the quarter-finals. Unfortunately, as we finished second in the group, we will meet an in form Japan on Saturday. This has the potential to be a great game, with Japan out to avenge their World Cup defeat and Australia finding a bit of form.

Socceroos vs Iraq

Our second round match and we needed a big improvement on our first match. I headed down to the Nags Head along with well over 100 other fans. And we left sorely disappointed with a diabolical performance from Australia. I can't believe I used up a night out for this.

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