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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.

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.

Australia Wins Asian Cup

The Matildas capped off a great campaign by winning the women's Asian Cup. In doing so, they outdid their male counterparts by getting there first. Great effort. And a great platform for their World Cup bid next year.

Australia vs Indonesia

This should have been a straight-forward match and it basically was. We were at home against a team that couldn't qualify and needed only a draw. A scrappy match, but the A-League players got the job done. 1-0 and we're through to the Asian Cup finals in 2011. We'll need to improve for the World Cup and the Asian Cup though.

Kuwait vs Australia

An intriguing match really. We were playing away with a team consisting of mostly A-League players and needing a result. This can be a tough ask, however we got off to a flyer, 2-0 up after 5 minutes. Ideally we should have been able to hold on from there, but Kuwait fought back and equalised before half-time. Then a scoreless second half for a good result, if disappointing given our start.

Oman vs Australia

A gutsy 2-1 win away after going down to 10 men after about 15 minutes. Rhys Williams made a clumsy challenge, gave away a penalty and received a red card for his trouble. Oman then converted the penalty (but only after Schwarzer blocked the shot and they put away the rebound). A poor start in a crucial match. But Australia rallied and equalised before half-time. They then survived a sustained attack to snatch a win with a few minutes to go.

Australia vs Oman

Yet another match I didn't get to see. Following the match on Twitter is no fun. There was a lot of talk in the lead up that Australia needed to win: because we must qualify for the 2011 finals; and Pim Verbeek's job could be on the line. Clearly World Cup qualification is not enough for the FFA!

Against a team ranked #74, we should be able to win at home. But it took until the 74' for us to break the deadlock. Guess who? Yep, Tim Cahill again. 1-0 win. Job done.

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!


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