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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!

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.

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.

Iraq Wins The Asian Cup

Iraq defeated Saudi Arabia 1-0 in normal time to claim their first Asian Cup title. A little surprising perhaps, but I'm pleased as I was barracking for them.

Asian Cup Semi-Finals

The Asian Cup semi-finals, sans Australia, were played overnight. Saudi Arabia defeated Japan 3-2 in normal time, while Iraq defeated South Korea on penalties after the match finished 0-0.

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.

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