Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Australia vs Bahrain Experience

Tonight I invited myself to some friends' house, Kietch, the Japanese coach of my son Jacob's team, and Tony, the Vietnamese father of a team-mate of Jacob's.

Tony, who owns the local fruit and vege shop, cooked some beautiful food, lamb with lemon grass rice. I brought a bottle of Jamesons Whiskey (my preferred drop), and we settled into watching a most enjoyable game of football indeed.

I've noted before how it seems that teams don't play as beautifully when they're panicked. Well I'm now making the further note that perhaps teams fall apart a bit when they're too cock-sure of themselves. Now it might be a difficult point to make, because there's no doubt Australia dominated, and... well... they won, very convincingly. But from where I sit it should have been 4:nil rather than 2:nil. Am I being too picky? Maybe, but I'll go on.

It's maybe a strange thing that it is when Australia is so unambiguously dominant against a clearly inferior opposition that their key, abiding weakness becomes most clear. There is nobody who can dribble up front for one thing. But at the same time there appears to be a great difficulty in bringing the crosses from the wings to fruition in goal. The opportunities were falling from the sky, apparently every few minutes, but to little avail.

In short, our forward action seems to be wanting. In saying so, I now duck for cover.

The two goals were both just wonderful stuff. No question. Bresciano's in particular was world class. I could watch it again and again and each time my heart leaps. So don't get me wrong. My hat is firmly off for our boys tonight. But the Bahrainies were a bunch of unblooded kids. We knew they were easy meat, and frankly my hat is off to them as well, for their bravery and for their spirited effort to the end. Is it forgivable to suggest the Socceroos really should have done even better?

My Asian mates and I have agreed to get together to watch the Asia Cup games together, with the important exception of the case if Japan and Australia end up in the finals. In that case we shall watch the game in seperate circumstances.

Good night.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was really disappointed with this performance. No movement, the wing play was mediocre (and dire in the 2nd half), there seemed to be no one capable of unlocking their defence. All in all it was very forgetable.

We desperately need to start playing 2 strikers - we've seen this 1 striker nonsense for at least the past 5-6 years and it is clearly a failure.

To add a note of positivty - Spartacus Bresciano's goal was an absolute stunner - one of the best I've seen in an Australian shirt.

October 11, 2006 10:36 pm  
Blogger john said...

Funny games these internationals don't you recon? I thought the a-league refing was bad until I really watched the world cup closely. The ref had an OK first half. But what about the unpenalised time wasting? Three minutes extra time? Roar games have 3 when you don't even see much injury. I recon it should have been 10 plus a few yellows.

I thought the ref seemed to have acted to even up the game in the second half. There were quite a few free kicks in their penalty area and all went their way.

And what about their players taking turns to be stretchered off? Fun eh?

October 12, 2006 2:21 pm  

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