Sub par Socceroos edge past ThailandPosted: September 3, 2011
Well, not alot of positives can be taken out of the start of the road to Rio last night, besides the scoreline that is with a come from behind victory against Thailand. Goals from Josh Kennedy and Alex Brosque gave Australia the win, but not before Thailand put the frighteners through the national side.
Australian Starting 11
That starting side is a very strong one, however starting McKay at left back was a huge risk for mine, yes he can fill in there if needed, but to start hin in that spot ahead of someone like Zullo who is playing that position every week in the eredivise was a poor choice for mine. In addition Valeri is looking worse and worse in the middle of the park as time goes on, how he keeps his spot while Jedinak misses out is astounding, even our boy McKay would have offered more.
Early Thai shock: Going into the game, absolutly nobody I spoke to pregame on Caxton st thought that Thailand would score at all, let alone score an early goal, but thats exactly what happend. It was a poor pass from Kilkenny who didnt really have his best performance on the night, but this pass lead to a flowing counter attacking move which was finished Dangda leaving Schwarzer with no chance. It is however, unfair to put the whole blame onto Kilkenny in this instance as the Australian defence was totally out of position for the goal.McKay had cut inside to try and break up the move, thus leaving the left side of our defence exposed, a gap which Matt Spiranovic tried to will, which left Lucas Neill in the middle on his own while Wilkshire was still tracking back in the box. For mine, this one incident shows why Matty McKay shouldn be playing at left back, as he isnt training to play in this position, somebody with more experience in the position would not have got sucked inside to challenge for possession (which in all likelihood he wouldnt of gotten anyway), so between him and Kilkenny the majority of fault for the goal lies at these players feet. Neill (who was the only player in position) for his part could of done alot better aswell at marking
up on the Thai player, and getting a clearance on the ball.
Predictable Australia: In attack, Australia at the very least managed to pressure the Thais in their half and had a fair % of the possession and territory in the game, which was to be expected with the supposed gulf in quality between the 2 sides, aswell as the fact that Thailand sat back on the counter (even moreseo at 1-0 up). Despite all of their possession and territory however, Australia only ever had the 1 tactic it looked like, and it was quiet frustrating to watch really. Time and again the ball would go out to Wilkshire on the right, who would put in floated crosses to the back post from 30 yards out, and the Thai keeper and defenders dealt with it very comfortably.
2nd half changes and Kennedy equliser: Clearly Holger gave the boys a rev up a half time because almost immediatly at the start of the 2nd half the possession and territory continued, however the crosses were no longer coming from 30 yards out, the wide men got to the by-line more often and got more telling crosses in. The crosses however gradually started to decrease with the ball being played into feet far more often with more successful results. Australia’s dominace for the 1st quarter hour of the 2nd half paid off with an equaliser coming from towering striker Josh Kennedy in the 58th minite. Former Roar star McKay got himself foward and had a striker across the keeper from about 15 yards out which the keeper couldnt handle, and the J-League’s top scorer got himself a tap in for the eqauliser. Not long after that Cahill had a fair goal imo ruled out for a so called foul on the goalkeeper from a corner from Wilkshire and had another header saved right on the line with some fans believing that the keeper may have carried it across the line.
Brosque wins it for Australia:
With only 5 or so minites remaining it was looking as though the socceroos wouldhave to settle with starting their road to Rio with just a point, until former Brisbane player Alex Brosque (who got a somewhat surprising warm reception) popped up with the winning goal. The goal itself came again from a cross from McKay who attempted to pick out Kennedy, who failed to make proper contact with the ball, however luckily it dropped to the feet of the former Roar and Sydney FC striker now playing in the J-League to place the ball into the opposite corner and seal the 3 points for Australia that many before the game thought was a foregone conclusion.
The Roar effect: Rangers bound midfielder Matt McKay was the only former Brisbane player to start the game in his farewell to Suncorp Stadium, however he did so at the unfamilar postion of left back a role where he got himself 2 assists, but also had a lapse in concentration for Thailands goal. The former Roar charger to make the biggest impact on the game was Alex Brosque who netted the winner, and his 1st goal for the national team. Another former attacker in Robbie Kruse also made an appearnce of the substitute bench with approximatly 20 minites to play and looked shart. Michael Zullo, Adam Sarota and Luke Devere all warmed up at varying points of the 2nd half, however neither of the trio were able to get on the park. Towering defender Sasa Ognenovski must of missed the final 18 altogether given I never saw him warming up at the Caxton st end all evening.
Scorecard from Football Austraia website:
Australia: 2 (Kennedy 58, Brosque 86)
Thailand: 1 (Dangda 10)
Crowd: 24,540 at Suncorp Stadium