Friday, December 12, 2008

Finally Something to Read on the Internet.

Sorry to all the many (maybe double figures?) people waiting so long for a post on this thing. But not a lot has been happening for the Socceroos, well nothing that might have put my lazy arse into gear to post something. Here's a rundown of what has been happening in vague terms.

Harry Kewell, has continued to score, got one last week end then took the next flight to Sydney to see his surgeon, nothing new there.

Bruce Djite has scored again for his Turkish club.

Tim Cahill has been playing but has missed a couple of sitters recently, still to regain his true form after the early season foot fracture.

Carney still not getting a game for Sheffield in the English Championship looks to move in the January transfer window.

Also in the English championship, perhaps unsurprisingly Crystal Palace's Nicky Carle feels he's playing well enough to be in the Socceroos, who would you leave out though for this show pony.

At long last Mark Viduka has returned after an Archilles' injury for Newcastle and played pretty well off the bench, hopefully still an option for the roos come WC 2010.

Moore has played for the Queensland Roar since surgery for testicular cancer, hopefully the door remains open for him at the socceroos.

Jade North is going to play in Korea next season instead of being a marquee player for the next new franchise in the A-league.

Lucas Neil continues the charm offensive by asking for more cash from West Ham despite being one of their highest paid players.

At the moment there is the FIFA Club World Cup in Tokyo, don't know much about the relevance of the knockout competition, but the Adelaide Reds are in it. Last night they defeated Waitakere United 2-1 in a come from behind victory, this sets up a rematch with Gamba Osaka who beat them in the two leg final of the AFC 5-0. They will need to play a lot better to be competitive against the Japanese, Waitakere United are only a semi-pro team and they pushed Adelaide until Dodd's 82nd minute set piece header.

Australia's qualification for the next Asian cup begins next month against Indonesia in Jakarta. Pim wants his Euro stars but one would imagine the A (league) team can take care of these guys, I love it when a plan comes together.

Feel free to add comments, I'm sure there's plenty of stuff left out of this.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Schwarzter, Bresciano & Kennedy steal win

The Socceroos came into the match against Bahrain full of confidence. This vanished however after kick off and the Socceroos were completely out played. Bahrain had plenty of chances all game, some of them the were very unlucky to score from. Jaycee John their 23 year old Nigerian born striker was causing havoc for Schwartzer all game. The Socceroos for much of the game didn't give themselves any chances, Harry Kewell sprayed a header wide shortly after half time from a David Carney cross. Everyone thought by the 90min mark this game was going to be a lucky nil all draw for the Socceroos. But two and a half minutes into the three minutes of stoppage time a long ball was played by Schwartzer and headed on from Kennedy manage to catch the defense of guard and put Bresciano through the offside trap. Bresciano seemed to dribble slowly and hesitate as the defense and keeper was catching up on him. He calmly placed the over the keeper into the top of the net from just inside the box and celebrated the goal with his patented Spartacus celebration.

Australia was lucky this game, but they did keep Bahrain scoreless and when you do that you can win a lot more easily. What are your thoughts?

Group A P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Australia 3 3 0 0 6 0 6 9
2 Japan 3 2 1 0 7 3 4 7
3 Qatar 4 1 1 2 4 8 -4 4
4 Bahrain 3 0 1 2 3 5 -2 1
5 Uzbekistan 3 0 1 2 1 5 -4 1

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What will Become of Bahrain?

A win in this match will maintain our number one status in the qualifying group. We will be at least 2 points clear possibly 4 points, with 5 games to go, 3 at home.

A draw means we're equal leader on points, or possibly 2 points clear.

A loss means we're 1 point up or down.

A good start can be made a great start with a win or at least a draw in this crucial qualifier. I think we can do this, the time difference to Europe is only 3 hours or so. Australia's class should undo what will be a fierce opponent with it's last chance to make it in this group.

Group A P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Australia 2 2 0 0 5 0 5 6
2 Japan 2 1 1 0 4 3 1 4
3 Qatar 3 1 1 1 4 5 -1 4
4 Bahrain 2 0 1 1 3 4 -1 1
5 Uzbekistan 3 0 1 2 1 5 -4 1

Nov 19 2008
Qatar vs Japan
Bahrain vs Australia
UAE vs Iran
Saudi Arabia vs South Korea

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Bahrain Tactics

What strategy do you think PIM VERBEEK will employ?

Everyone knows Bahrain is playing for 3 points, they are sitting equal last on 1 point on the bottom of group A and is going to throw everything at us.
Pim really has three choices in terms of tactics: defend, attack or counter attack (defend then hit them on the break).
A bad coach would say, "they are going to attack, we will 'Defend', they will become angry and score an own goal or we will get the draw, if we defend well enough that is", Pim will not do this (i hope). Its really a dumb negative move.
The coach of the Gamba Osaka against Adelaide United in the final of the ACL went into the game with a 3-0 home leg victory, played 'Attack' and got the away goals needed to make victory certain. Pim could do this, however this is not a two legged knock out or final. This is a round robin pool match.
From the players available and according to the media Pim is far more likely to 'Counter Attack' & play like he did against the Uzbeks last time around. Harry Kewell up front, with Bresciano, Cahill (according to him he's fit to play) and Holman just behind. Culina and Valerie in defensive midfield and Carny (left fullback), Coyne (left centreback), Neill (right centreback) and Wilkshire (right fullback) making up the back 4.
My main problem with this is apart from Harry Kewell, we are missing geniune counter attacking footballers, without Chipperfeild and Emerton (we had them last time) we lack pace and width to run around them. Unless Sterjovski starts this tactic seems like it wont work as effectively as last time.
I would prefer we play with the same tactics as our demolition of Qatar, get some away goals and prove we can do it away from home as well as at home. Like i previously posted start with a 4-2-3-1 formation with Kennedy up front, Kewell (left), Cahill (centre) and Sterjovski (right) behind, Culina (right of middle) and Bresciano (left of middle) in defensive midfielder roles and the same back 4 as above.
We've proven we have a team that can play beautifully, so why not play beautifully. I don't want to stay up at 2am and watch us wait for the other team to miss a shot to try and score. I want to see the Socceroos showing that beating Holland wasn't a fluke and that we can and will do it again.
What are your thoughts?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Kewell Heads In, Emerton Hamstrings Out, Cahill In Doubt, McDonald Virused Out

Emerton will miss the Socceroos class with Bahrain this Thursday with a soft hamstring injury. Obviously Blackburn Rovers cannot afford him getting another brace for the Socceroos.

Tim Cahill, is also in doubt with a heel injury. After Cahill's recent foot injuries I'm pretty sure Everton will not let him play despite him coming to Bahrain with the squad. Emerton in the past have not release Cahill for international matches, although this one fell on a international date.

Scott McDonald has a virus, probably influenza and cant fly to the squad, let alone play. He didn't play in Celtic's last match, so a plausible excuse.

Harry Kewell scored for Galatasary again, that's his 7th in 13 appearances. Last night he scored off a corner, seemed to miss time his arrival, but jumped backwards and headed forwards to score(watch the video).

World Cup Qualifier Bahrain v Australia
Thursday 20th November kickoff 02:00 am (on Foxsports 1).

OzzyFootball tip Sterjovski, to take Emertons spot on the right wing. And HOLMAN to take Cahill's Shadow striking attacking midfielder role.

Previously would have tipped Wilkshire to move forward and have another right fullback, but with the defense being so solid last game and having it already disrupted with Chipperfield and Moore being swapped for Carney and Coyne respectively you can see why some stability in this area would be important.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Craig Moore has testicular cancer

No Joke.
The 32-year-old was diagnosed last Thursday and underwent the procedure on the on Tuesday.
This means he will not play for the Socceroos against Bahrain. Ozzyfootball hopes Moore will have more luck with his balls and Coyne will take his place in the starting team.
A picture of the areas testicular cancer can effect is below.
Hopefully Moore returns lighter and therefore better, like Lance Armstrong.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Retirement Stoppervics Tony Popovic

I thought he'd either make himself available for the Socceroos again, or retire.
He's retired for Sydney FC as of now but will stay on as Kosmina's assistant coach.
Popovic is truly a great socceroo and these are my three most memorable moments of Popovic brilliance:
1. Scored the winner goal against England from a Lazaridis cross when we historically beat them away from home in 2003.
2. Scored what looked to be the winner in the last minutes of his own retirement match, he went off with lots of cheers, then his replacement scored an own goal and tied the game. (see photo).
3. He elbowed Recoba in the face from behind when he was the last defender and only copped yellow card... Australia went on to tie the series, win on penalties and go to Germany, where Popovic got a tournament ending injury...
He will be sorely missed.
In remembrance of him check out this hilarious youtube of his Crystal Palace days, this is Nicky Carle skill.

Comment on what you remember most about the Unstoppovic Tony Popovic.

Socceroos Squad will bring down 'the rain' in Manama

Mark Bresciano, Jacob Burns, Tim Cahill, David Carney, Chris Coyne, Jason Culina, Bruce Djite, Brett Emerton, Adam Federici, Richard Garcia, Vince Grella, Brett Holman, Josh Kennedy, Harry Kewell, Scott McDonald, Craig Moore, Lucas Neill, Michael Petkovic, Mark Schwarzer, Matthew Spiranovic, Shane Stefanutto, Mile Sterjovski, Carl Valeri, Luke Wilkshire.

Make up the 24 man squad to play Bahrain in Manama on Thursday the 20th of November. Will probably be only on Foxsports but I'm not sure of that or the time played yet.

Only Grella isn't a good chance of playing in this game. He's been added to the squad just in case he's miraculously healed, If they didn't put him in the squad and Kennedy performed a miracle on him he wouldn't be able to be flown over for the game.

Only one injury concern for Australia will make this game a possibly goal scoring cracker, maybe not as big as the 32-0 thrashing of American Samoa, but I'm guessing at least 4 goals for the socceroos.

The following is the Ozzy Football's choice of players and formation with Grella missing due to his hamstring injury.

What do you think? Tell us.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mcdonald Scores Against Christiano and Co.

Celtic marksman Scott Mcdonald scored to put his team ahead in their home UEFA champions League tie against Manchester Utd. It occurred in the thirteenth minute, a sublime lob from inside the box, United stand-in keeper Ben Foster had no chance. United pegged it back in the sixth minute after half time, with Giggs heading home a keeper parried strike from CRonaldo.

It was a welcome for the home team after losing 3-0 away the last time they met ManYoo. Celtic manager Gordon Strachan had special praise for Mcdonald:

"It looked like calm finish from Scott.

"But what he has done in recent weeks has been phenomenal. He lost all his striking partners and he has tried to keep it going.

"He can be really pleased with himself. I wanted to keep him on as our experienced striker but he couldn't raise a gallop at the end."

Galatasaray ace Harry Kewell has a "hairline toe fracture" and been sidelined for UEFA Cup matchday 2, away to Benfica,Thursday (Friday morning AEDT). Dissapointing for both club and country given his hot form, scoring goals in the last two games including the winner on matchday one against Olympiakos.

He will apparently could be available for their w/e league match away to Fenerbahce but I doubt he will play, unless it's not really a fracture and they're just resting him.

Oh, and in worse news, the Adelaide Reds were beaten 3-0 away to J-League side Gamba Osaka in the first leg of the Asian Champions League Final. Apparently outplayed, but not without their own chances, Adelaide managed an own goal but not a goal of their own. People haven already started engraving Gamba Osaka name on the trophy and even the Australian media is stating that it's unlikely that Adelaide can score 4 goals in the return tie at home. But we don't need 4 goals, if Adelaide score 3 we can go to overtime and penalties. Scoring 3-0 in ninety minutes is an outside chance, but coming to an away venue with a lead to defend can do things to your mind. Gamba Osaka's coach will know they can't play too defensively so will obviously go for the early goal, to kill the game off. If Adelaide can use this time to catch them on the counter then game on, also don't forget the value of jet lag against teams flying all the way from Japan.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Kewell Scores, Djite In, The Holman Delivers.

Another hectic week across Europe for our far flung socceroos.

Kewell continues to score for Galatasaray, netting the opener in a 3-1 league win over Gaziantepspor. The hot form continues for the left footed dynamo, subbed in the 63rd minute although hopefully only as a precaution. Good to see from the lad given all the "contraversy", he lets his boots do the talking.

In another Turkish league game Bruce Djite scored a consolation goal as his team Genclerbirligi lost 2-1 to Antalyaspor. His strike came just after half time, with Genclerbirligi already down by two goals.

Ozzy Football's favourite Brett Holman scored for his Dutch team AZ Alkmaar in a 3-3 draw away to Heerenveen. Coming off the bench in the in the 46th minute Holman put his team in the lead with a neat one two move. Holman played the ball through to his team mate on the edge of the box who one timed a bobbling pass laterally for the Aussie strike to run on and sweetly volley home, glancing off the right hand upright. The result puts AZ on top of the Dutch league on goal difference, ahead of Ajax and NAC Breda. Culina's PSV Einhoven secured a 2-0 win at home to Willem II Tilber in another Dutch league game.

Cahill's Everton squeaked home 1-0 winners over Fulham at Goodison Park. Fulham's Mark Schwartzer kept Everton out until substitue Louis Saha grabbed the winner. Apparently Cahill missed a sitter but set one up that was saved by Schwartzer, so all good then.

Marko Bresciano playing for Palermo, was sent off early in the 2nd half after receiving a second yellow card against Chievo Verona. His team was already ahead by three goals by that stage and managed to hold that advantage until the final whistle. Palermo had only taken one point from their last three games, so this was important for them, pity Bresciano took an early shower.

In contrast Celtic's Scott Mcdonald was fouled with a clear scoring opportunity by Inverness Caladonian defender Marius Zaliukas prompting a red card. The resulting penalty was missed by some other Celt (Paul Hartley) but it mattered not as Celtic was already 2-0 up and that's how the scoreline remained.

And that's about it for Aussie Footballers in Europe for now...

Friday, October 31, 2008

Chippers not so Chipper

So a few developments with Socceroos players.

Harry Kewell has hepatitis, although his condition is thought to be likely genetic and certainly uninfectious, he's had it since he played for Leeds. So no real story except some journalist thought it was juicy. One interesting quote came from Kewell's manager Bernie Mandic told
"Bottom line, Harry does not have and has never had any infectious disease,"
He must be some kind of superhero.

Scott Chipperfield is to undergo surgery for a urinary tract infection (ouch), which means he'll be out until January. It's an annoying set back for another Aussie scoring regularly for his club Basel. Although they have lost three games in the Champions League, Chipperfield is Basel's joint leading scorer having struck four times in 10 Swiss Super League matches this season. Obviously he will miss the Bahrain match for the Socceroos.

Scott Mcdonald scored the opener for Celtic, as they cruised past Kilmarnock in their recent Scottish Cup quarter-final clash. It was a neat header from a cross, beating his man to the ball Mcdonald gave the keeper little chance. It's good to have players who can work a set piece. Speaking of which, team mate Japan midfielder Nakamura knocked in a free kick sweetly with his left. Something to look ot for when we meet them in qualifying.

Luke Wilkshire scored for Dinamo but it was too little too late as they went down 3-1 to city rivals, and league leaders CSKA Moscow.

That's about it, feel free to post stuff I might have missed.

Check this video of Chipperfield rejecting a Brazilian jersey.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Djite and Troisi Delight Turkish Club Genclerbirlig with Draw

Two fringe members of the socceroos, Bruce Djite and James Troisi, both scored in a 2-2 draw for their Turkish club Genclerbirlig. So it seems Turkey delights other attack minded Aussies securing a league draw away to Denizlispor. Both goals were scored in the first half and both put Genclerbirlig in the lead.

Elswhere Scott mcdonald set up a goal for Cillian Sheridan and came close to scoring one himself in Cetics 4-2 win over fellow SPL side Hibernian.

In the EPL, Richard Garcia played 12 minutes plus injury time to round out Hulls 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion. Emerton and Grella both played in Blackburn's 1-0 loss to Middlesborough. Cahill is still suspended..

In the English championship, Sterjovski scored for Derby although they were beaten 3-2 by Blackpool.

Has anyone seen how Emmo and Vinnie go together at Blackburn? I haven't caught a match or even any footage of it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Kewell penetrates the Greecey box.

No puns intended.

The lean turkish club Galatasary, has beaten a sluggish Greecey Olympiakos outfit 1 - 0 in thier UEFA Cup Match last night.

Socceroo Superstar Harry Kewell scored the winner with a glancing header off a corner.

The Game was played at Ali Sami Yen stadium and brought in about 45,000 in attendance.

Check out the below video for what the game was like, also, leave a comment.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bahrain and Japan, Socceroos go for Road Double

I was looking at the table and the schedule of matches for the Socceroo's qualifying campaign for yet another World Cup in South Africa and noticed how spread out the games are. We've got one more game this year on the 19th of November in Bahrain, then one next February, one in April then three in June over 11 days. Then I started looking at the two nearest fixtures in more detail.

The Socceroo's latest victory puts them on top of the ladder, always a good place to be. The next match is against Bahrain away, the same night Japan are away to Qatar. This means that if Australia win and the other match is a draw, we would be four points clear of Japan. Either way it goes, this next round will shape how easy it will be for Australia to qualify. That's why I think most Aussie players will make themselves available for this fixture. I'm pretty sure it's not in an international window for the European players, but they know how much more easily they could sleep if we can get some more away points and continue to rough house this group.

Next game is (11th of February) Japan at home, if we can sneak a draw or a win there we will be in a strong position, I just keep thinking if the Socceroos win both, we will be at least five points clear of our nearest rival. With only one more away game (Qatar- Ha-ha) amongst three at home to follow, this is a scenario that would make us Australian Soccer fans sleep a little easier too.

Japan away is the bigger test, although we most recently lost to them at the Asian Cup, we can draw on the memories of Germany. Most of the same players are with the squad too, should be a good game regardless of result, with both teams chasing three points.

I don't know about Bahrain though, anyone know much about this team? Japan recently took three points off them in Manama, but Bahrain took three off them during the previous phase of qualifying. Australia beat them twice in qualifying for the Asian Cup, but apparently that was their under 23 side. This is being touted as a banana skin for the Aussies, as long as their isn't too much home ground advantage, ie food poisoning, I think with a full strength team we will win it. All I really want though is for the game to be televised at a regular hour its on a Wednesday for crying out loud.

Flag of Australia Flag of Bahrain Flag of Japan Flag of Qatar Flag of Uzbekistan
Australia 10 Jun '09 17 Jun '09 4 – 0 1 Apr '09
Bahrain 19 Nov '08 2 – 3 1 Apr '09 17 Jun '09
Japan 11 Feb '09 28 Mar '09 10 Jun '09 1 – 1
Qatar 6 Jun '09 1 – 1 19 Nov '08 3 – 0
Uzbekistan 0 – 1 11 Feb '09 6 Jun '09 28 Mar '09

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Australia 2 2 0 0 5 0 +5 6
Japan 2 1 1 0 4 3 +1 4
Qatar 3 1 1 1 4 5 −1 4
Bahrain 2 0 1 1 3 4 −1 1
Uzbekistan 3 0 1 2 1 5 −4 1

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Socceroos Smash them like Air Qatars

Austalia Four, Qatar Zero.
(i think we get to name their country now)

Emerton got a double,

Kennedy got a double assist and a header,

Cahill scored the opener and a drew a foul in the box.

Could this game have been any better.
Yes but only slightly, it could have had Jesus Kennedy healing Kewell and Viduka and Hollman could have got another falcon.

The Goals:

1. Australia had monopolised possession on the sodden surface and had already set alarm bells ringing in the Qatar penalty area on a few occasions before Luke Wilkshire, looking increasingly assured in the right-back role Verbeek has settled him in, combined with Brett Emerton.
Wilkshire took a return pass from the Blackburn utility and flighted a cross into the penalty area, which was headed on by David Carney then touched wide by Josh Kennedy into space where Cahill lashed home in the far corner, giving Qatar's stand-in goalkeeper Abdul Aziz Ali no chance.

2. Australia doubled their advantage eight minutes later, and again Cahill was a central figure in winning a penalty. Emerton's cross was delivered to the far post and as Cahill leapt acrobatically to try and volley, Qatar centre-back Abdullah Koni made contact with the Australian midfielder.
Emerton stepped forward and drove to his left. Aziz guessed the right way and got a hand to the ball but could only deflect it into his own net.

3. The thrid goal came after more possession dominance from Australia, The ball was tapped around beautifully until Australia had an over lap on the right wing, Kennedy laid a perfect ball onto the running Emerton. Emerton approached the ball in the top corner of the goalie-box and slotted it first time into the out streched keeper, who looked to have saved it, but it rolled powerfully spinning back into the left post and into the back of the net.

4. The last goal came after more beautiful play from the Aussies, it looked a similar build up to their last goal, however, the Aussies took the second phase option spread it back first, then down the right wing, then lobbed a cross into Kennedy, who had two defenders on him. At this point for some reason, the Qatar keeper charged to catch the ball. I dont think Kennedy noticed, because he still finished it next to the post. Kennedy looked very pleased and then Cahill jumped on him.

The Australians played very much the formation we expected, 4-5-1, or 4-4-2, depending on whether you view Scott Mcdonald or Cahill as another striker. It was a back 4 (from left to right) of Chipperfeild, Neil, Moore, Wilkshire. Defensive midfeild was Culina, Carney on the left, Emerton on the right, and Cahill and Mcdonald in the Attacking midefielfer and Shaddow Striking roles. And there was of course ozzyfootball's own Jesus Kennedy up front.

The only injury concern was fullback Scott Chipperfield, withdrawn at halftime against Qatar with soreness.

This team played so well you might see Kewell coming off the bench in the future and Viduka definatlty wouldn't be a certain to play if fit.

It was one of the best games I have seen, bar the Japan come from behind after a dubious takle on Schwartzer.

Kennedy is my MOTM, who was yours?
Want to see the goals? check out this sweet youtube!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Viduka for 2010?

With all this talk about Viduka wanting to come back and play for the roos when he's fit, its got me to thinking, what would the team be like if he and everyone else was fit?

Here's my idea.
This sucks for Bresciano, Culina and Grella, I'd really like to have Grella there, but then you have to get rid of someone else. What socceroos team would you like to see play in the future, near or far?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Vidukan't the Socceroos Can!

Injured Socceroo striker Mark Viduka has joined the Australian squad in Brisbane, not that there's any chance of him playing. He was consulting with the Socceroo's medical staff to help overcome a troublesome Achilles injury that has had him sidelined from Newcastle United in the EPL. Although this injury is likely to see him miss up to six months of competitive football, his presence in Brisbane is the strongest indicator yet that the door has not closed on his international career.

The Socceroos play Qatar on Wednesday, a game that if won should put them on top of the standings for the final group of qualifying. Australia are favourites, but Qatar are a different team this time with a new coach and most likely some new ideas.

The make up of our team is becoming more clear Neill, Moore and fellow veterans Scott Chipperfield and Brett Emerton were missing from Monday night’s training session. So it seems that perhaps Moore has pipped Coyne for the starting central defensive role. Carney trained in LMF while Chippers was preferred in the LB in previous sessions. All of this may be irrelevant as it's in Verbeek's interest to keep the opposition guessing as to the make up of his side.

I can't wait to see this one, hopefully a cracking game with lots of goals (for us). A lot will depend on our ability to contain Qatar's main offensive threat Sebastian Soria Quintana. Born in Uruguay, a fact that should add some extra incentive for our boys. Our main threats will be a red hot Cahill and our obvious height advantage in Kennedy. Both of these players scored against Qatar last time we won in Australia, and perhaps could have got a hat full. If we can get crosses/corners and quality balls (thanks Wilkshire) we will put Qatar under all sorts of pressure.

Go the Socceroos! Or as we at Ozzy Football like to call them, Jesus and Pals.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Red Hot Adelaide Beat Bunyodkor

Adelaide have defeated fancied opponents Bunyodkor 3-0 in the first leg of the AFC champions league in what continues to be a historical campaign for the A-League team.

Playing against a team that included the Brazilian (fading) superstar Rivaldo and coached by the legendary Zico the Reds were determined not to let emotion cloud their desire for a home victory. The most telling sign of this was a fantastic tackle by Robert Cornthwaite (pictured) in which he won the ball, a free kick and muscled Rivaldo to the ground forcing him off for treatment.

Adelaide were somewhat fortunate to get the result, at half time the score was 0-0 and the tourists had the run of the play. The second half was different with regards to the score, but for most neutrals, the Uzbeks had a more dominant performance. Finishing with more possession and more shots, they may feel somewhat cheated, but anyone who follows football knows that in the beautiful game, goals are all that matters. Another telling statistic was Adelaide had zero corners for the entire game, weird for a game when they put three past the goal keeper.

Adelaide's goals were something to behold though, at least the first two. Both were manufactured by Brazilian Cassio with sweet left footed crosses. The first (57m) hit the chest of his compatriot Diego, centrally, on the edge of the box. Diego produced a magnificent first touch to chest down and volley from the penalty spot, all on the run, fizzing the ball into the right corner. The second (76m) went to the far post where Travis Dodd out jumped two defenders heading on to Fabian Barbiero who put his classy header past the helpless keeper. For Adelaide's third goal a flying Cassio was somewhat softly fouled while running full pace at goal, just inside the box. The subsequent penalty was stroked home by Christiano (another Brazilian) in the 88th minute, sealing a somewhat unlikely rout.

The next leg is in Tashkent on the 22nd of October, which will be a tough ask for the Uzbeks, needing a 4-0 scoreline to beat Adelaide on aggregate. The final will be against either Gamba Osaka and fellow J-League team Urawa Red Diamonds (drew 1-1 overnight). Where will Adelaide's seemingly destined run end?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Dutch Beek Culls 7 Roos

Verbeek cuts the squad to 28 for the Qatar match on the 15th of October.

Kewell, Bresciano and Grella have been omitted due to injury.
And four A-league players have been released.

The squad stands as this:
Jacob BURNS FC Unirea Valahorum Romania
Tim CAHILL Everton England
David CARNEY Sheffield United FC England
Scott CHIPPERFIELD FC Basel Switzerland
Robert CORNTHWAITE Adelaide United Australia
Chris COYNE Colchester United FC England
Jason CULINA PSV Eindhoven Netherlands
Bruce DJITE Genclerbirligi SK Turkey
Brett EMERTON Blackburn Rovers England
Eugene GALEKOVIC Adelaide United Australia
Richard GARCIA Hull City FC England
Brett HOLMAN AZ Alkmaar Netherlands
Scott JAMIESON Adelaide United Australia
Mile JEDINAK Central Coast Mariners Australia
Josh KENNEDY Karlsruher SC Germany
Scott MCDONALD Celtic FC Scotland
Craig MOORE Queensland Roar Australia
Stuart MUSIALIK Sydney FC Australia
Lucas NEILL West Ham United FC England
Jade NORTH Newcastle Jets Australia
Michael PETKOVIC Sivasspor Turkey
Paul REID Adelaide United Australia
Mark SCHWARZER Fulham FC England
Matthew SPIRANOVIC FC Nurnberg Germany
Shane STEFANUTTO FC Lyn Oslo Norway
Mile STERJOVSKI Derby County FC England
Archie THOMPSON Melbourne Victory Australia
Luke WILKSHIRE FK Dinamo Moscow Russia

Still no Nicky Carle, what are your thoughts, I'm not a fan. I think even without making the team he's overrated.

Revised Ozzy Football team to play Qatar selection:

Goal Keeper: Mark Schwarzer.
Centre Backs: Craig Moore, Lucas Neil.
Wing Backs: Scott Chipperfield, Luke Wilkshire.
Defensive Midfeilder: Jason Culina.
Centre Midfeilder: Tim Cahill
Winger Midfeilders: Brett Emerton, David Carney
Shadow Striker: Scott McDonald/Holman. (Beek can make that decision)
Striker: Josh Kennedy (c)

with Spiranovic, Sterovski, North or Holman/McDonald to play off the bench depending on the situation.

Tell us what you think?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sticky Verbeek names 35 Man Squad

Socceroos Squad:
Mark Bresciano, Jacob Burns, Tim Cahill, David Carney, Scott Chipperfield, Shannon Cole, Robert Cornthwaite, Ante Covic, Chris Coyne, Jason Culina, Bruce Djite, Brett Emerton, Eugene Galekovic, Richard Garcia, Vincenzo Grella, Brett Holman, Scott Jamieson, Mile Jedinak, Josh Kennedy, Harry Kewell, Scott Mcdonald, Craig Moore, Stuart Musialik, Lucas Neill, Jade North, Michael Petkovic, Paul Reid, Mark Schwarzer, Matt Simon, Matthew Spiranovic, Shane Stefanutto, Mile Sterjovski, Archie Thompson, Alex Wilkinson, Luke Wilkshire

Pretty massive squad, can't really argue with it, Verbeek seems to have covered all bases.
Impossible to tell who will end up playing in the game against Qatar on 15th October in Brisbane.

This is the Ozzy Football team for that game (based on this squad of course, without injury as an issue):
Goal Keeper: Mark Schwarzer.
Centre Backs: Craig Moore (QLD give him super powers..."roar"...), Lucas Neil.
Wing Backs: Scott Chipperfield, Luke Wilkshire.
Defensive Midfeilder: Vince Grella.
Centre Midfeilder: Tim Cahill
Winger Midfeilders: Brett Emerton, David Carney
Shadow Striker: Harry Kewell.
Striker: Josh Kennedy

Possibly used subs (not just on the bench to make up the numbers) : Marko Bresciano, Scott McDonald, Jason Culina, Mile Sterjovski, Chris Coyne, Matthew Spiranovic.

Any Arguments on this team? seems to be so symmetrical, attack can come from everywhere. even Neil is in goal scoring touch.

Here's a youtube of some pretty magic stuff, Bresciano's and Chipperfield's are my favourite.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kewell Injured Again?

In the previously reported game for Galatasaray Harry Kewell suffered a groin strain. Although it is not considered too serious, it was enough to see him substituted in the 70th minute. Details are still a little sketchy but club officials have warned that if he isn't fit for this weekends cup match, he won't be released for the World Cup qualifier against Qatar (Brisbane Oct15th). It's disappointing news for the Socceroo ace who has scored 5 times in 8 games for his newly joined Turkish club.

In other news, Everton have vowed to fight Tim Cahill's red card, which at the time only seemed worth a yellow at best.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Harry Kewell stuffs Turkey with Delights

Australia's most popular and well known footballer, Harry Kewell, has scored another goal for his Turkish club 'Galatasaray' as they scored another 4 -1 victory, this time against 'Konyaspor'.

Baros opened the scoring with an absolute stunner in the top right corner, the keeper just watched it hammer into both posts simultaneously and drop into the bottom of the net. (need to watch that)

After the first goal Konyaspor equalised off a loose ball from a corner and a weak shot that rolled through everyone to hit the back of the net.

The third goal of the game came from a cross that found two people on the end of it, One of them mis-headed it and put the keeper off the other finished, kinda looked like a volleyball play. It was a spectacular way to go 2-1 up.

The fourth goal put Galatasary in a 3-1 position. Baros got a good pass and showed great dribbling and pace to cause a one on one with the keeper, which he slotted underneath the helpless glove man. Not as great as his first goal, but did well not to pass to his offside open team mate for the tap in. This goal gave Baros another brace for Galatasary, who obviously love ex-liverpool players.

The fifth goal of the game was the Harry Kewell goal, he got a dangerous cross/through ball, over the top of the defence, took one touch the right to beat the defender and took it on his right foot from a tough angle past the keeper. The keeper looked stupid on this one as there should not have been room along the ground from a shot from this angle. Kewell did well all the same, if the keeper had have saved it, it probably would have fallen for another team mate running through.

Kewell now has three goals from five league games.

Galatasary sit third on their table 2 points behind first.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mcdonald and Wilkshire Fly the Flag.

Everton's Sydney born goal machine has got the scorers attention but not a goal, as the Mersey side derby went the way of Liverpool 2-0. Fernando Torres secured the win and a brace, while Cahill was sent off in the 80th minute for a clumsy if not innocuous tackle on Xabi Alonso.

In other news Lucas Neil manages not to suck to much as West Ham squeaked home 2-1 over Fulham.

Richard Garcia came off the bench as newly promoted Hull had a shock win over Arsenal 2-1.

Scott McDonald scored an equaliser in a game Celtic eventually won 3-2 over Aberdeen.

Luke Wilkshire scored an equalising penalty in the 90th minute to help Dynamo Moscow to a 3-3 draw with fellow Russian side Kryliya Sovetov.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cornthwaite Headbutts Antlers out of AFC CL

Robert Cornthwaite has helped Adelaide Utd create A-League history, edging past Japanese champions Kashima Antlers in the second leg of their quarter final 1-0. This is the first A league team to make it to the semifinals of the AFC champions league, where they will face Bunyodkor of Uzbekistan on October 8 and 22.

The first leg of the tie was played in Japan, a match that was a lucky draw for the home team. Leading by one goal to nil Cornthwaite clumsily slammed home an own goal close to the end of play. The second game was seemingly all Adelaide's, after sqandering several tap ins they finally found a goal through Cornthwaite's diving header meeting a crisp cross in the 73rd minute.

Happy to be on the right side of the scorers margin, Cornthwaite was relieved and ecstatic after the ignominy of his Japan performance.

“It’s something I’ll remember for a long time,” the rangy full back said.
“It was like scripted for me after what happened in the first leg.
“Scoring an own goal in Japan was disappointing and to come home to Adelaide where I’m from in front of friends and family and put us through to the semis was an amazing feeling.
“As right full-back part of my job is to get forward whenever I can.
“Just before the goal I went forward in search of the ball to put in a cross.
“But the ball went to the other side of the ground and there was no one up there.
“So I thought I needed to get myself into the box. Jason Spagnuolo made a great run to the front post and the cross went over the top of him but luckily for me I got in front of the defender and the keeper could not hold on to the ball and it went in.”

Monday, September 22, 2008

Kewell, Cahill and Beauchamp at it again

All Scoring for their respective clubs.

Tim Cahill sparked an Everton fightback with his second goal in as many English Premier League games since returning from injury as the Toffees drew 2-2 at Hull today.
Apparently it was a bad decision and his shot against the post never crossed the line.... that's our Cahill, I have to see it, youtube here i come.

Kewell got another for Galatasaray, who beat Kocaelispor in Turkey 4-1. His goal was the last one for the game and happened in the 82nd minute. Baros scored another brace for the Turks, maybe they will rename him back to Constantinople.

Michael Beauchamp scored an own goal as Aalborg lost 3-0 to FC Copenhagen. See below post about his red card, they must love him in Denmark, he's the new Guus.
Anyone Remember the own goal he scored against Popovic FC?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

UEFA Cup - Kewell Scores, Everton Draws.

Socceroo Harry Kewell has scored again for his new Turkish club Galatasary. In their opening game of the UEFA cup, Turkish champions Galatasary secured an invaluable away win to Swiss side Bellinzona. Kewell's strike came in the 39th minute, receiving the long ball wide in the box, he calmly slotted it past the keeper with a ferocious swing of his trusty left hoof. The goal both opened the scoring and equalised for the Turks. The score line see sawed during the match with fellow ex-liverpool player Milan Baros scoring twice for the home team. The winner was eventually scored in injury time through a fortuidous deflection leaving little chance for the Swiss teams keeper, putting the final score at 3-4 after an enthralling match.

Tim Cahill's Everton was also in UEFA cup action at home to Belgian side Standard Liege, a thoroughly entertaining match ended in a two all draw. Everton came from behind twice to secure what is ultimately a disappointing result against what most would consider an inferior side.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Lowy Appointed to World Cup Organising Commitee

In a boost to Australia (maybe one day) getting a home world cup, rich old soccer nut Frank Lowy has been appointed to the World Cup organising committee. A committee apparently responsible for every aspect of the world cup competition, this may now extend Lowy's influence further than the next dutch super coach and chartered Qantas flight.

In his own words:

“I am very honoured to be appointed to this important FIFA Committee,” Mr Lowy said.

“It is a privilege for me personally to be able to contribute to the organisation of the world’s biggest football tournament.

“But, more importantly, it is wonderful recognition of the growing credibility and reputation of Australia within the global football community.”

Thursday, September 18, 2008

UEFA C.L. Mcdonald vs Beauchamp

In a rare European outing for Danish outfit Aalborg, Celtic had to share the spoils in a match which had no goals, but plenty of controversy...

The match played at Parkhead Glasgow, home of ECL regulars Celtic, showcased two Aussies on opposing sides. Michael Beauchamp playing for Aalborg, a team he joined from Nuremberg this summer, slotted into defence while Scott Mcdonald started in striker for Celtic.

This was a game the home side was expected to extract full points from, having only lost once at home in the competition from fifteen games. Aalborg in comparison had lost all three away ties in their only other venture into the champions league all the way back in 95/96.

The game was going according to script when at 26 minutes Maloney was taken down in the box by Olfers leaving the referee little option but to award a penalty. However, Robson's strike was hit low and straight allowing the Danish keeper Zaza's trailing legs to adequately clear the ball.

There were plenty of opportunities for Celtic to go ahead, all squandered, while Aalborg weren't without their chances either, Celtic had the run of the play. Mcdonald was replaced in the 64th minute after a quiet night and Celtic continued to push for the win. Beauchamp was next to go when inexplicably given a straight red for a cynical last man foul was committed (obviously to most) by team mate Jakobsen, taking down a flying Samaras. Playing against ten men Celtic still failed to trouble the scorers, the game ending a disappointing 0-0.

A good result for the Danes and a frustrating one for Celtic, still leaving both teams with much to do to progress past the group stage of footballs premier competition.

Beauchamp should have his suspension transferred to his team mate on review but it adds another interesting chapter to his career with Aalborg, having already received a red in his first league match for the Danish champions in August.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Coyne, Cahill, Chipperfeild, Carney and CaptaNeil

Australia might have found the one person that make Lucas Neil play well in defence, Chris Coyne, the socceroos oldest rookie.

At just 29 years of age i can see him playing till the 2010 world cup.

Miraculously he and Neil were both able to play well for the full 90 minutes and did not give away any needless penalties. They left that job to Bresciano (who managed to get away with it), who also missed a sitter in front of goal at the end of the first half.

In other news both Cahill and Neil scored for their club teams, Everton and West Ham.
Cahill got the winner (3-2), Neil got some consolation goal off a loose ball from a corner.

All this talk of Chipperfeild stealing Carney's position, In my opinion they should be able to play in the same socceroos team. Carney isn't as good at defence as Chipperfeild and gives us an awesome left side to compliment our Emerton, Wiltshire right side.

Also apparently Carney said his Sheffield United manager was homo and probably wont play for them again.

So till next time, Go the Socceroos!
especially those who start with C, like Harry Cewell.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Socceroos Triumph in Tashkent

In a stirring performance the Socceroos have started their world cup campaign in winning fashion. A headed goal from left back Scott Chiperfield was all that was needed for Australia to edge past a somewhat unknown but highly fancied Uzbekistan side.

The goal came from an inch perfect cross supplied by utility midfielder Luke Wilkshire who did well to beat a scrambling Uzbeki defense. The game might have been sewn up by half time if not for a charitable effort from Mark Bresciano spraying wide from close range after being put through by Brett Holman.

The second half was a different story though with several chances gifted to the home team. Australia's defense held strong though with realtive newcomer Chris Coyne partenering Lucas Neil well, frustrating a talented attack until the final whistle.

Any win is vital in Australia's campaign to secure a second successive world cup finals berth, but an away win against one of the groups heavy weights is a luxury they will cherish. Also promising was the successful pairing of Carle Valeri and Jacob Burns as holding mid feilders, the latter only getting the call up hours before kickoff with expected starter Jason Culina falling ill.

Game Highlights:

With the opening game won our next opponents are Qatar in Brisbane, a team that upset Uzbekistan recently but one beaten 3-0 at home and 3-1 away in the first group stage. The away win puting the Aussies into this round of qualifying and to review the matches, they shouldn't give too much trouble this time around.