Thursday, April 2, 2009

Australia Prevail 2-0, One Foot In South Africa

Myself and Bobas were at this one, classic game for australia. Seemed like it could be a dud at half time but Jesus bailed us out as usual. You know who to have faith in..

Anyway If Qatar and Bahrain draw tonight, we are the first team qualified for South Africa 2010. I'm staying up, it will finish ~3am sydney time. Check this space... There will be a post if we're through.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Weekend Qualifier Results

So the first two results have occurred, Japan has beaten Bahrain 1-0 and the Uzbeks have thrashed Qatar 4-0.

So from here we simply need Bahrain and Qatar to draw next Wednesday, the same night tat we must beat the Uzbeks in Sydney.

Out of interest the Ubzeks started scoring when a Qatari defender was sent off in the 35th minute. Their striker, Farhod Tadjiyev, scored a hat trick while Anvar Soliev picked up one.

Nakamura scored in Japan's victory off a free kick cut back.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Formula, How We Can Qualify Next Wednesday

This isn't a very likely scenario, but still possible. Any way you look at it we're in a great position with three wins and a draw from four matches, but we can be the first team to qualify for the 2010 world cup finals with a win against the Uzbeks next Wednesday.

Everyone else is playing this weekend so all we need is for the Uzbeks to beat Qatar at home and then for for Japan to beat Bahrain away. Then on Wednesday if we beat the Uzbeks in Sydney and then Bahrain draw with Qatar a few hours later we will secure our place in the South African based WC Finals.

Although we require a bit of luck it shows how close we are with so many games yet to play.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Socceroos Team List For Uzbekistan WCQ (Kewell Included)

Michael Beauchamp (Aalborg) CB
Mark Bresciano (Palermo) CM/AMF/SMF
Jacob Burns (Unirea) CMF
Tim Cahill (Everton) CMF/AMF/CF
David Carney (Sheffield Utd, on loan at Norwich) SMF/SB
Scott Chipperfield (Basel) SB/CB/SMF
Chris Coyne (Colchester) CB
Jason Culina (PSV Eindhoven) CMF/SMF
Adam Federici (Reading)GK
Richard Garcia (Hull) CB
Brett Holman (AZ Alkmaar) AMF/CF
Mile Jedinak (Genclerbirligi) CMF
Josh Kennedy (Karlsruhe) CF
Harry Kewell (Galatasaray) AMF/SMF/CF/CB?
Scott McDonald (Celtic) CF
Lucas Neill (West Ham) CB/SB
Jade North (Incheon) CB/SB
Michael Petkovic (Sivasspor) GK
Mark Schwarzer (Fulham) GK
Mile Sterjovski (Derby) SMF
Carl Valeri (Grosseto) CMF
Luke Wilkshire (Dynamo Moscow) SB/SMF/CMF

Pretty strong squad, Kewell is red hot for Galatasaray, even excelling as a central defender in a recent UEFA Cup match. Apparently Verbeek wants to put Cahill back in the midfield for this one (thank God) speaking of which hopefully he puts his faith in Jesus as they're also saying McDOnald will start in centre forward.

We're only missing Moore, Emmerton and Grella. I'm just glad we're not relying on A-league players for this one. Especially as myself and Bobas will be at this game.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

24 A-League Players

Danny Allsopp (Melbourne), Fabian Barbiero (Adelaide United), Billy Celeski (Melbourne), Shannon Cole (Sydney FC), Robert Cornthwaite (Adelaide United), Tarek Elrich (Newcastle), Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United), Dean Heffernan (Central Coast), Scott Jamieson (Adelaide United), Ben Kantarovski (Newcastle), Matthew McKay (Queensland), Craig Moore (Queensland), Daniel Mullen (Adelaide United), Mitch Nichols (Queensland), Tom Pondeljak (Melbourne), Paul Reid (Adelaide United), Matt Simon (Central Coast), Michael Theoklitos (Melbourne), Archie Thompson (Melbourne), Matthew Thompson (Newcastle), Nikolai Topor-Stanley (Newcastle), Rodrigo Vargas (Melbourne), Danny Vukovic (Central Coast), Michael Zullo (Queensland)

The above list are the players who have been chosen to come up against Kuwait in Canberra on Thursday the 5th of March. The Match is an Asian Cup Qualifier (2011) not a World Cup Qualifier.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Nil All, Good For Qualifying, Bad for Spectators.

Pretty scrappy effort from the Socceroos, Japan out played us, had all the possession and scoring efforts. Cahill played alone up front which surprised me, he was starved of ball and we only looked a chance to score when the perennial mismatch of Kennedy came on all too late.

Puts us in a good position to qualify but made for dour viewing. The main positive to come out of it is that we're yet to concede a goal in this phase of qualifying.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Japan vs Australia WCQ

So Australia are to play Japan on the 11th of February in Tokyo. The socceroos will miss the services of Harry Kewell (still recovering from hernia surgery) and Brett Emerton (Archilles' injury). We do get Vincenzo Grella back though, the classy, hard nosed central midfielder will be crucial if we are to nullify Nakamura's influence on proceedings.

Other good news is that red hot midfielder come striker Tim Cahill will be fighting fit for it, shrewdly being rested after 77mins in Everton's 3-0 victory over Bolton. Ace striker Scott McDonald has also scored over the weekend in Celtic's 2-1 victory over Queen's Park. I noticed that the young Turkish based striker, Djite didn't make the squad, but it's only a matter of time given his recent efforts with the boot.

Viduka has just come off the bench for Newcastle, although for only 10minutes, he nearly layed one on for a team mate. It's the first time he's played since reinjuring his archilles 6 weeks ago.

The two coaches have been talking this game up, Verbeek saying that Japan's coach is scared for having closed training sessions. Japan's coach has countered this by saying that in fact, he's not. What we know for sure is that if Australia can win this one, we will have one foot in the world cup village. With such a good start to the campaign, I think Verbeek will attack, we still scare Japan after the last world cup and we can afford to lose quite frankly.

Even without Emerton and Kewell it is easy to select a midfeild from the squad list. Japan will struggle to contain our height and strength, they may have slightly better technique in the form of Celtic star Shunsuke Nakamura, as long as he has a quiet game we should be dominant. As for strikers, Kennedy is a head ache for any team tall and agile, McDonald should start alongside him an old fashioned poacher in form but still with something to prove, Cahill has played a lot of striker for Everton too. We're a bit skinny on defenders but Coyne and North have stepped into the breach next to Neill and done admirably.

I guess Japan still deserves favouritism after there recent 5-1 thumping of Finland (understrength), but that was an understrength Japan team too. I Just feel (hope!) that Australia's largely European based side will come out hard and attempt to break Japan's spirit with the knowledge that a win may just about qualify them for the WC and a loss does no great harm.

Squad List:

Mark Bresciano (Palermo, ITA)
Tim Cahill (Everton, ENG)
David Carney (Norwich City, ENG)
Scott Chipperfield (FC Basel, SWI)
Chris Coyne (Colchester United, ENG)
Jason Culina (PSV Eindhoven, HOL)
Adam Federici (Reading, ENG)
Richard Garcia (Hull City, ENG)
Vince Grella (Blackburn Rovers, ENG)
Brett Holman (AZ Alkmaar, HOL)
Mile Jedinak (Genclerbirligi SK, TUR)
Josh Kennedy (Karlsruhe, GER)
Scott McDonald (Celtic, SCO)
Craig Moore (Queensland Roar, AUS)
Lucas Neill (West Ham United, ENG)
Jade North (Incheon United, KOR)
Michael Petkovic (Sivasspor, TUR)
Mark Schwarzer (Fulham, ENG)
Shane Stefanutto (FC Lyn Oslo, NOR)
Mile Sterjovski (Derby County, ENG)
Carl Valeri (Grosseto, ITA)
Luke Wilkshire (Dinamo Moscow, RUS)

Sorry couldn't findy Japan's squad list but I know it includes most of their top class European players, I'll post it when it pops up.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

0-0 Socceroos Scrape Away Draw to Indonesia.

Nil all, didn't see it but the highlights are quie entertaining, especially Moore's tackle.

Away draws are always welcome in qualifiers and Indonesia proved no push over at home.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Australia vs Indonesia, Squad list.

So we're attempting to qualify for the Asian Cup again. Predictably, Verbeek has opted for an all A-league squad, giving the European Stars a rest ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Danny Allsopp, Melbourne Victory
Billy Celeski, Melbourne Victory
Shannon Cole, Sydney FC
Robert Cornthwaite, Adelaide United
Tarek Elrich, Newcastle Jets
Eugene Galekovic, Adelaide United
Dean Heffernan, Central Coast Mariners
Scott Jamieson, Adelaide United
Dylan Macallister, Central Coast Mariners
Matthew Mckay, Queensland Roar
Craig Moore, Queensland Roar
Tom Pondeljak, Melbourne Victory
Paul Reid, Adelaide United
Matt Simon, Central Coast Mariners
Michael Theoklitos, Melbourne Victory
Archie Thompson, Melbourne Victory
Matthew Thompson, Newcastle Jets
Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Perth Glory
Rodrigo Vargas, Melbourne Victory
Danny Vukovic, Central Coast Mariners
Michael Zullo, Queensland Roar

Indonesia shouldn't really worry us, even with a B-team, we still have one ball Moore and destroy inferior oppositions Archie. But they are at home in front of some massive vocal crowd so who knows?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Culina Come's Home, Earlier Than Expected.

So I was reading an interview shere Pim Verbeek was talking about Jason Culina taking a position with next season's A league debutant franchise Gold Coast FC. He said that at first he was against Culina moving to the a-league, because it's a step down in class, but now he thinks it will be good for his family and therefore his football or some such malarkey. In the same breath he began to say how players such as Jade North and Sasa Ogenovska we're making a mistake for playing for K-league sides because, although the money may be better, the standard is below that of the A-league.

Two thing's struck me form this assessment, the first is that Verbeek must think Australia produces better players than any other AFC country. Korea is, in terms of international tournament success, equal with Japan or any other AFC team. To say that the K-league isn't up to A-league standard intimates that when you compare our B-teams, Australia is superior. Your B-team is important for dead rubbers but also indicates the national threshold of mediocrity, which raises the bar for the European superstars who need to live up to their bank balances when they share locker rooms. But what is surprising is that with for Verbeek's K-League experience he considers it inferior to the Australian equivalent in the infancy of it's third season(the K league some 22 seasons it's senior).

The other ties into this, if players of Culina's quality can come back with some zip still in their stride than that raises the level of the A-league. This raises the standard our European stars need to be to make the team, plus helps us win dead rubbers. As long as diamonds in the rough such as Scott McDonald and Josh Kennedy keep turning up then we can afford players of Culina's quality to reduce their workload and perhaps increase their longevity. Maybe, definitely, I'm biased, but if we can have a strong home team of yesterdays superstars and up and comers, only to be added to with European class where possible, it bodes well for the future and present squad depth.

I was hoping to put the actual interview in, but unfortunately it it isn't on the SMH website, but it's probably only a matter of time.