Gooooooaaaaaaaaaaaal!!!!! (World Cup Game Spoiler)

Just had to open a thread to wax hysterical about the Australian World Cup soccer team, who just beat Japan 3-1, after being down 1-0 for most of the game. The Aussies scored 3 goals in 8 minutes to clinch their first ever victory in the World Cup finals.

The last-minute win was made even more exciting by the fact that the Australians played pretty lacklustre fotball for much of the game, after falling behind to a Japanese goal that should have been disallowed due to interference on the Australian keeper.

For much of the game, the Australian attack had no width and no spark, being content with just punching the ball upfield and hoping for the best. In the last ten minutes, though, things turned around, and all three goals were scored by substitute players, who added a bunch of new energy to the attack.

I really felt for Japan. They outplayed Australia for at least 60 out of the 90 minutes, but just couldn’t hold them out when it really mattered. It must be awful to lead for so long and get walloped in the last few minutes.

Anyway, all i can say now is: Bring on Brazil!

**'Straya. **

Fitness meant a bit. The Aussies were all over them in the last 15 minutes. After the first one finally came, it wasn’t a huge surprise to see another. Two more was quite something, although you got the feeling that another 10 minutes would have made it five.

Viduka was great, and the big ape Kennedy was useful. Grunt up the middle worked well, when the initial plan of crosses in to tall forwards faded. That lack of width will tell in other games.

Japan’s goal was probably not ok, but the keeper should have come a lot harder.

That Cahill has ice in in his veins.

Was not Cahill’s the first goal scored by an Australian in a World Cup? I do believe it was.

I thought Australia outplayed Japan consistently, dominating possession and shots at goal as it did.

Is there anything those Aussies cannot do?

Really?

I disagree. If Australia dominated possession, i thought it was more due to Japan falling into a defensive pattern, and letting the Aussies come at them.

Also, i’m not sure what you mean about shots on goal. I can hardly remember a single decent shot on goal in the whole second half, until the last 10 minutes.

I think that if they play like that against Croatia, and especially Brazil, they’ll lose by about 5 goals in each game.

I edited your thread title to remove the spoiler, mhendo.

And, I’m moving this over to Cafe Society.

And with 23 fouls and 4 yellow cards Australia were certainly robust in the challenge.

I suppose we are just using different metrics. To my way of thinking: possession and shots at goal are decent measures of the quality of play.

While I agree that Japan also played well to a plan and were in some respects strategically better, this is opinion and not so neatly measurable.

I liked the ability to change tactics late in the game. It will be interesting to see what the lessons from this game mean for the Aus-Brazil game.

Personally I look to the number of corners each team has. The opta stats are always interesting to look at.

Cahill is a fine player. Still, 3-1 flattered the Aussies.

Indeed. Huzzah! The Aussies were indeed lacklustre, though. We got lucky this time.

Cahill should have been sent off for his challenge in the penalty area just before his goal. He was very lucky to get away with that.

I’m suprised at how dirty the Aussies seem to be playing, with this match and the ‘friendly’ against Holland they’ve really set themselves up as the bad guys of the tournament.

Still, it was an impressive finish to the match.

Why on earth would a referee call back that goal and not allow play to continue on advantage? That’s what any clear-thinking referee would do, at any level of play.

Cause it’s a foul on the offense?

The referee always has the discretion of allowing play to continue if calling a foul would deny the offended team the advantage. In such cases the referee calls out, “play on.” Any referee who would call back that goal should not be officiating any game that actually matters.

Huh?

The Japanese player fouled the Australian keeper, preventing him from making a play on the ball. How is it good refereeing to allow play to go on when the team with the advantage is the same team that commits the foul?

As the American commentator said at the time: “You have got to be kidding me!”

The only explanation i can think of for your post is that you misunderstood my earlier post to mean that the Australian keeper had caused the interference. This was not the case; the Australian keeper was interfered with by the Japanese attacker.

Oops, I misread your post. I thought you were claiming that the goalkeeper committed the foul. My bad.

I read “interference on the Australian keeper” as “interference on [the part of] the Australian keeper.”

Frankly, it looked to me like both palyers just ran into each other while going for the ball, and the goalkeeper got the worst of it.

They are lucky they don’t have professional leg breaker Danny Tiatto in the team!

I thought we had, on the whole, the better of the game but the Japanese were very tough to break down. Good to see the Everton man come through! Go Aussie Go!

mm

Well, i agree that possession and shots on goal can tell us something, but i don’t think they tell us everything, by any means.

For example, Australia’s domination of possession was, in my opinion, largely a result of Japan’s decision, once they scored their goal, to sit back and not press too hard in attack. They often had 8 players back in the penalty area when Australia were attacking, and they didn’t push forward very agrssively when they had the ball.

You’re right that the Aussies had some good shots on goal. In fact, when there was about 10 minutes left, i said to my friends that i would vote for the Japanese goalkeeper as the Man of the Match. He made at least three real quality saves, keeping the Japanese ahead.

It was the Australians’ lack of width that i found really frustrating. When you’ve got a clear height advantage over your opponents, surely it makes sense to try and get the ball to the wings and attack with long, accurate crosses? Too often, the Aussies seemed to think that just bombing the ball into the penalty area from midfield was the best strategy, but for the most part it’s a lot harder to get a clear opportunity that way, especially when not enough attackers put themselves in a position to profit from a loose ball.

I agree. And if Cahill and Aloisi are fit, then i think they should start the next game, perhaps even at the expense of Harry Kewell.

Kewell didn’t really look fit for the whole game. He was tentative around the ball, and never really got into his stride. The commentators mentioned an injury, and i think that if he’s not 100 percent by the next game they should leave him out.

I agree with hawthorne that Viduka played well, but i think he sometimes tries to do too much by himself, even when other players are in a better position.