Jimmy Weasel - Wednesday, 30 March 2005
Two "friendly" matches in one weekend; how would the second one fare? Hopefully better than the first, but bear in mind that the Indonesian team may have other things on their minds. The island of Sumatra was shaken by some monster earthquake once again, so forgive them their distractions. Brave lads indeed - I know where I'd rather be. This fact possibly spurred them on; or again, Australia's poor performance gave them a whiff of hope.
I was contacted by a gentleman known as HuS who seemed to know exactly what he was talking about: ...the goal for Ahmad Elrich was nothing more than luck..
Too true, chief. And it's more than likely Farina heard these exact or very similar sentiments, as all but 3 of the starting players from Saturday night would start this evening.
Surprising though not to see Elridge start. The man has an electricity about him when he has the ball; no matter how bad the haircut. Luck or no, the man was in the right spot at the right time. Also a relief to see a distinct lack of Cahill on the pitch this evening. I hope they kept that particular receipt.
The Indonesians began with a deft 11c-grade kickoff. Pass forward, back to the midfield, then smack the bugger all the way deep into Australian territory. Odd for this standard of football.
SBS have once again proven their camera work to be baffling - sacrificing live play for 3 replays in total: 2 regular, and one from the reverse. Finishing up from the analyses, we find play resumed somewhere different, and we the viewer totally in the dark as to the how and why the ball is where it is...
1 minute and 3 seconds into the game, Indonesia caught the Australian defence half-cocked in a scene reminiscent of last Saturday's 12th minute. No dice. The footwork of the Indonesian striker was well read by the Australian keeper, and all rebounds were successfully kept at bay.
Here's something about Australian soccer - the counter-attack is rendered completely useless and ineffective, as the man surging with the ball, no matter who, will always stop and wait for support, rather than show some stones and make the moment. It was Saturday's downfall, and the same story again tonight.
It wasn't until the 25th minute, when Lazarides showed some stones and made a run that came to fruition when his cross ricocheted off Milicic's skull into the top corner of the goal to move the score to 1-0.
Following this was a large period of play where players were seen just blasting the ball into orbit. And no regard for the left side of the attacking team. All of this being said, it was a far better first half as far as "a team" goes.
The first few minutes of the 2nd half saw Indonesia exposing gaps upon both the left and right flanks of the Australian mid region. The Australian defence is, however, much larger physically, and made good work of cleaning up.
Australia seemed to attack more relentlessly in the 2nd half. Farina's halftime talk must have had a delayed effect, because it didn't sink in for about 10 minutes. And from then on, Indonesia were practically beseiged in their own penalty box as players were having a shot at goal from all manner of places.
The 2nd and 3rd goals were simply a matter of time. Milicic finishing up some scrappy play in the goal box, and Zdrllic controlling and nailing an Elrich cross rather convincingly into the net.
It looks like a vastly improved "team", and not just a collective of players who are fabulously skilled in their own right. It's a step in the right direction, friends.