Firstly, the positives. It was really nice to see a near full-strength Australian side again - its been too long, and even this match doesn't count as an "A" international.
Bosnich and Tiatto had excellent games I thought, and Emerton looked busy when he got on the park. But overall, our side didn't gel, and didn't look as motivated as the Brazilians.
A question for Soc Aus - given that most of our players were coming from a northern winter, why was this game played in the heat of the afternoon? I don't believe we should be playing any football on summer afternoons (and it was over 30 degrees at 3:00 yesterday), let alone international matches. The match could have been played at 7:30 in the evening, and even moved to Saturday evening if there were concerns about a late night on Sunday.
This brings me to the negatives, some of which Soc Aus has no control over, but I'll bitch about them anyway :)
I am sick and tired of going to see my national team play in Australia and be the away team. Why is there always more noise from the away fans? Yesterday there was a group of about 20 of us singing and chanting - one other patron congratulated us on his way out of the stadium, several told us to sit down and shut up, and nobody joined in. There wasn't even an "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi" chant going. Needless to say, we didn't make much impact on the noise generated by the 1500 or so Brazilian fans.
I would imagine that the Australian players would have been less than impressed when the loudest cheer of the afternoon was for the wave going all the way round the ground.
Why did the scoreboard record us the "LG Socceroos" instead of Australia?
Why wasn't it possible to buy Aussie gear at the ground? Whilst I didn't do a thorough search, I didn't have to to find Brazilian gear - there were two large tents I walked past before I got to the entrance gate. I looked inside one quickly, and I saw Brazilian home and away strips, hats and scarves and Inter home and away strips, but no Aussie stuff.
Anecdotal evidence indicates that the new kit has sold quite well. Why then, aren't there hat and scarves available also? Maybe there are, but every time I look for an Australian scarf all I find is one's with Wallabies on them.
And the final indignity was the group of 3 Aussie kids, all about 13 or 14, who came and taunted us after the game, because we had lost. They were all wearing Brazil gear, and claimed they were Brazilian, but they all had thick Australian accents, and looked to be descended from Anglo-Saxon stock.
One of the saddest things I heard after the game, was that some of the most passionate supporters I know (of Australia and football in general) are seriously considering not coming to any more Australian games for many of the above-mentioned reasons.
People say it will get better, but the improvement may come to late to save the patient.
written by Tony Calder