Czech Republic 3 - Australia 1

A case of lessons learned tonight - both on the coaching and playing side. Kalac was disappointing, very suspect on crosses. Elected to punch when he could have caught. Some good reaction saves.

Murphy isn't of the standard required. Not bad, but caught out by the pace of the Czech counter-attacks. Popovic looked sluggish, if I didn't know better, I'd say he was as bad as Murphy.

Muscat - early booking (dodgy) seemed to put him off his game. Caught out by attacks down his side, and gave the ball away too easily.

Lazaridis - still a bit rusty, came forward with conviction, but when he lost the ball we were punished. Good work for our goal.

Okon - clearly a class above, but one man doesn't make the team - there's only so much he can do. His free-kicks were disappointing.

Skoko - went missing for long patches, but when he did get involved we looked very impressive.

Corica - disappointing - gave the ball away too easily.

Agostino - also disappointing - few real chances, but movement wasn't great.

Viduka - ran his arse off all game, constantly dragging his defender wide. His solo run was the highlight of the first half, very impressive.

Casserly - not much time, gave the ball away a couple of times, but got forward well when there was nothing left to play for.

Foster, ditto for Casserly - right place, right time for the goal.

Zane - didn't play too badly I thought - did his job, laid the ball off well - his pressure helped in our goal. Could be a worthwhile back-up option, but need to see more of him.

Johnson - too little time on the pitch.

Farina and Arnold - disappointing I thought. We continued to play a dominating, pressure game when it was obvious they were sucking us in for the counter-attack. Pretty amateur-hour stuff. Obvious (and best) thing to do would have been to play the same card. The Czechs clearly weren't comfortable with having to play a slow buildup, and we should have been hitting them on the break - I was disappointed that the only changes appeared to come on the playing staff, and not the tactics - which appeared to be Olsen-ball a lot of the time.

All up, a lot of lessons to learn, and let's hope we learn them quick! I know we can point to injuries, but Berger, Smicer, and a couple of others weren't playing either - we'd have been smashed if they had!

That's my 11c (inc GST)


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