Czech Republic 3 - Australia 1

You must have fallen asleep during that bit Bonnie.

We are back and bring greetings from the football loving fans of Teplice !!

If you still have the tape of the game Bonnie, apparantly we were shown on the SBS coverage. We were near half way about 5 rows abck from the front. Looking from left to right we were Norman (92 olyroo shirt and long hair) Rod's wife Kath(very understanding), Rod (97 Socceroo shirt and very ugly), me (96 olyroo shirt and good looking) Kingston (current socceroo home shirt and really very ugly), Andre (Wallaby Rugby shirt, scarf and cap, very tall) and Andre's dad. We also spotted a couple of other aussie flags in the crowd.

As for the game well the result was disappointing but not near as much as the performance. A lot of people have already covered various aspects of the game but here are a few comments from pitchside -

Defending - woeful - for a 20 minute spell late in the 1st half Murphy got to grips with the giant (Koller) and was getting tight on him and winning most balls but in the 2nd half both Murphy and Popovic gave him far too much room. His control wasn't great (nothing like Viduka's for instance) but he had so much time and space it didn't matter. We were very shaky at corners and free kicks. Individually Murphy and Popavic weren't bad, but together ..... There seemed little understanding and communication was not evident.

Muscat - not too bad. His yellow card was not borne of malice but was a necessary and timely professional foul and he almost got away without a booking.

Van Blerk - NO.

Lazarides - looked flat.

Corica - crap. slow of foot and slow of thought.

Skoko - average

Okon - gave the ball away probably more than he has done in all his previous internationals combined. Also resorted to some silly fouls due to his frustration at some poor balls he played. still a class above any other midfielder we had. Was VERY cranky at the end.

Foster and Johnson - Foster Ok. Johnson, not really on long enough but did play one horrendous 'pass' which looked very low class indeed.

Viduka. Our best but terrible service to him. Showed some great control and shielding of the ball. Brilliant run in the first half which brought spontaneous applause and a lot of comment from the czech crowd.

Agostino - average. surely can do better.

Was it a penalty ? - from where we sat it didn't look like it but those with the benefit of TV replays may differ.

Conclusions - must have more quality (i.e. Bosnich, Kewell, Moore and ZELIC!!) We also seemed to lack pace. perhaps Emerton down the right and an inform Lazarides may help there. Also the likes of Foxe and Colosimo may add a bit more class to our defence.

Anyway we had a great time and all of us would like to say a big THANK YOU to Bonnie for organising the tickets for us. Much appreciated.

Peter Thorpe

PS for the beer lovers on the list we were getting magnificent Czech beer for around $AUD 1.00 for a half litre in the bars and restaurants.

written by Peter Thorpe