Kuwait 0 - Australia 1

Just a few random thoughts on last night's game.

Give aways. Being of a rather obsessional nature, I started counting the number of times we gave the ball away, and couldn't stop! I only counted situations where there was no pressure on the ball carrier, including long range shots, mishits out of play and just poorly directed passes. I excluded any event where there was even minor pressure on either the passer or the passee, so to speak. First half 31, secon'alf 20. - probably due to our reduced possession. That's more than one every two minutes and would be pretty scarey against a side that can play. We need to guard that ball more more jealously.

That said, I am really encouraged by the skills Oz players now display overall. I've remarked before that there has been a huge improvement in the last 10 years or so, and if we can get our best XI together and fit a few times we should have a considerable team. If only! We are developing some good patterns, but still don't convert as many chances as we might. IMHO, it would have been better to have scored another (even though 2 is becoming our unlucky number) than to hang on as we did - but we did, so well done lads.

I thought Skoko, Foxe and Laybutt had very sound games. I'm still not a huge Colosimo fan - I hope he proves me wrong in time. Kasey with a K is showing the class we saw here in Brisbane before his injury and his "give and go" touches just get better and are going to cause lots of defenses problems in the future. Cant wait to see him operating with a fit Harry Cruel. Anyone know why he seems to be considered a 60 or 70 minute player only? It was so for the STRIKERS, the Olyroos and again last night. I though taking him off was one of the reasons we fell in the hole in the last quarter of the game. Danny Tipandtrotto may not do very well against better defenders than Kuwait possessed. His pace and style may easily controlled by class defenders. Again, I hope I'm wrong.

Emerton is a player whom I didn't really rate, but am more and more. He looks rough and ready, but does seem to penetrate despite that and is probably the kind of player a left back would prefer not to have to face.

T&T [Kalac] remains an enigma to me. I worry about his quality over 90 minutes as he always seems to produce one error at least. This time it was his failure to gather that toe poke when it looked straight forward. We were luck no Kuwaiti was following up. That said, his tip onto the bar was great.

I wasn't sure that any of the subs did better than those they replaced, and that yellow for Kasey seemed quite bizarre. All up, some good stuff and I hope the wilt was merely from fatigue and not, as the ubiquitous Paul Wilson thought, and FF tactic to practice soaking up pressure! Could that be actually a deliberate ploy? If so, it could easily have cost us the win.

written by David Marshall