New Zealand 1 - Australia 0

To the others, well before the handwringing and post mortems get under way allow me to give my 24d worth.

Firstly, well done New Zealand.

This victory will mean a lot more to them than it will to us.

Yes, we could do with the money, but I think Enzed fitba can probably be run for over a year and a bit on what they will now receive, and it obviously meant a lot more to them as their players came back from wherever they were to play for nothing.....unlike ours.

In short, if blame is to be apportioned, then let it not completely escape our "high wage earners" and also some locals, who chose NOT to play for the Socceroos purely because of money.

Mark Viduka and Harry Kewell will play very shortly in Melbourne, and while it may be wrong just to single out these two, because of them soon to appear there, naturally they will have to justify their non appearance today.

This loss may not be such a bad thing, and may force players, fans and administrators alike to re-examine their attitude to their fellow Oceania members.

Even on this list there are some who have been guilty of arrogance, suggesting that Australian fitba is so far ahead of its neighbours that it is a waste of time playing in the same league as its neighbours.

Well today proved that is not the case.

yes, we can argue that we never had our full team etc..but that is OUR problem, and New Zealand face exactly the same problem in getting their players back to play.

Its just that their players, dare I say it..... seem perhaps more patriotic, whereas ours can't be ersed, more concerned that it will interfere with their much needed holidays etc.

A thank you to all those players who although beaten today, DID chose to play for nothing, and who proved that for them at least, the Australia shirt actually means something.

I can relate a lot closer to them, than I can to a multimillionaire sitting in England picking and choosing what games he will play in.

Finally, my sympathies to Frank Farina.

He really was on a hiding to nothing here.

Two week before the kick off he still didn;t know whether Oz was sending a team, no preparation, and he had to assemble a squad from those players who wanted to/were fit enough to play, and indeed some were only half fit.

And short of winning it, he was always on a hiding to nothing.

Now even the SBS commentator appears to want his head on a platter.......maybe he wants the job himself...

In summary well done New Zealand, you proved that if you want something badly enough you can get it, and far from being the end of the world for Oz fitba, hopefully it will signal a new beginning attitude at least.

written by Fred Legget