Uruguay v Australia by Various

Uruguay 1 - Australia 0

Things I liked

Especially in the first half defending so high. Drawing the line just outside the box was a great failing under FF IMHO. We ended up doing that again in the last 15 minutes or so (knackered?) and you could see the difference.

From the start, using up time very professionally - every free kick, throw in, corner and goal kick just enough hesitation to eat away without breaking the law. I reckon we shortened the match by five minutes and just as well in the end. We even started late with two verses of the National Anthem which obviously took all our lads by surprise.

Mark in goal kept us in with a sniff.

Guus' formation - nice and flexible.

The travelling fans staying to sing "There's one Johnny Warren" - class!

Things I didn't.

Yet another softish goal conceded.

Still giving the ball away too easily even though we did win it back usually. Not getting to their goal line often enough to turn the defenders.

Mark S standing behind the goal line quite often - only one step back with the ball and it would be curtains.

The quality of our corner kicks. Their keeper was able to immediately deal with most of them, ours didn't touch one all the game to my recollection. Surely we can improve on that?

Archie I thought better off back in the A League. Only my view, but I would have liked to Aloisi on from the start as he is technically better and might have fed better (or at all) from the Bomber.

The diving of the Urus. Particularly the one where our keeper didn't touch when he dived in the box. No penalty, so why no yellow? But you have to give credit when it's due - the only three players not on a yellow card were the only three booked

Neutral things.

Is the new variant of the off side law in international application or not? In the second half Viduka was well on side as he time his run through perfectly and (I think) Grella was a yard or two ahead of the last defender but did not interfere with play in the slightest.

I wondered if Cahill was not played because of the yellow card thing. If so, I should have thought an away goal taking that risk more valuable than now having to break down the Urus with a full squad back.

Written by David Marshall

That [free kick which led to Uruguay's goal] was an awful decision. The linesman was so keen to get his flag up in the air he threw it away! Pierre [Littbarski] got an uproarious cheer in 'our' post match commentary when he said it wasn't a free kick.

If not much was said about it on TV then I can only assume the feeling was that on the balance of play the result was 'fair' because it seemed very obvious to me and everyone else at Star City.

The first 30 minutes or so were excellent, Australia played with purpose and looked threatening. The last fifteen minutes or so were very sloppy. In between times I think most of the difference was in the free kicks and corners. Uruguay were simply much better at them with plenty of balls that found their mark and too many times where a Uruguayan found himself in free space.

Written by Paul McGarry

Thompson shouldn't be near the first team. He's just not good enough. He is just completely incapable of scoring against anyone other than a minnow. Out of his depth.

A fresh Cahill and Bresciano should both start. I think we've got to go 3-5-2 now:



        Popovic     Vidmar


Kewell   Cahill     Bresciano   Culina

         Viduka     Aloisi

That's the most attacking lineup we can put out I think, and it's definitely got the ability to score goals. Have to have a real get forward attitude for the second leg now.

Written by Adrian Smith

Yes, 1-0 is far better than 3-0 or 2-0 but I would feel more comfortable if it was 1-1. I think AAP summed it up quite well by calling it 'down but not out'. We not only have to score on Wednesday but we have to stop them from scoring. It's a big ask, especially as their key defender is back also and Viduka mostly ran rings around the defence today.

I think it was a good idea to try Archie because his speed would draw defenders but he appeared overawed by the occasion and didn't really sparkle. If he gets a chance in Sydney, he may feel more at home. It was good to see Harry get through a full game unscathed - he wasn't the Harry we know he can be, but he was certainly peripatetic and useful in parts, and the full game will boost his confidence further.

I thought the free kick which resulted in the Uruguay goal was very 50-50 and ought not to have been awarded; Chipperfield really put in all game and did well. Lucas Neill was solid at the back but Popa still pumped up a few long balls when he didn't need to do so. I thought Grella did well also. I didn't notice Culina but one of the commentators said he was "brilliant" - not sure which one. It could be Cahill wasn't used as Guus does not think he's not really the right style of player against South Americans?

Positives to hang on to for us for Wednesday:

(a) our card situation is okay and we haven't lost anyone for that reason - though I don't know about injury;
(b) our travel schedule is really going to help our guys - they just hop on one aircraft locally, they're up in the air, fed Sydney lunchtime to help them acclimatise, have massage tables built-in to the cabin courtesy of Qantas, having the full attention of the cabin crew (other than a few motley journos up the back) and hey presto, that aircraft is lined up to be one of the first to land after the curfew lifts tomorrow morning. Trust me ... that is going to help so much compared with the Uruguayans having to catch a flight to Santiago (2.5 hour trip); make sure their 500kg of luggage is transferred successfully (Australia once had luggage sitting at Santiago Airport for two days because they went on strike as the flight arrived!!!); then get on another flight in which they are just 30-40 passengers in a normal commercial flight.
(c) even Brazil and Argentina couldn't beat them at home;
(d) after ten consecutive wins, they are due for a loss (law of probability);
(e) they play poorly away;
(f) they have proven (in 2001) that a 1-0 advantage after the home leg doesn't mean a thing; and
(g) ALL OF US in our 'sea of gold'.

I think it's a pity the Uruguayan crowd jeered and generally made a noise during our anthem.

Finally, I had a dream about the scored in both legs ... I'm not going to say what it was but if it turns out to be true, I will let you know. I've written it down and given it to my spouse in a sealed envelope (he doesn't want to know until afterwards).

Written by Bonita Mersiades