Monday, June 05, 2006
Green, Gold, Orange, and Red in Rotterdam
The Socceroos managed to hold the Netherlands to a 1-1 draw in Rotterdam last night, despite being down to 10 men for a third of the match.
The Aussies started off very nervous, with Holland giving them very little time on the ball. The visitors reacted by giving the ball away at almost every opportunity and failing to ease the pressure. It was a classic case of big-match nerves that need to be ironed out before the Japan game.
The Orange pressure paid off early with a goal to van Nistelrooy who typically followed up a parried shot. Schwarzer was criticised for pushing the ball into the marauding Dutchman's path but I don't think he could have done much better. At this point I was thinking that it was going to be a long, drawn out hiding, but fortunately the Dutch could not score again and the Aussies came into the game more.
As the first half drew to a close the Australian side started to look more comfortable and made some opportunities for themselves, although I don't think the Dutch really got into top gear at any point.
We did perform quite well and this match will be a great learning experience. The movement of van Nistelrooy, van Persie, and Robben (among others) gave our back line some headaches and hopefully they will have learned a lot from them.
Schwarzer 9 - Outstanding, kept us in the game.
Chipperfield 6 - Got good towards the end - should be worth a start.
Neill 6 - Best of a poor back four.
Moore 5 - Struggled.
Emerton 5 - Why are we playing him? His brain is on a permanent 0.5 second delay, and he's not a right back. I'd rather give Beauchamp or somebody a shot here.
Wilkshire 5 - Poor generally, and a pointless red card.
Grella 6 - Overran early on but got better.
Culina 6 - Not heavily involved.
Sterjovski 6 - Couldn't get the ball.
Bresciano 6 - Poor decisions.
Viduka 6 - Looked class but needed to score that penalty.
Cahill 6 - Good follow up both before and after the penalty.
Aloisi 6 - Looked fairly good.
Thompson 6 - Struggled.