ykickamoocow

Australia In The World Cup

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We are in a brutal draw (E)

Luckily most people in your country don't even know what the world cup is. I think its a massive shame that USA barely bothers to care about world sports, and instead just make their own versions. The whole world loves football/soccer but USA are wrapped up in the NBA & NFL

sorry that wasnt meant to sound like an insult to america, just an observation!

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Luckily most people in your country don't even know what the world cup is. I think its a massive shame that USA barely bothers to care about world sports, and instead just make their own versions. The whole world loves football/soccer but USA are wrapped up in the NBA & NFL

sorry that wasnt meant to sound like an insult to america, just an observation!

sigh............................................

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sigh............................................

I hope USA do well so that it might promote the worlds 2nd greatest sport in a nation that is obsessed with that ridiculous game of american football

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Greece have brought a very strong lineup with about 8 players who played in the Euro 2004 lineup set to play. I doubt they'd muck about with formations too much as this is their only game in a while (prior to Euro 2008 qualifiers) and would want to make amends for not qualifying for the World Cup. It should be a great game, but it'll be tough without Kewell and Aloisi.

No form to speak of mate as we haven't played since that game against Uruguay in November.

We've got a hectic schedule in the leadup to the World Cup mate. The team has been in Melbourne for a few days preparing for the friendly against Greece on Thursday at the MCG. They'll go into camp in Holland after that and play Holland on the 4th of June and Liechtenstein in Germany I think on the 8th of June.

With Hiddink off to Russia after the World Cup, it'll be interesting to see who we get as a coach. I read that they're tyring to get Gerard Houllier. That would be good as he was technical director for France once. In my opinion, we need a world class technical director to appoint a top coach. This would be beneficial for both the Socceroos and our youth teams. It would be good if Houllier is hired as we could then offer him the job of Technical Director after a couple years of him coaching.

Sorry for that rant at the end, but I've been a staunch fan of football for ages now and I'm really excited about how it's starting to (finally!!!) take off here!!!

interesting, thanks for that i didn't realise that we hadn't played since qualifying. good warm-up watches (liechenstein excepted) at least hiddink knows how to plan a lead up. you've got to wonder what is gained in playing scotland and bulgaria, and to top it off not being able to win. the japanese team confidence must be very low right now! however i hear they do have friendlies agaianst germany and malta coming up, yes malta :lol: didn't know you guys had a team :lol: so that should show their true form with all first team players available.

on your rant - i do remember houlier was an initial target as coach. should australia show well at this tournament then they probably can justify the additional expense of tech director. but you know how fickle aussie sport fans are, if they show poorly then interest will again decline. here's for a strong showing against brazil. mate, the whole world will be watching that match!

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Australia 1 Greece 0 (full-time)
JOSIP Skoko hit a stunning first-half goal to give Australia victory in its World Cup warm-up fixture at Melbourne Cricket Ground tonight.

The ball fell to Skoko from one of a series of early corners, and the Socceroos midfield player gave Greece goalkeeper Antonios Nikopolidis no chance with a roundhouse left-foot volley from outside the penalty that swerved into the top left corner of the goal.

The goal looked to have been the result of plenty of work on the training ground, Marco Bresciano hitting the corner deep and high past the far post, where full-back Lucas Neill, who had peeled away from his defender, headed the ball unopposed back towards the six-yard box.

Mile Sterjovski then cushioned a header outside the penalty area, where Skoko stood in space to hit his sweet strike.

"I enjoyed that one at the G," Skoko said on SBS after the match.

"I was happy ... it just sat up nicely and went in the corner."

Skoko, named man of the match for a fine all-round performance before he was replaced by Luke Wilkshire in the 60th minute, was pleased with the Socceroos' efforts.

"I think it was (a good performance) when you take into consideration our tough preparation," he said.

"Over the last three days, there was a lot of double (training) sessions, and there was a lot of tired boys out there today.
"But we worked to our plan and we got a result.

"We've got a lot of work still to do up until the first game (in Germany, against Japan on June 12).

"We'll be training hard but I think we showed tonight that we're well on the way."

The goal seemed to settle the Socceroos, who had previously been neat but ineffective.

Their passes subsequently seemed to find their range more easily, and Australia began to press the Greeks while presenting little opportunity for the 2004 European champion to attack.

Bresciano, who famously scored the only goal in regulation play as the Socceroos defeated Uruguay in Sydney last year to secure their berth at Germany 2006, rifled a 20-metre free kick just wide of the right upright, while Sterjovski, recalled to the side after a one-year absence, tested Nikopolidis after outstripping his marker on the left.

Sterjovski, in particular, made a bright start to the match, making a series of well-timed runs to get in behind the Greece full-backs on either flank.

Australia coach Guus Hiddink, as expected named a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Jason Culina and Vince Grella selected as a two-man midfield block in front of the defence.

"We worked half a year ago on some concepts," Hiddink said of the new formation.

"I like to remain in control of the team, and the players know exactly in the system what to do.

"That's not a guarantee of success, of course, because it's a very complicated game, but the players are confident against a strong team.

While Australia was good while playing in that formation, maintaining a solid structure in attack and defence, Hiddink was forced to change the module to 4-4-2 as the second half petered out amid a spate of substitutions from either side.

Neither side created a full-blooded opportunity in the second period, although Sterjovski was disappointed not to hit the target with a header from the edge of the penalty box after easily beating his marker to a Bresciano cross from the byline to the left of the goal.

Culina, too, stung the fingers of Nikopolidis after the ball fell to him 30 metres from goal in the centre of the pitch in the 86th minute.

Greece was restricted to one long-range striker from half-time substitute Theo Zagorakis, but the former captain lashed his half-volley high and wide to the right of the goal when he had more time than he realised.

Zeljko Kalac, selected in goal ahead of World Cup play-off penalty shootout hero Mark Schwarzer, had little opportunity to press his case to land the starting job on a permanent basis.

In fact, he may have damaged his case by failing to deal with the only two tasks he faced.

First, he punched weakly at a high ball into the Australia penalty box before Skoko opened the scoring.

Then, in the final 10 minutes, he failed again to deal with a corner kick, flapping and gathering the ball at the second attempt only after pushing it towards the edge of the penalty box.

The Socceroos, who had not played Greece for nearly 26 years since a 3-3 draw in Athens, next plays the Netherlands in a friendly in Rotterdam on June 4.

They then play Liechtenstein in Ulm, Germany, three days later before opening their World Cup Group F campiagn against Japan in Kaiserslautern.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AUSTRALIA 1 (Josip Skoko 15)
GREECE 0
Referee: Mike Riley (Eng)
Crowd: 95,103, at Melbourne Cricket Ground
AUSTRALIA: Zeljko Kalac; Brett Emerton, Craig Moore, Lucas Neill, Scott Chipperfield (Tony Popovich, 49min); Josip Skoko (Luke Wilkshire, 60min), Vince Grella; Jason Culina, Marco Bresciano, Mile Sterjovski (Stan Lazaridis, 73min); Mark Viduka (captain; Archie Thompson, 60min).

GREECE: Antonios Nikopolidis; Georgios Seitaridis, Traianos Dellas, Takis Fyssas, Sotirios Kyriagos; Kostas Katsouranis, Stelios Giannakopoulos, Angelo Basinas, Georgios Karagounis; Angelo Charisteas, Georgios Samaras.





That was a very good game and it is encouraging to see that we can beat a quality team. Bring on the Neatherlands then the World Cup.

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We dominated Greece and could have scored two or so more goals. That first half was the best I've seen Australia play since the first half of their game against England. They just look so confident in midfield and especially in defence. They kept possession of the ball under pressure and looked calm and composed.

Hiddink has worked wonders with this team and I totally see the value in him running such gruelling training sessions as I think he wants to see how they'll cope towards the end of a game when they're tired and prone to making bad decisions. They'll be ultra fit come the World Cup.

We are in a brutal draw (E)
You guys will be doing very very well if you get out of that group Bruce. Italy and Czech Rep. look very very strong whilst Ghana have a top record at youth level. Yours is the second hardest group behind Group C - Argentina, Holland, Serbia & Montenegro and Ivory Coast.
however i hear they do have friendlies agaianst germany and malta coming up, yes malta didn't know you guys had a team so that should show their true form with all first team players available.

Yeah Japan plays Malta in their final warm up game. It'll be a game I'd be keen to see what happens due to my Maltese background and to see what Japan does. I wouldn't totally write Malta off as we did end up drawing with Croatia during the qualifiers, so on our day we could surprise, but Japan should win.

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We dominated Greece and could have scored two or so more goals. That first half was the best I've seen Australia play since the first half of their game against England. They just look so confident in midfield and especially in defence. They kept possession of the ball under pressure and looked calm and composed.

Hiddink has worked wonders with this team and I totally see the value in him running such gruelling training sessions as I think he wants to see how they'll cope towards the end of a game when they're tired and prone to making bad decisions. They'll be ultra fit come the World Cup.

I really wish i watched that match but unfortuantly i was at school at the time so i missed it. :(

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I think that game is out on DVD. Look out for it next time you go out.

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i'm here in tokyo and japan played against bulgaria (lost 2-1) and scotland (0-0 draw) and are in woeful form. their strike team particularly is looking pathetic and only have 3 or 4 players that are of first team league standard. australia looks much stronger on paper and i think it will be between them and croatia, rather than japan for the second group spot. crotia besting argentina recently doesn't look good and australia's only real weakness is lack of match play as a team unit. i recall lowe was trying to rectify this by holding european camps and friendlies, has this happened?

what has australia's recent form been like?

results of the last friendlies.... Japan 2 Germany 2 ...... if their form was woeful i think they just found it !!!

i think australia should be very careful of japan if they are to get thru...

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Japan will be the big game for us, we cannot lose that game. Even a draw, whilst not great, would be acceptable. I think we can beat them though.

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Japan will be the big game for us, we cannot lose that game. Even a draw, whilst not great, would be acceptable. I think we can beat them though.

I really want to watch the brazil v aus match, I'll be cheering the aussies!!! but only cos i really dont want england to meet brazil in semi's

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I really want to watch the brazil v aus match, I'll be cheering the aussies!!! but only cos i really dont want england to meet brazil in semi's

We welcome your support. Though it does sound strange a Englishman supporting an Australian sporting team.

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We welcome your support. Though it does sound strange a Englishman supporting an Australian sporting team.

yes dont get me wrong, I dont want the aussies to do well at all - but I really don't want brazil to win!!!

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yes dont get me wrong, I dont want the aussies to do well at all - but I really don't want brazil to win!!!

Im not an expert at football but i do know that anything can happen in sport and Australia could beat Brazil. We probely only have a 10 to 20% chance of doing it but i believe we can. It would be a huge upset thats for sure. Ive also been reading alot of expert opinions recently and many of them believe England will bow out of the world cup early and will be the shock underperformer.

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Ive also been reading alot of expert opinions recently and many of them believe England will bow out of the world cup early and will be the shock underperformer.

aussie experts no doubt. Theres no reason to think england will be the shock underperformer but as you rightly say, anything can happen

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I dont want the aussies to do well at all

Yeah. At the moment football is the one major sport in the world which hasnt been popular in Australia. If we suddenly start doing well then i imagine there will be aalot of unhappy English people. Australia and England have a huge rivalry in sport and im sure the English would hate for us to have a decent football team which is capable of defeating them.

Edited by ykickamoocow

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Yeah. At the moment football is the one major sport in the world which hasnt been popular in Australia. If we suddenly start doing well then i imagine there will be aalot of unhappy English people. Australia and England have a huge rivalry in sport and im sure the English would hate for us to have a decent football team which is capable of defeating them.

yes thats true. aus has never really been a rival to england in football, we hardly ever meet cos u never qualify for the world cup. Our only football rivals are argentina and germany, dont really know why. Probably cos those 2 teams have knocked us out of competitions so many times!!

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yes thats true. aus has never really been a rival to england in football, we hardly ever meet cos u never qualify for the world cup.

This may change in the future (over 5 years). In our last game (a friendly between Australia and Greece) we played at the MCG with a record crowd of 95103 people. Also club football is becoming more popular as there are nearly double the supporters there than there was afew years ago. I think in the long term Australian football looks bright.

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This may change in the future (over 5 years). In our last game (a friendly between Australia and Greece) we played at the MCG with a record crowd of 95103 people. Also club football is becoming more popular as there are nearly double the supporters there than there was afew years ago. I think in the long term Australian football looks bright.

well thats good. It shouldnt be that hard to qualify for you guys anyway, cos of the lack of half-decent opposition that you need to beat to get into the tournament (except uruguay).

For us europeans its a lot harder!

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well thats good. It shouldnt be that hard to qualify for you guys anyway, cos of the lack of half-decent opposition that you need to beat to get into the tournament (except uruguay).

For us europeans its a lot harder!

I believe there is 1 reason why Australian football never really took of the ground.

Nearly all boys in Australia play Soccer/Football from the ages of 6 to 14 but after that they tend to go to other sports like Rugby, AFL and Rugby League which means all the potentially talented Soccer players are all in different codes of football. If Soccer/Football can keep these potential stars at 14 plus and stop them going to rival football codes then i believe within 10 years we would have a forminable football team. After all there isnt a sport on this planet that Australians cant dominate if we put our minds too it.

Edited by ykickamoocow

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After all there isnt a sport on this planet that Australians cant dominate if we put our monds too it.

Typical aussie. Think you can be the best at everything! You're the best at cricket - thats it. Nothing else. Maybe if us brits put our mind to it we could dominate every sport in the world?

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Typical aussie. Think you can be the best at everything! You're the best at cricket - thats it. Nothing else.

Thats certainly not true. Afew years ago we were the best at Rugby and to see how much better we are at sport than the English all you have to look at is the medal tally for this years commonwealth games. Australia is a nation that is passionate about sport and this passion leads to success.

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Thats certainly not true. Afew years ago we were the best at Rugby and to see how much better we are at sport than the English all you have to look at is the medal tally for this years commonwealth games. Australia is a nation that is passionate about sport and this passion leads to success.

A few years ago u were the best at rugby - then we were the best - now the all blacks are the best.

Aus are definatey far better at english at athletics, thats true. But theres not much difference in cricket, and england are one of the strongest football teams, australia aren't. Theres not many other sports that we both compete in (that anyone cares about)

Both our current top tennis players are nothing to be amazingly proud of

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A few years ago u were the best at rugby - then we were the best - now the all blacks are the best.

Aus are definatey far better at english at athletics, thats true. But theres not much difference in cricket, and england are one of the strongest football teams, australia aren't. Theres not many other sports that we both compete in (that anyone cares about)

Both our current top tennis players are nothing to be amazingly proud of

Tennis - boring game and i couldnt care less about it.

Cricket - I think we still are the best but even if we arnt we came of a 10 year unbeatable streak. Thats a long time.

Rugby - Our team is in abit of a flop at the moment and arnt doing too well. The All Blacks have been the best for many years but for some reason cant win the world cup.

Football/Soccer - obviously England are better than us but i predict that if Soccer grows in popularity then that could change in 10 years.

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Tennis - boring game and i couldnt care less about it.

Cricket - I think we still are the best but even if we arnt we came of a 10 year unbeatable streak. Thats a long time.

Rugby - Our team is in abit of a flop at the moment and arnt doing too well. The All Blacks have been the best for many years but for some reason cant win the world cup.

Football/Soccer - obviously England are better than us but i predict that if Soccer grows in popularity then that could change in 10 years.

so really you're agreeing with me then, that aus are not the best at everything!!!!

Don't worry England havent got a chance in hell of defending our rugby world cup. Mainly because our team is completely different now with a different (crap) coach too

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