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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

All Whites Lose to Socceroos

Australia defeated New Zealand 2-1 at the MCG last night. Brett Holman slipped in at the far post in the last minute, the All Whites let down by a moments lapse in concentration as they contemplated the Bourke Street nightlife and a post match pot or two of well earned Coopers Sparkling Ale.

Despite the result there was still plenty to be excited about as a NZ football fan last night...and plenty left to ponder.

The Australian reaction was mixed, of course the fans at the 'G celebrated at the final whistle as though they'd just downed Brazil- this was their final farewell to their heroes and Holman had saved Pim Verbeeks blushes. But the Ocker Bloggers and Commentators had a more sober view the next day, this was a poor Australian performance on the whole, made even more ugly by Vince Grella's two footed lunge and Tim Cahill's flying feet, both fouls on the battle-scarred Leo Bertos. These were desperate acts from a team not expecting such a fight in a carefully stage managed 'friendly." To Verbeek's credit he said as much, denouncing Grella and Cahill for their poor challenges.

Bertos got off with just a few scrapes but Tim Brown fractured his shoulder in an awkward fall. He has flown back to Auckland for treatment, here's hoping it doesn't destroy his dream of playing in the World Cup.

I was impressed at how composed the All Whites looked, calmly playing out of the back and patiently building up attacks. New Zealand were the better team in the first half, and fully deserved the lead at the break, courtesy of a Chris Killen goal set up by the influential Simon Elliott. It was only in the second half, once key play makers Bertos and Brown had been kicked and rucked out of the game, and the subs started to flow that the Kiwis resorted to the more traditional Route One style. This gave Australia more time with the ball and their superior world ranking eventually began to show.

While none of Australia or New Zealand's South Africa Pool mates will be quaking at the performances on display the result would start to deflect some of the criticism from sceptics who think New Zealand's appearance at the World Cup Finals is cause for much mirth and merrymaking.

There is still a long road until credbility is reached, but last night was a good start.

Finally I must admit some minor Fortean culpability for the loss, tempting fate with a 92nd minute text to a mate watching in a Pub- no sooner had I pressed send on my text, conveying that I thought a 'draw was a fair result,' than the decisive cross was met by Holman, instant chaos theory at its most lethal.

I am sorry All Whites, this was as much a warm up for us fans as it was for the players- I won't be tempting fate come June 15th by trying to preempt the score via text before the final whistle.

For those who may have missed it, here are the highlights:


  1. It's true that the Socceroos were below form, but it would be wrong to underscore the performance of the Kiwis. You guys showed that you're getting a system together and can show some quality. If you can pip Slovakia, you just need to find a lucky point. I reckon the gods are feeling cheeky and anything's possible at this World Cup.

    Best of luck from Australia All Whites.

  2. Hi Hamish, thanks for your comment
    Its so nice to have a real comment instead of an advert for Cialis etc.

    I thought both teams had their moments, but yes, alot of kiwi fans were surpised at how organised and up for it the All Whites were. It was great that Pim commented on the unprofessional tackling, becuase that really did sour a great match but then again what else do you expect ina transtasman friendly. The game remnided me that in whatever sport the Aussies play you can never right them off until the final whistle- you really are the Germany of the South Pacific in that regard- you can play badly but still win.

    Its funny because I do not support Australia in amy sport, but Ill be rooting for you come June. maybe its the underdog status that both kiwis and aussies love, or maybe its the ANZAC spirit- whatever it is, I think that was a really great game the other night.