Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Aussies off to Doha

Australia - as expected - booked their place in the finals of the Asian Cup with a comfortable 1-0 win over Indonesia in Brisbane on Wednesday evening. Needing only a draw to ensure qualification for January's continental championship, Mark Milligan scored the only goal of the game to seal Australia's place at the finals in Qatar

Young winger Tommy Oar made a major impression on his debut on the left side of the Australian midfield but, despite all their possession, a Socceroos side made up largely of A-League players struggled to break down the Indonesian defence for major chunks of the game.

The Indonesians frustrated Pim Verbeek's team throughout the first half without really presenting much of a threat, despite playing some pretty football on occasion and it took an Australian set piece to unlock the visitors' defence late in the first half.

Australia were dominant in the second half but were unable to find a way past Markus Harison, highlighting the lack of creativity that exists within Australian football when the leading Europe-based players are not available, particularly in central positions.

It was a missed opportunity, too, for many of the Indonesians.

With a number of A-League coaches in attendance, here was the opportunity for the country's top players to put themselves in the shop window. Few, however, shone (with the exception of central defender Charis Yulianto, who managed to keep the towering Josh Kennedy relatively quiet) and it's unlikely there will be a flow of Australian Dollars into the coffers of any of Indonesia's leading clubs any time soon.

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