Monday, October 09, 2006
Australia 1 - 1 Paraguay
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane. Saturday Oct 7 2006.
The homecoming of the Socceroos squad (minus Viduka (baby), Kewell (perpetual injury), Kennedy (too tall for plane seat) and Moore (didn't read label on sleeping tablets) was a resounding success. Then Arnie subbed off Popa in 91st minute and young Michael Beauchamp managed to head the ball into his own net. Nice work son.
All in all though, what a night. Sadly the pub i went to decided there was no interest in the game so wouldn't turn the sound up, but watching it later that night with commentary you could tell the boys played well. For long spells we dominated a very good side. Lets not forget that Paraguay have beaten Argentina and drawn with Brazil, along with finishing third in the qualifiers for the world cup. Yes, they were missing their two best players. But we were missing Dukes and Harry, plus played 4 guys we may not have played had the occasion not merited it.
A great send off for Popa, Laza, Vids, and Spider. The heartfelt thanks of all Australian Football fans go out to these 4 stalwarts of the game. The holes they leave will be big ones to fill in the future. However, I think we've got the depth. Neil has taken over the reigns in defence, and Moore will come back from suspension. Plus Chipperfield should be playing on Wednesday.
However, some big questions remain. After the poor showing in Kuwait, how often will we be able to put together this strong a team in Asia? Can we knuckle down the style we want to use, and start turning it into scoring instead of scoring opportunities. But most importantly, is Big Arnie, another great figure of Australian Football, the right man for the job?
Time may tell more.