Olyroos vs Argentina - Group Match 2
First up I want to congratulate the Aussies on how they played this match. In what most of us thought would be a 5-0 whitewash was limited to a very narrow loss but could have easily come away with a point or more if things had have fallen our way.
Australia went to the 4-2-3-1 formation we expected at the start of the tournament with obvious tactics of sitting deep and trying to play out fast from broken play and hit the Argies on the counter. Against this amazingly talented Argentina side we did the absolute best we could and really frustrated them all match, culminating in the Argentineans losing some of their composure and snapping at shots whenever they had the slightest chance.
Federici again was solid after a 'Paul Robinson special' at the start of the match. The shaky fullbacks from the last outing against Serbia were rightly sat out, causing both Zad and Carney to drop back into these wide defensive positions. Both had games that justified their selection with both along with the same centre half combination as previously, containing the fast and skilled Argentinean superstars. The difference in first touch and close control of the ball in tight spaces was very evident but to our credit, noone was jumping in and getting shown up.
In midfield, Milligan and Musialik again were both acting as screening midfielders but the difference this time was that they now had an attacking trio in front of them providing that all important link to our pacey striker in Thompson. We didn't get a lot of opportunities in attack but when we broke I thought we broke well and if our first touch was better then we could have easily nabbed a goal here and there. You could however argue that the players who's touch I am reffering to, Zadkovich and Rukavytsya, should never have been in the team in the first place partially for this reason.
When we were going forward in attack Celeski again gave us some flare and always wanted to take players on. I think he has been one that has justified his selection that I bagged when the squad was first announced. Kilkenny played as almost a support striker at some stages and as a player I haven't seen much of impressed me with his 'terrier' style, quick and always just seeming to pop up all over the pitch. Troisi wasn't as involved as the other two and after we went a goal down was rightfully taken off for McClenahan to allow Carney to push forward.
Thompson played the lone striker roll in this formation quite well and was always trailing away from his defenders into space that our midfielders were playing into. Again the different was that there was a link between the shielding midfielders and himself which allowed him to get involved in the game. I would have liked to see him stay on rather than a sub for Ruka. Just not a fan of the kid at all and I wonder how Thompson would have taken Rukas chances at the death.
When Argentina finally got their goal I loved the way that they just played keep ball, knocking it around. The commentator and crowd maybe didn't like it but I thought it was both smart, beautiful and just funny. I thought it was strange that we had no intention of changing our tactics of sitting deep and refusing to press even while this was going on. I thought that it could have actually played into our hands by Argentina being dispossessed and Australia gaining possession up field in broken play where we had looked our most dangerous.
So now we just need to beat the Ivory Coast to progress. The next match should be a good one to watch as we will have to come out playing football and look to take it to the Ivory Coast. COME ON AUSSIE!