Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Joeys vs Denmark - Group Match 3

Certain people had taken a day off work to watch the original, called off final group match between Australia and Denmark and were unable to therefore back it up with an all nighter to watch the replay before work the next day.

So with no match report I thought I'd offer something a little different. Below is a selection of tweets which will try to sum up the performance. There really weren't many to choose from in the feed and it would seem that I wasn't the only one suffering from the work predicament.

KevinAirs442 Kevin Airs
Ugly performance by #joeys really, but ultimately sensible one - conserved energy well in heavy conditions after going down to 10 men early.

KevinAirs442 Kevin Airs
@MickLynch_Age Nature vs nurture? Environment did not suit pretty play, remains to be seen if Joeys have been nurtured to play better though

sebth Sebastian Hassett
Congratulations to the Joeys on making it through to the knockout stages. Keep going boys, the country is behind you.

DaviddeCorran Davidde Corran
Getting here was a bloody mission. I'm buggered and I didn't even play a game today! #Joeys

Australia now play Uzbekistan on Thursday, 5.45am AEST.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Joeys vs Brazil - Group Match 2

Australia’s under 17 Joeys went down gallantly 1-0 to powerhouse Brazil in their second group match this morning with a sublime free kick from Adryan in the 76th minute the only difference between the two sides.

The boys lined up relatively settled for their second group match against Brazil with only the one change in right fullback Riley Woodcock coming in for Jake Monaco which was an early change for Jan Versleijen against Cote d’Ivoire anyway. They lined up in their familiar 4-3-3 as follows:


Australia looked a different side from the get go in this match and were very impressive. It was refreshing to watch them take the game to the more technically superior Brazilians and in their yellow strip, you could have been forgiven for mixing the teams up. For the whole first half it was Brazil who were relying on their ability to counter attack and hitting aimless ‘wonderstrikes’ which saw Izzo not properly tested once. Australia on the other hand, although certainly no Barca, were keeping the ball and playing through midfield which the Brazilians obviously didn’t like.

To me, Australia’s standout players this match were the two wide attackers in Hernan Espindola and Mitch Cooper. Both were a constant headache to the Brazilian defense when they were on the ball, running at players and playing balls to feet. To go along with these two, you can’t look past a defense that forced the attacking might of Brazil to only long, low percentage shots while the team around them still plays football.

Tactically somewhat surprising, Australia’s fullbacks got forward, going past the teammate in front of them to create an overlap but not once were they used. Yes it opened up space for the player on the inside but each time that they cut in, they held the ball for too long and lost possession. Frustrating to say the least.

Another interesting point was how in the first group match against Cote d'Ivoire, I was critical of Jacob Mellin. This time out, he did have a better game and is a little terrier in midfield but still, like most of our midfield, gave the ball away thanks to simple errors far too often. Something that needs to be addressed before next match.

A few of the Brazilian lads were booked for diving or simply told to get up by the referee when appealing for fouls until finally in the 76th minute something went their way which saw them receive a free kick right on the edge of the area. Adryan stepped up confidently and slotted the ball over the wall and into the top right hand corner of the net. A shot that almost no keeper in world football would have gotten to. Harsh… but fair.

In conclusion, a far better effort from Australia but no points to show for it. There is now everything to play for in the final group match against Denmark who went down to Cote d'Ivoire in the other match today. Surely coming off a performance like this, Australia will be up for it. Can’t wait!

Match Details:

FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011 – Group F
Qantas Joeys 0
Brazil 1 (Adryan 76’)
Thursday 23 June 2011, Estadio Guadalajara
Referee: Stephan Studer (Switzerland)
Assistant Referee: Sandro Pozzi & Raffael Zeder (Switzerland)
Fourth Official: Diego Abal (Argentina)

Qantas Joeys starting-lineup: 1.Paul IZZO (gk), 3.Connor CHAPMAN (c), 4.Tom KING, 5.Corey BROWN, 6.Yianni PERKATIS (14.Milos DEGENEK 66’), 7.Hernan ESPINDOLA (19.Mitchell OXBORROW 66’), 8.Mitch COOPER, 9.Dylan TOMBIDES, 10.Jesse MAKAROUNAS (16.Stefan MAUK 83’), 17.Jacob MELLING, 21.Riley WOODCOCK

Substitutes not used: 2.Jake MONACO, 11.Luke REMINGTON, 12. Lachlan TIBBLES (gk), 13. Teeboy KAMARA, 15.Anthony PROIA, 18.Daniel SADAKA (gk), 20.Nicholas ANSELL

Yellow cards: Jacob MELLING 70’

Red cards: Nil

Brazil starting line-up: 1. Charles, 2. Wallace, 3. Marquinhos (c), 4. Matheus BARBOSA, 6. Emerson, 7. Guilherme (19. Nathan 60’), 8. Marlon BICA, 9. Ademilson (18. Wellington 89’), 10. Adryan, 11. Lucas PIAZON, 16. Hernani (5. Misael 60’)

Substitutes not used: 12. Uilson (gk), 13.Claudio WINCK, 14. Josue, 15. Jonathan, 17. Bruno SABIA, 20. Leo BONATINI, 21. Jacsson (gk)

Yellow cards: Lucas PIAZON 51’, Matheus BARBOSA 57’, Nathan 79’

Red cards: Nil

Australia next faces Denmark on 27 June AEST needing a result to see their safe passage through to the next phase of the tournam

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Joeys vs Cote d'Ivoire - Group Match 1

The Australian Under 17 national side, the Joeys got their World Cup campaign off to a flying start this morning thanks to Jesse Macarounas and Dylan Tombides strikes that gave Australia a 2-1 come from behind victory against Cote d’Ivoire.

The Joey’s lined up in the now ‘standard’, FFA mandated 4-3-3 system. This side was billed in the media beforehand by coach Jan Versleijen as the first age bracket to grow up with the system, rather than the older lads who have had to adapt half way through their time with the national setup so big things were obviously expected. They started as follows:




Espindola --Tombidis--Makarounas

For the first two minutes of the game Australia knocked the ball between each other around the back showing that they, like all football sides, can keep the ball when no pressure is applied. However, as soon as the Australian’s started to try and play through midfield and encountered some pressure, it immediately fell apart.

Cote d’Ivoire deserved their 1-0 lead which was gifted to them through a Tom King (on the books at Liverpool) error at the back when he tried to turn back in towards an attacker while trying to play out of the back rather than moving away. Possession was lost and after a few sharp passes, the goal was finished with a clinical strike past Izzo. Connor Chapman always looked good and confident stepping out of defence with the ball at his feet but overall distribution from the back into midfield was horrible. Not good to see when this is what the side’s strength and style is meant to be built from.

In midfield, retention of possession was again horrible. In particular Jacob Mellin made some poor decisions with the ball at his feet trying to play. I don’t like drilling players like him or King for making errors when trying to play football, especially at this age and to me the most disappointing element of the game was not the errors themselves, but the fact that Australia stopped trying to play and started kicking and hoping for the best. Was this a coached tactic by Versleijen? Why?!

From behind, Australia did show that they are still a capable side by going on to win the match 2-1 thanks to a pearler of a strike from Jesse Makarounas, hitting the ball on the volley from all of 20 yards which looped over the keeper to hit the back of the net. This was followed up by a Dylan Tombides special, instinctively beating the keeper at the near post after beating a defender in the box and forcing him to commit.

Izzo in goals helped the lads hold on, pulling out some cracking saves. Looks to be an excellent shot stopper but looked a little shaky at every corner, committing but never reaching the ball.

Australia ended the match looking like:




Kamara- ---Tombidis----Makarounas

The Kamara change really brought life to the right side of our attack and to me, along with Tombides, really proved the stand out for Australia today.

So to wrap up, Australia did get the result but the game could ultimately be considered a failure in the way we played. Conceding 60/40% possession in a side that boasts playing through midfield as its primary tactic is just not good enough. I am very interested to see Versleijen’s reaction to this thinking when it ultimately gets put to him. Bring on Brazil!

Joeys line-up: 1. Paul IZZO, 2. Jake MONACO (21. Riley WOODCOCK 46'), 3. Connor CHAPMAN (C), 4. Tom KING, 5. Corey BROWN, 6. Yianni PERKATIS (14. Milos DEGENEK 67'), 7. Hernan ESPINDOLA (13.Teeboy KAMARA 65'), 8. Mitch COOPER, 9. Dylan TOMBIDES, 10. Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 17. Jacob MELLIN.

Australia next faces Brazil on 24 June AEST, with the South American giant top of the group after a 3-0 win over Denmark in its opener.