Jun 06, 2010
Australia lost its first international match for the year when it went down 3-1 to the United States in a friendly match in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The Socceroos went in with the same team that defeated Denmark on Tuesday and suffered an early setback when some poor defensive work from Vince Grella allowed Edson Buddle an easy shot on goal that he duly capitalised on to give the USA the lead.
Around the ten minute mark Robert Findlay evaded Schwarzer in the box and with an open goal begging he missed his shot to the right much to Australia’s delight.
Tim Cahill was again in the right place at the right time to level scores at the 18 minute mark for Australia when he got on the end of a Luke Wilkshire cross to put the ball in the back of the net.
In an entertaining match the Americans were unlucky not to go further ahead just before the half-hour mark when Dempsey cracked one which forced Schwarzer to react quickly and parry away.
A few moments later Michael Bradley popped a clever cross from the right which found Buddle on his own close to goal and he popped through his second for the match.
Australia had a decent chance a few minutes later but Josh Kennedy was unable to control Scott Chipperfield’s swirling cross and his header missed to the right.
The second half saw a restructure for the Socceroos with Cahill substitued for Valieri and Scott Chipperfield was a shining light for the Aussies.
Just before the hour the Americans had another great chance when Findlay was unlucky not to score when his effort hit the bar, before Schwarzer made a brilliant save at close range to a hot Dempsey shot. The Americans scored a goal in the goal mouth scramble but it was disallowed for offside.
The Australians pressed forward on a number of occasions in the second half but were unable to penetrate the American defence at the last line. The Socceroos had a number of wasted corners in the second half and it wasn’t for lack of trying that they didn’t nab a goal, it was because they lacked the finishing skills.
Josh Kennedy was non existent up front and the few times he got the ball he turned it over with poor skill errors and will need to improve dramatically to have any impact when the tournament starts.
The United States scored a late goal beyond 90 minutes when the substitute Gomez got on to a Landon Donovan ball to put the game beyond doubt.
Australia 1 – 3 United States (USA)
4m Buddle (Usa)
18m Cahill (Aus)
19m Buddle (Usa)
92m Gomez 92 (Usa)
Australia were much more attacking than they were against Denmark and with a bit of luck they could have had a couple more goals, but on the same token, the USA could have easily had a few more too, and should have. The Socceroos were made to look ordinary on a number of occasions with the superb passing of the American side and the Aussies will take away plenty from this match.
Australia meet Germany in their first game of the World Cup in Group D while the United States play England in their first Group C match.
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Filed Under: 2010 World Cup