Socceroos sunk! Japan jump Australia 2-0

Stuart Thomas Columnist

By Stuart Thomas, Stuart Thomas is a Roar Expert

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47 Have your say

    The Samurai Blue have beaten the Socceroos 2-0 at the Saitama Stadium and fully deserved their victory.

    A goal in each half was a fair reflection of proceedings, where the Socceroos failed to put consistent pressure on the home side in what was a disappointing performance from the Aussies.

    The early stages saw the Japanese dominate the contest and the well-organised Socceroo defence repel any half chances created.

    As the first period rolled on the Socceroos started to gain some traction in terms of possession yet failed to find clear avenues to goal.

    The late goal from Asano with less than five minutes remaining in the first half appeared to hurt the visitors and their start to the second period was less than inspiring.

    The Socceroos still found consistent periods of attack during the second half yet failed to provide any consistent and realistic chances.

    Ideguchi’s wonderful strike in the second half quite possibly heralded his arrival as a key player for the Japanese for a long time to come, as well as sealing the Australians fate in the qualification race.

    If Japan take a B-team into the contest against Saudi Arabia, the Socceroos appear doomed. If a real contest takes place and the Japanese seek all three points, the Socceroos need to find a way past Thailand, which, despite seeming easy on paper, was far from the case last time around.

    All in all, this was a disappointing performance in many ways from the Socceroos.

    After pushing Chile and performing well at the Confederations Cup, the local fans were optimistic about the final two qualifiers and felt things could have been wrapped up with at least a point tonight.

    However, once again the Socceroos have found a way to create stress for us all and we will have another week of waiting before we know our fate.

    Whatever the outcome, Postecoglou, staff and players need to produce something much better if this team is to achieve anything in Russia 2018 – if we even get there.

    Stuart Thomas
    Stuart Thomas

    Stuart Thomas is a sports writer and educator who made the jump from Roar Guru to Expert in 2017. An ex-trainee professional golfer, his sporting passions are broad with particular interests in football, AFL and rugby league. His love of sport is only matched by his passion for gardening and self-sustainability. Follow him on Twitter @stuartthomas72.

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    The Crowd Says (47)

    • August 31st 2017 @ 10:35pm
      Bazz said | August 31st 2017 @ 10:35pm | ! Report

      The change to the back 3 has been a disaster

      We just don’t have the technical players to run that formation.

      • August 31st 2017 @ 10:44pm
        Fadida said | August 31st 2017 @ 10:44pm | ! Report

        Nemesis and Caltex would disagree, call us “keyboard warriors”

      • Roar Rookie

        August 31st 2017 @ 10:45pm
        Stevo said | August 31st 2017 @ 10:45pm | ! Report

        Ange clearly disagrees.

      • August 31st 2017 @ 10:50pm
        jupiter53 said | August 31st 2017 @ 10:50pm | ! Report

        I thought the back 3 in and of themselves were the least of our problems tonight. I am not sure that formation was the issue. I seem to remember losing to Japan in the Asian Cup Final with a similar problem of the left back of a back 4 losing his attacker.

        Personnel was more the issue.
        Brad Smith was a disaster. Disastrously asleep in defence, and ineffective in attack due mainly to his appalling touch.
        Rogic was well off the pace; perhaps the Scottish League is too slow.
        Perhaps they were great in training?
        Juric was badly missed.

        • August 31st 2017 @ 10:52pm
          jupiter53 said | August 31st 2017 @ 10:52pm | ! Report

          and I know Juric came on later, but I would have thought he would have been on from the start if fit, and Kruse for either Rogic or Troisi.

        • August 31st 2017 @ 10:57pm
          Fadida said | August 31st 2017 @ 10:57pm | ! Report

          They got in behind us out wide at will. A formation issue

          • August 31st 2017 @ 11:15pm
            jupiter53 said | August 31st 2017 @ 11:15pm | ! Report

            Yes, fair enough criticism.
            It’s not that the formation can’t work – vide Juventus and Chelsea last season. But Brad Smith is not fit to lace Alex Sandro’s boots, and although Leckie had as good a game as any other Australian tonight, you do need to be a bloody awesome footballer to do what the wide midfield players have to do when playing 3 at the back.

            • August 31st 2017 @ 11:19pm
              Bazz said | August 31st 2017 @ 11:19pm | ! Report

              The problem is we don’t have the cattle to play that formation.

              And its been evident for about 6-7 games that we don’t.

              Just don’t understand the persistence with something that is clearly not working.

        • August 31st 2017 @ 11:05pm
          Kangajets said | August 31st 2017 @ 11:05pm | ! Report

          Re rogic

          Yes the Scottish league is woeful. Only Celtic would beat an A league team

          • August 31st 2017 @ 11:47pm
            Fadida said | August 31st 2017 @ 11:47pm | ! Report

            Agree Bazz and agree kangajets

          • September 1st 2017 @ 5:36am
            stu said | September 1st 2017 @ 5:36am | ! Report

            Perhaps Rogic is not as good as some believe. There seems to be an attack on the league he plays in when his abilities are discussed, rarely it is just his lack of ability that is discussed.

            • September 1st 2017 @ 4:33pm
              marcel said | September 1st 2017 @ 4:33pm | ! Report

              Maybe the problem with futsal players is they dont learn to run more than 15m…Rogic plays like a statue most games.

          • September 1st 2017 @ 6:59am
            LuckyEddie said | September 1st 2017 @ 6:59am | ! Report

            Well coming from a Scottish family I would disagree with your statement. But I have a cousin who was on the St Johnstone Board and quite simply them and others know they cannot beat Celtic to the title. The clubs other than Celtic have their own competition and in a way concede the Celtic games. Small clubs like StJohnstone in Perth just do not have the money to compete and any decent players they have are quickly picked up by the rich clubs in Europe. The same happens in Spain where Real will thump a team 6-0, in most cases the lower rated team just plays the reserve team. But as far as Rogic is concerned he is a good enough player but not very quick and if he was great player he would be in he EPL.

        • September 1st 2017 @ 12:01am
          Redondo said | September 1st 2017 @ 12:01am | ! Report

          That certainly tells Gersbach how low Postecoglou rates him. Smith has always been crap. He has only averaged about 5 games a season for the last 5 years and that’s because he’s crap. And now he’s slow and crap.

          He shouldn’t have played and once he did he should have been subbed after about 5 minutes. Even he looks like he wishes Postecoglou would stop picking him.

          • Roar Rookie

            September 1st 2017 @ 7:08am
            Grobbelaar said | September 1st 2017 @ 7:08am | ! Report

            Can’t argue with any of that.

    • August 31st 2017 @ 10:42pm
      Kangajets said | August 31st 2017 @ 10:42pm | ! Report

      Yeah but Ange is a genius according to nemesis. So how could we lose

      • August 31st 2017 @ 10:46pm
        Fadida said | August 31st 2017 @ 10:46pm | ! Report

        And we know nothing (even though we forecast this, right down to the selection of Brad Smith and the rubbishness of Kruse, and that back 3)

    • August 31st 2017 @ 10:46pm
      Sukkan said | August 31st 2017 @ 10:46pm | ! Report

      Time for some to eat humble pie and get their delusions checked out

    • Roar Rookie

      August 31st 2017 @ 11:06pm
      William Dalton Davis said | August 31st 2017 @ 11:06pm | ! Report

      So what’s the dealio? We need to win our last match and Japan to beat Saudi? Does Ange keep his job if we fail to qualify after some very average performances? Find out next time in the next exciting episode.

      • September 1st 2017 @ 8:17am
        chris said | September 1st 2017 @ 8:17am | ! Report

        Is Winx running this weekend?

    • August 31st 2017 @ 11:12pm
      Alex said | August 31st 2017 @ 11:12pm | ! Report

      From my read, we need to flog Thailand and we can still progress on goal difference if the Saudis beat Japan. So say the Saudis win by one goal, we need to win by four to progress. Anyone know what happens if we’re both tied on goal difference? And is this assumption correct?

      • August 31st 2017 @ 11:24pm
        hogdriller said | August 31st 2017 @ 11:24pm | ! Report

        Think it might then go by who scored the more goals ‘for’ as a deciding factor, if they finish equal on goal diff… . But I could be wrong.

      • August 31st 2017 @ 11:35pm
        Redondo said | August 31st 2017 @ 11:35pm | ! Report

        It’s goal difference then goals scored. The Saudis play Japan after we play Thailand so they’ll know how many they need to win by. To be safe we need to win by 7 at least, given Japan won’t give a stuff if they lose.

      • September 1st 2017 @ 8:16am
        chris said | September 1st 2017 @ 8:16am | ! Report

        If goal diff is the same they look at who has scored the most goals. If thats still equal then Australia qualifies as they look at head to head between Aus and Saudis.

    • Roar Guru

      August 31st 2017 @ 11:33pm
      Chris Kettlewell said | August 31st 2017 @ 11:33pm | ! Report

      I do wonder how long Ange can last. They may have won the Asian Cup at home, but in the 3 years since the last world cup they seem to have got worse rather than better.

      And can someone tell the players that there is no way the ball will ever just pass directly through the body of an opposition player! If they want to pass the ball to a team mate they need to pass it around the opposition players. Trying to go through them is never going to work.

      • September 1st 2017 @ 8:19am
        chris said | September 1st 2017 @ 8:19am | ! Report

        Agree Chris. Our passing is just sub standard at times. For a team that wants to play out from the back, that part of the game just simply needs to improve.

        • September 1st 2017 @ 8:33am
          punter said | September 1st 2017 @ 8:33am | ! Report

          We have always been poor in the passing game & never had the technical ability, this is our weakness.
          The defence was poor & this has always been our strength.

      • Roar Guru

        September 3rd 2017 @ 1:38pm
        Griffo said | September 3rd 2017 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

        It’s not solely a problem of not being able to pass Chris.

        You have to pass to someone.

        The opponent will try to block passing lines and your team mates have to move into space (ie: not behind an opponent) to have the best chance of receiving the ball.

        Both were occurring vs Japan, which was part of their game plan to put pressure on us. It should mean our players shift into space but we have been guilty for a while of being static.

        But still I do agree to an extent: it does look sometimes like we try to pass harder through an opponent in hope it might trickle past them. 🙁

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