Olyroos miss Olympic football finals for first time since ’84

By Adrian Warren,


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    Australia will miss the Olympic football tournament for the first time since 1984 after their blunt attack flopped again in a 1-0 loss to United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi.

    The Olyroos needed a win on Thursday morning (AEDT) to at least stay in the hunt for the playoffs involving the three second-placed teams in the Asian qualifying groups.

    Once again, Australia were toothless in attack and have the ignominious distinction of failing to score a goal after five group games.

    The loss left Australia bottom of their four-team group, trailing second placed Uzbekistan by five points with one game to play against Iraq in Gosford on March 14.

    A win would lift them off the bottom and into third above Iraq, who upset previously unbeaten Uzbekistan 2-1 in the other penultimate round game.

    The Olyroos created some decent chances, especially in the first half before UAE scored the only goal of the game.

    Mate Dugandzic clipped the crossbar and Aaron Mooy and captain Oliver Bozanic each had a shot saved.

    The only goal came midway through the first half, when goalkeeper Matthew Ryan was beaten at his near post by a speculative shot from near the byline following a short corner routine.

    Moments earlier Ryan had pulled off two good saves from a free kick and follow-up effort.

    Unbeaten UAE, who now lead the group by three points, went close a couple of times just before the hour mark.

    The home team were content to protect their lead in the final quarter and just launched the occasional attack.

    Australia had a decent share of possession in the second half, but created few chances due to consistently poor delivery into the area from both set pieces and open play.

    Mooy blazed high and wide with just over 10 minutes to go, as the Olyroos’ painful goal drought continued.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (16)

    • February 23rd 2012 @ 8:04am
      nordster said | February 23rd 2012 @ 8:04am | ! Report

      apologies in advance but … i’m glad personally

      it was a distraction in the first place for these guys who are first choice with their clubs to be taking part in qualifying for weeks at a time during the league season … and a risk given how few spots there are on offer.

      Australia needs to pick and choose which junior levels are a priority based on football reasons. Not on giving a nice trip away or life experience of going to a Games, nor for getting one over on other sports who don’t get to contest it at all.

      Mat Ryan … perfect example of someone now being blooded in the senior NT setup, which is where all of our best players of that calibre should be aiming for.

      • February 23rd 2012 @ 9:25am
        B said | February 23rd 2012 @ 9:25am | ! Report

        Would this ‘…nice trip away or life experience…’ be paid for by the Australian Olympic Committee ?

        • February 23rd 2012 @ 11:23am
          nordster said | February 23rd 2012 @ 11:23am | ! Report

          good question, don’t know about the qualifiers and preparation … maybe the Games themselves though? Either way i’m looking at it purely thru the football goggles, not so much the accountants specs.

    • February 23rd 2012 @ 8:35am
      Sky Blue Ram said | February 23rd 2012 @ 8:35am | ! Report

      Does that mean they won’t be able to use that ridiculous nickname now?

    • February 23rd 2012 @ 10:27am
      Realfootball said | February 23rd 2012 @ 10:27am | ! Report

      As a would-be Emperor, Vidmar has been shown to unequivocally have no clothes.

      This disgraceful campaign is all about his coaching. Dull, negative, tactically witless, and peppered with inexplicable squad and team selections.

      Frankly, Vidmar coaches uncannily like Verbeek. And that, most certainly, is not a compliment.

    • February 23rd 2012 @ 11:48am
      Roarchild said | February 23rd 2012 @ 11:48am | ! Report

      We wasted a lot of money on this and all it did was take players away from their A league clubs.
      We didn’t really select our best team and yet we spent heaps of money on camps. I can’t tell if we were taking it seriously or not.

      The only positive was that we got to see Goodwin play in the Melbourne derby.

    • Roar Guru

      February 23rd 2012 @ 12:18pm
      Griffo said | February 23rd 2012 @ 12:18pm | ! Report

      No doubt the excuses of non-FIFA dates and first-team player availability may come to the fore but if the Olyroos were seen as an important cog in the development of the generation on the cusp of Socceroos selection, then how many of this squad will go on to become regulars in the senior team?

      Given we have yet to score a goal in this round of qualifying, not many of the forwards you would expect. I think there are some players glad to not have this campaign added to their CV while they get some game time overseas or in the A-League.

      As for CVs, Vidmar’s would have taken a dent in being the first Olyroo coach to not qualify for the Olympics in a generation.

      Being groomed as a future Socceroo coach, Vidmars next coaching assignment will be interesting to watch.

      • February 23rd 2012 @ 3:00pm
        nordster said | February 23rd 2012 @ 3:00pm | ! Report

        play them individually amongst a more experienced squad they do better as the A-League is starting to show. Among themselves they are struggling yes. At this age group surely they are better as part of the wider senior NT group. Certainly will learn more and be able to step up quicker than just playing among that age group at international level.

        • Roar Guru

          February 23rd 2012 @ 6:41pm
          Griffo said | February 23rd 2012 @ 6:41pm | ! Report

          Not sure Holger agrees with this at the moment…

    • February 23rd 2012 @ 12:43pm
      Aware said | February 23rd 2012 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

      It’s an indictment on the game, the executive that runs the game and the administrators at all clubs. An absolute, inexcusible disgrace to miss Olympic selection for the first time since 1984, especially given the dubious quality of the opposition. The same old problem- an inability to score goals. Heads should roll.

      • February 27th 2012 @ 10:47am
        PeterK said | February 27th 2012 @ 10:47am | ! Report

        I think we all need to be careful to avoid arrogance here — we have no God-given right to win any game, nor to go to the Olympic Games, nor to go to any World Cup!

        I suspect that somehow we needed to have some sort of pause in the HAL for these matches, though I’m not too sure how far ahead FFA knew of the dates for the matches.

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