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Japan V Australia
SANG-AM WORLD CUP STADIUM, SEOUL, 25 JULY 2013
|1||HALF TIME SCORE||0|
|11||SHOTS ON GOAL||8|
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The Socceroos‘ 2013 East Asian Cup continues tonight when they meet rivals Japan. We’ll have live scores and commentary from 9.00pm AEST.
The Socceroos go into the second of their three East Asian Cup fixtures with a point after a 0-0 draw with Korea on Saturday night.
In truth, Holger Osieck’s side stumbled through the 90 minutes against the home nation, and had it not been for the performance of goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic would have been on the receiving end of a two or three-goal defeat.
Given the majority of the squad are in the early stages of A-League club pre-seasons it was to be expected, and regardless of how they achieved it keeping a clean sheet against a sharp Korean side is a positive.
Osieck’s midfield combination of Ruben Zadkovich, Mark Milligan and Dario Vidosic were overrun in the middle and the coach may want to bring in a player capable of better distribution, such as Aaron Mooy or Matt McKay.
But whether he takes a risk with the less experienced Mooy – something he isn’t known for – remains to be seen.
Japan also come into tonight with a point after their opening fixture, a 3-3 draw against China.
Alberto Zaccheroni’s side led with ten minutes remaining against the Chinese, but conceded twice in the space of six minutes to throw away a 3-1 lead.
Like Osieck, Zaccheroni has selected a largely youth-based lineup after having taken his first team to the Confederations Cup last month.
Inexperienced defending cost Japan on the weekend and it could be an avenue for the Socceroos to exploit – providing they do a better job of retaining the ball here. If they don’t, it could be a long night chasing it.
Here’s hoping we see a drastically better Socceroos tonight. We’ll have live scores from 9.00pm AEST.