It was a decade of success for Australia, and here is the Socceroos’ team of the 2010s.
Australian goalkeeper Mat Ryan was shattered after watching Memphis Depay’s shot from outside the box slip past his hands to give the The Netherlands a 3-2 lead in their World Cup match.
The shot had dipped sharply, taken a rough bounce, deviated slightly off the pitch and brushed the tops of 22-year-old Ryan’s gloves into the bottom right corner of the goal. It proved to be the goal that decided the result of the match.
Ryan is also 22 years old, and is no doubt Australia’s long-term option in the position.
Watch the video of the attempted save above.
Ryan told News Corp that he was devastated it was his “mistake” that gave Holland the lead with around 20 minutes remaining in the match.
“What can I say — I’m just so disappointed, especially the way the game panned out,” Ryan said. “We had more than a chance. It’s such a disappointing way to lose.
“The two games we have played, you can’t say the opposition has been the best team overall. But it’s a results-based game so in that respect we’ve fallen short.
In a country that inscrutably examines sport to all degrees, the reaction has been almost unanimously positive from the Socceroos first two performances of the World Cup. Considering Australia was 2-1 up in the second half, should there be more disappointment that the Socceroos couldn’t seal the deal?
Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou rushed to the defence of Ryan after the match, saying there was more than just the missed save to the result of the match.
“That was the critical moment that changed the game, both us missing the opportunity and conceding,” Postecoglou said.
“That is how these big games are decided … it’s not just about one player costing us this game.”
“We had a great opportunity just before then, so where do you draw the line of whose fault?” he said.
“It’s nobody’s fault. We win as a team, we lose as a team.
“Mat is very very disappointed at the moment and he’s distraught.
“But he’s only a young man, he’s starting his journey as a goalkeeper. And give me one goalkeeper in the world that doesn’t have a moment he’s disappointed in.”
But in a country that is often overly harsh on our athletes and officials, have we gone the other way here? Should we be more disappointed the Socceroos didn’t get the result that many think they deserved?
Or maybe we should focus on celebrating an amazing performance from the national side, including one of the greatest goals you’re likely to see this tournament.