Australia lose in Cairo
With very little preparation time Australia were soundly beaten 3-0 by Egypt in Cairo
Australia's first ever trip to Cairo proved an unfruitful one after they were defeated 3-0 by an impressive Egypt side. The African champions had just too much for a disjointed Australian outfit.
Having gone 14matches since being defeated at home (against Argentina in 2008) Egypt started cautiously and were very defensive for the opening 20 minutes.
After the opening goal in the 29th minute though, Egypt took control of the game and Australia never really looked like getting back into it.
The Qantas Socceroos did slightly edge the opening half an hour though and Tim Cahill had a golden chance that you would've backed him to score nine times out of ten. Wilkshire was also a huge plus point on the right hand side and his crosses were always dangerous.
The opening goal seemed to give Egypt the momentum they needed though and their energy and imagination was too much for an out of sorts Australian outfit. Another big positive for Australia was the eagerly anticipated debut of Sasa Ognenovski who recently led his club side to the AFC Champions league trophy on Saturday.
He was given a tough welcome to international football though when he was pulled out of position in the build up to the first goal. Making only his second appearance, Ahmed Abdul Zaher latched onto a blocked shot and put the ball in the back of the net to open the scoring.
The game then seemed to swing in the favour of the hosts and when influential midfielder Brett Emerton went off injured, the visitors never looked like getting back into the match.
Egypt had dominated possession since half time and just before the hour mark the game was effectively put to bed when substitute Gedo scored with his first touch from the best move of the game.
A defense splitting pass from fellow sub Mohamed Zidan was inch perfect for Gedo who fired home from 5metres out. The game then fizzled out somewhat and the Qantas Socceroos were fairly unimpressive through the remainder of the match.
Even the ever-reliable Tim Cahill was largely subdued, shown by him missing a couple of chances that he would have buried week in week out in the Premiership.
The disappointing night was underlined in the final minute as Egypt were awarded a penalty after Lucas Neill was adjudged to have fouled Gedo in the penalty box.
Replays suggested the penalty decision was very harsh on Neill but substitute Zidan added a goal to his earlier assist and put an end to a miserable night for the Aussies.
The last game before the Asian Championships next year was slightly disappointing but it mustn't be forgotten that they were playing a top 10 side in the world and preparation time for the Aussies was an absolute minimum in build up to the game.
With most of the players flown in only a couple of days prior to the game, getting a real game-plan together must've been hard for the coaching staff.
Being only the fifth loss in 22 internationals it's hardly too much cause for concern ahead of the Qatar tournament in January. Something they will take from the outing as the acclimatisation as conditions in Qatar will be similar to Cairo