Socceroos Player Ratings
The Socceroos won, but how good were they really? Time to deliver our player ratings.
In the end it was a resounding win for Holger Osieck-s Qantas Socceroos at AAMI Park, defeating Saudi Arabia 4-2 and ending the Green Falcons- World Cup dreams, but it wasn-t always smooth sailing.
The Socceroos started well with Harry Kewell netting early, only to be ruled offside when Brett Emerton-s header might have found the net on its own, then it wasn-t long before the Saudis took the lead and Australia spent most of the first half reeling, down 2-1 at the break.
Let-s give the ratings for the players from the back to the front and see how we rated the Socceroos- overall performance.
Agree, disagree or think we got it completely wrong then leave a comment below
Mark Schwarzer: The Socceroos keeper managed to pull off one sterling save at the death and his mere presence was probably the reason Nasser Al Shamrani missed a gilt-edged chance to send the Green Falcons up 3-1, but at times his lack of match practice seemed to show.
Schwarzer was caught deep on his line for Saudi Arabia-s first goal and beaten at the near post for their second. RATING 7
Jade North: Australia-s right back nearly had a horror start to his night, with a legitimate Saudi handball shout turned down; it could have easily been a penalty.
Solid if unspectacular at the back, his slip was part of the reason Salem Al Dawsari scored the match-opening goal and he had little impact on the game in general. RATING 5
Lucas Neill: Australia-s captain thought he had his first goal for the Socceroos only to be denied by the linesman-s incorrect flag in the second half.
Neill played a solid game at the back, his passing game solid as usual. As is becoming the case at times his pace, or lack of was exposed by the Saudi attack. He and Sasa Ognenovski were at times made to look slow and were loose on their men. RATING 7
Sasa Ognenovski: Probably not the match he was going to feature heavily in. The Saudis played few balls in the air, which didn-t allow him to use his superb aerial skills. Solid at the back, he was more at fault than his captain for some loose marking. RATING 5.5
Matthew Spiranovic: The curse of the left back continued for the Socceroos with Spiranovic clearly struggling to come to grips with the position. He looked awkward throughout the match and skewed passes. Was never comfortable. RATING 5
Brett Emerton: As is always the case with Emerton he never gave up on any ball and through it he was rewarded with a late goal. A failed Saudi clearance cannoned off his leg and into the net. Should have had an assist as well... if only Harry Kewell had of stayed onside. RATING 7
Mark Milligan: Employed as a defensive midfielder the pace of the Saudi attack found him out at times and he was a major reason for both their goals. Was found wanting and perhaps was still struggling with a knock he picked up last time out for the Victory. RATING 4
Mark Bresciano: Not for the first time in his Socceroos career he was largely at fault for a goal. He slipped at the crucial moment when Salem Al Dawsari scored the opener, and his confidence would have been a little down.
In attack it was a different story. Bresciano was a livewire and it showed. His speed and ability to move the ball early with pace and precision was key to at least two goals, he terrorised the Saudi defence all night. In short a very good return. RATING 8
James Troisi: Had plenty of the ball early but really struggled to make an attacking impact, his workrate was there, but he turned the ball over a few times and was subbed off after 64 minutes by Osieck. RATING 6
Harry Kewell: The star of his generation shone brightly at AAMI Park and showed his critics he has still got it. He worked tirelessly all night in attack and defence and was a constant threat with the ball at his feet.
A huge work ethic was on show as was his desire to still be a part of the national setup. More than anyone it appeared as if Kewell had the fire burning within him and his constant shots on goal or linking passes showed his skills have not waned at all. RATING 9
Alex Brosque: Brosque came in out of the cold of a Chinese winter to earn a surprise starting spot on Osieck-s team and finally showed what a star he can be when he delivers his best.
Dangerous from the get go he fired a warning shot into the side-netting early on and it wasn-t long before he levelled the scores at 1-1 with a well-taken first time strike in tight space. He would level things again for Australia at 2-2, before turning provider for Harry Kewell to send the Socceroos ahead 3-2.
In short a man of the match performance with everything you could want from a striker. RATING 9.5
Archie Thompson: Came on in the 64th minute for James Troisi and did his thing admirably. Worked hard on and off the ball and played a part in Kewell-s goal. Not enough time on the pitch to really settle, he showed good signs. RATING 6
David Carney: Came on for Matt Spiranovic late in the piece, given his recent lack of play it was good to see him kick a ball around. RATING 4
Nick Carle: Played just a few minutes late on as a substitute for Alex Brosque. Had little time but nearly had a late chance fall to him. RATING 5
These are the views of the author and by no means are these the views of the FFA or Qantas Socceroos.