Hup Socceroos, hup

Pissed off this morning, which is not really new. This time I’m pissed off about something different: Australia is out of the World Cup.

I can accept being out, let’s face it, it was always on the cards. What I’m pissed off about is how we might still have been in the running but for a moment here and there.

The Socceroos lived up to everything I said pre-tournament. They played tough. They were committed and determined and displayed all the virtues we traditionally associate with Australian sporting teams. I think they surprised a lot of people and we can be proud of their effort, but they’re out.

Overnight they took on the Netherlands, who last match had knocked over the world champions Spain 5-1. Many suggested that the scoreline against us would be similar. Fact of the matter is we led 2-1 in the second half, and should have made it 3-2. In the end that’s the scoreline we lost by.

There’s a lot to be encouraged by in that performance, but in truth I feel gutted. We had our chances. We could easily have won, and we would have deserved it.

There was a wonderful goal by Tim Cahill. But then there was the timid Oar spurning an open goal when he should have pulled the trigger. The goal was there to be had. Saved, it went down the other end where the Netherlands scored – but might not have if Ryan had been at his sharpest. That’s the killer – the win was there to be had; but then you have to be good enough to finish it off when the opportunity comes.

Taking the long view there is much to be excited by. This is a young team that will get better, playing a demanding, attacking brand of soccer. We have a very good coach who knows exactly what he wants from the team. Come 4 years we’ll be better prepared.

There are many who wrote us off early, and lots who said we wouldn’t even score. Well, we managed that, but we’re still out. Good effort, but no second prizes.

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