Thursday, November 18, 2010

Egypt 3-0 Australia: Socceroos no match for Pharaohs

Egypt 3-0 Australia


Australia, 20th in the FIFA ratings list, were always going to be up against it when they faced The Pharaohs in Cairo, given that preparation was minimal and the conditions unfamiliar.

Egypt are the reigning African champions, a title they have held for the past three African Nations Championships and which they have won seven times overall.

They are 10th in the FIFA rankings and have now gone 15 games without loss at home in Cairo. Their last home defeat was against Argentina in 2008. But, they have conceded 8 goals in their past 4 games.

Having said that, this was only the 5th loss in 22 games for Australia, but more ominously, it was the 4th in the past nine games.

The previous biggest most recent defeat for the Socceroos was the 4-0 loss to Germany at the 2010 World Cup.

Sasa Ognenovski made his Socceroos debut for Australia, partnering Lucas Neill in the centre of defence.

Egypt had a couple of early chances that had Australian keeper Mark Schwarzer scampering about his 6-yard box.

Australia’s only real chance came in the 26th minute when Brett Holman played the ball to the left of the box for Tim Cahill, but, uncharacteristically, the Everton striker pulled his shot wide of the far post.

Three minutes later, Egypt took the lead after a through-ball to the left by Ahmed Abdul Zaher, which found Islam Awad. When Luke Wilkshire tackled Awad, the ball rolled loose to Zaher, who smashed it home from 12 metres.

Two minutes later, Egypt went close as Ahmed Fathi blazed wide.

Australia suffered a blow in the 34th minute when Brett Emerton went off with a hamstring strain. He was replaced by Richard Garcia.

Four minutes into the second half, Cahill, who has scored 21 goals in 45 appearances for Australia, headed narrowly wide from Jason Culina’s corner.

Egypt coach Hassan Sheehata made the first of his many substitutions in the 53rd minute when Sunderland’s Ahmed El Mohamady came on. It was he who raced down the right and crossed for substitute Gedo to score with his first touch. It was his 8th goal in 12 games for Egypt.

A minute from the end, Egypt were awarded a penalty by the Bulgarian referee when Neill was adjudged to have pushed an opponent in the back. Zidan despatched the spot-kick inside the right-hand post to make it 3-0.

Egypt played with a back-three, something that Australia also did in the second half but not as effectively.

Australian starting XI: Mark Schwarzer, Luke Wilkshire, Lucas Neill, Sasa Ognenovski, David Carney, Brett Holman, Jason Culina, Mile Jedinak, Brett Emerton, Tim Cahill, Scott McDonald

Egyptian starting XI: Abdul-Wahed El-Sayad, Mahmoud Fatah Alla, Ahmed Samir Farag, Ahmed Fathi, Islam Awad, Ahmed Eid Abdelamalak, Ibrahim Salah, Mohamed Abou-Trika, Ahmed Abdul-Zaher, Ahmed Elmedhamady, Wael Gomaa


Anonymous said...

BIG OGGER was too slow and pumped long balls all game.

Anonymous said...

A number of pundits in the Australian media and fans on blogs have claimed Australia should attack more. The premise is that Australia needs two forwards. Hence, they should attack more and have more chances to score. They forget that Australia has had superb defensive organisation with one central striker.

What they forget is that Pim Verbeek organised a very tight defence. Australia usually dominated possession in central midfield, particularly against Asian teams, who have often played half presses.

What has happened in Osieck's tenure is that Australia has struggled to get the midfield possession they had under Verbeek. Australia has had very good luck under Osieck. It ran out last night.

Moreover, Australia is lacking almost any players who can beat players one on one in the attacking third. I watched games of the Socceroos earlier in the decade. Harry Kewell and Stan Lazaridis constantly beat players one on one. Now nobody is doing it for Australia.

Casual Observer

Anonymous said...


North, Sasa, Culina, Garcia and Carney have all got to get dropped

Im sorry A-league isn't up to the international standard, stick to the Euro-roos that are playing 1st division in good leagues (im going to get flake for this i dont really care its the truth everyone who is unbiased knows it)

Give Torisi, Burns and even Chris Herd a chance

I find it Ironic we loss Gulum a LB a position we need filling desperately as it was clear tonight David Careny isn't a defender.

Asian players are also Average Milligan, Ogra, North (at the time) and Kennedy are all garbage. Spira isnt bad but is always injured

Socceroos are getting worst sorry more players we might have less quality in our starting 11 is obvious. We lucked out against Para with a scrappy goal we simply have no defense and no creative mid fielders it would be nice if we had a striker who could shoot too..

Can anyway tell me why he took Emmo off i was watching it in Arabic so i had no idea what the commentator was saying.

Anonymous said...

Osieck is rated as a coach typifying the former generation for producing mediocre players, according a to a German football journalist. The journo claims he hasn't even been considered for Bundesliga jobs.

He is not considered to be part of the new high speed precision German play, which German coach Low exemplifies. The Dutch overhauled their coaching system earlier this decade, when they observed the Dutch producing better quality players with one fifth of the population. Osieck is part of the old, mechanistic German system.

Conversely, Verbeek is a part of contemporaneous Dutch KNVB methodology. He has also coached in the Dutch Eredivisie.

Beckenbauer claims Osieck may be good as a development coach/team builder, but isn't this the role of the TD Han Berger? I'd rather have the hard nosed, single minded and results oriented Verbeek.

Casual Observer

Anonymous said...

Black Cat, haven't you read the report? It says Emerton was taken off because of a hamstring strain.

Anonymous said...

We were beaten by a better opponent on the day. Mcdonald is complete trash and so is Carney.

PIM was a joke get over him CO

Anonymous said...

PIM achieved nothing Casual Observor. He failed at the world cup.

end of story

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11.21 pm.

Quite a number of pundits in the Australian media, who should know better, emotively castigated Verbeek for the result of one game against Germany. Australia lost 4-0. Verbeek tried a 4-4-2 with a gap between the forward line and the attacking miffield line for the first 25 minutes. If it had come off he would have been hailed a hero. It didn't. He wasn't hailed a hero. Osieck plays this formation most most of the time. It was also not a successful formation in 2010 in terms of the first three place getters in South Africa.

Consider the following:

1. Australia under Hiddink accrued 4 points at the 2006 World Cup. Verbeek's Socceroos accrued 4 points, in, unequivocally, a more difficult group in South Africa 2010. Germany and Ghana went further than any other top two in any other group in 2010.

2. Kewell was offside when he scored against Croatia in 2006. Wilkshire missed a simple one on one with keeper Kingston against Ghana in 2010. If Wilkshire had scored, Australia would have accrued 6 points in 2010. If the assistant ref had raised his flag against Kewell, Australia would have accrued 3 points at 2010. 2006 Socceroos would have failed to get out of the group. There are fine margins between success and failure.

Casual Observer

Anonymous said...

Second part of response to Anon 11.21 pm.

3. Australia under Verbeek played with 10 players for nearly half the tournament at 2010. Hiddink had 11 v 11 for the whole tournament.

4. The world rankings of Brazil, Serbia and Ghana at 2010 were collectively higher than Brazil, Croatia and Japan in 2006. To achieve 4 points in 2010 was arguably more meritorious than the 4 points achieved in 2006.

5. Australia was the top qualifier in Asia with the highest number of points accumulated. Both Japan and South Korea progressed to the second round of WC 2010.

6. Almost to a player, the Socceroos under Verbeek's tenure lauded his coaching ability after he finished his Socceroo tenure. This is very rare.

7. Graham Arnold claimed after the Asian Cup it was an insurmountable job to qualify Australia for the World Cup through Asia with its logistical, climatic and cultural nuances. Verbeek did it seamlessly.

8. Obviously Hiddink has been a great coach. Nevertheless, he failed to qualify Russia with a strong team, for South Africa 2010. Verbeek qualifying at the top of Asia is possibly a more meritorious achievement.

Has Guus been excoriated for it? No.

Has Pim been lauded for his Asian achievement? No.

I just thought I'd elucidate a few issues. To simplistically define Verbeek as a failure for the Socceroos is simplistic, inaccurate and logically flawed. Sometimes the media simplifies events to play to people's prejudices.

Casual Observer

Anonymous said...


2. Kewell was offside when he scored against Croatia in 2006.

Please, Graham Poll didn't send off Aussie Joe after his 2nd yellow so you can't be saying we were lucky cause Kewell was offside.

Stats mean nothing in the end of the day if you are getting knocked out 1st rd of the world cup and getting smashed 4-0 in the 1st game.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10.56 pm

You've selectively ignored a plethora of qualified arguments supporting aspects of Verbeek's tenure. You've been duped by a media pushing a simplistic agenda. Some purported football journos love to present issues as white and black as opposed to shades of grey. It is much easier for a few punters in a less than discerning public. Congratulations! You are not alone.

You won't find any support for your position from Paul Trimboli, Andy Harper, Ross Aloisi, or any of the measured and sage former players in the Australian football media.

A few rational articles were written in the now defunct Science Of Football and Gerard Whately for the ABC presenting some cogent arguments supporting aspects of Verbeek's tenure.

Apart from Les Scheinflug, essentially playing a majority of games against Oceania teams, Verbeek has the highest win/loss ratio of any coach in Australia's history, with a tenure of 12 games or more. Pim also played no games against Oceania opposition. Like a few others in a less than discerning football public, you fail to acknowledge some elementary football facts. They are irrefutable.

Casual Observer

Anonymous said...


Watched 2nd half with great disappointment. Perhaps unsurprisingly we played like an A-league team and faced a team of continental champions who taught us a lesson in football without breaking much of a sweat. We have a lot of work to do before January. Schwarzer tried but the defence was very faulty and we had no venom or poise with the ball. Hate to say it but we missed Kennedy, Kewell, Kisnorbo and Kilkenny IMHO. We also missed Verbeek's attention to detail in tactics.

Anonymous said...

PETE thinks...

A very very poor performance by the lads.

Our defence got ripped apart - mainly on Carney's flank and through the middle. Wilkshire was industrious and reasonably tight in defence.

Egypt's 1st goal was a result of a beautiful, but simple, "give and go" that totally split our static central defenders. Schwarzer made a good save but, again, our defenders were too slow or didn't have the presence of mind to be prepared for the rebound.

The 2nd goal exposed the typical Australian weakness and it will also cause us headaches at the Asian Cup.

Carney got totally beaten out wide and couldn't prevent the perfect delivery into the box. Lucas Neill was in a reasonable position, but his timing was rubbish - in my opinion, the captain's form has been a real worry for quite some time and he's making mistakes in a position where we'll always be punished.

The 3rd goal was again Lucas Neill's fault - albeit a very soft penalty.

The Egyptians were crisp and methodical going forward and you knew exactly what their plan was and their technical execution is a joy to watch.

By contrast, when Australia went forward it was haphazard - I couldn't dicern any special methodology being used in the build up - or it was simply long balls into the box for Cahill and Scotty Mac.

Today, our 1st touch was shocking, our passing was wayward and the opponents skipped past us like we weren't there.

The only good thing ... better to have this performance now than in January in Qatar.

Anonymous said...

FIG LEAF said...
Culina, holman and maybe McDonald were our only decent players. Lucas Niell was rubbish and culpable for all the goals and a lot more besides. Cahill had a shocker, normally he'd have had a hat trick. Jedinak was nowhere and offered nothing. Terrible performances from the bulk of our players. Og was pretty good. Mckay should've gotten more of a run but he looked good for what he had. Move along, move along.

Anonymous said...


Can't believe I got up to watch that.

Really was a wake up call, and showed us who isn't good enough for the future and who is. North and Garcia have to go. Ognenovski was solid for a debut game. I think we really need to blood some youth in there, someone with pace and some flair. Tommy Oar should be given a go at the Asian Cup, as he has the talent to do what Kewell could do when he was a youngster, that is taking on defenders and beating them with pace and skill.
Rukavytsya, Leckie, Spiranovic, Rhys Williams and Oar all need to be in the next squad. Enough of these players like North, Thwaite and Garcia.

I think that was a one off performance. We came to Egypt, had a less than ideal preparation, and Egypt are in the top 10 in the World.

Anonymous said...

MAROON said...


Had a hand in all 3 goals, turned around like a muppet, got chased down from 5 metres behind, the ball goes through his legs and the striker puts it away (he was BEHIND Neill ffs!!)

Overrated and useless. Was only good in 2006. Get rid of him. I don't understand why he is a protected species, because he is the captain? Drop him. Useless hack that just turns around with his hand in the air all the time whilst the opposition scores.

Carney, outclassed and outshone on the left as always. It shows that he doesn't play every week for his club.

Culina the only one that looked sure on the ball. Why? Because he is playing every week!

Whats with the diagonal long balls in the box when you have Macca and Cahill there? Makes no sense.

Get some young blood in there. Half the u19s should be looked at like Leckie, Oar, Bulut etc

Anonymous said...

OMAR's opinion..

Wouldn't have happened if we had Pim.

Anonymous said...


OMG, we lost a friendly game against Egypt! We are aboslute rubbish!

My goodness some of you people are jokes, you have no idea of the strength of the good Asian and African sides do you? Us beating Egypt when they are playing at home was very unlikely, expecting us to romp to a win is just pure fantasy - you obviously need to learn a bit more about this game.

Anonymous said...

DENIS LAW thinks...

Pretty simple really; Father Time is catching up, fast, with the great generation of Socceroos from WC06 and the young ones aren’t good enough to take their places. Schwarzer, spilling an early shot and flapping at a cross in the second half; Neil being turned in the box after two minutes; Emerton failing to track back leading to Egypt’s first goal – all three are past their best. Kewell is a shadow of a once great player, Bresciano isn’t good enough to make the squad and Grella doesn’t want to know. Viduka has never been replaced and no one comes within cooee of the quality of Craig Moore. Beyond Cahill who had three possibilities to score and Holman who provided the only bit of creativity when he set up Cahill there is no player of the next generation playing at the elite level. Jedinak (and as a Mariners fan I am a Jedi fan) does not have the ability to impose himself on the game; Cullina without quality support plays on the periphery of the game; Ognenovski was no better, no worse, than Chris Coyne or Beauchamp; Carney without a challenge from the retired Chipperfield was lightweight and ineffective; Wilkshire’s highlight was a crude challenge earning a yellow. Emerton was so bad that I wanted Garcia to come on (for the first time ever) but Garcia isn’t international standard. What wouldn’t McDonald give to receive the service that led to Egypt’s second goal? And, here’s a brutal truth, the eleven that started the game is just about the best we can field – Kennedy, Kewell or Spiranovic would not improve it. Tough gig, Holger, good luck in the Asian Cup!

Anonymous said...

Given we have few players playing in top European leagues and Osieck being rated as an outmoded coach from the old style German school, is this result a surprise?

Alf Ramsey

Anonymous said...

Africa's top ranked team looks like it is better than Asia's top ranked team based on this result.