COACH – Ange Postecoglou
BEST SHOWING – 2nd Round 2006
QUALIFICATION – Runner-up in AFC Final Stage Group B
TOURNAMENT ODDS – 1000/1 (Ladbrokes/Coral)
June 13th – Chile (2300 BST, Cuiaba, ITV)
June 18th – Holland (1700 BST, Porto Alegre, ITV)
June 23rd – Spain (1700 BST, Curitiba, ITV)


Button Spain Button Holland Button Chile


Successive 6-0 shellackings at the hands of Brazil and France, an embarrassing home defeat to China aligned with average performances in the qualifying campaign saw the powers that be at the FFA (Football Federation Australia) replace Holger Osieck with Ange Postecoglou, an A-League coaching veteran who had success at Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory.

A couple of friendlies saw the Aussies defeat Costa Rica and lose to Ecuador, blowing a three-goal lead in the process and they have a hint of the unknown about them with a youthful squad.

Postecoglou favours the 4-2-3-1 formation that his predecessor employed but is looking for a less direct style than “whip it in early and hope Tim Cahill gets on the end of it”.

Club Brugge’s Mat Ryan will look to distribute it from between the sticks but the defence lacks international experience – the veteran Luke Wilkshire is the likely right back but could be pushed by Ivan Franjic whilst Matthew Spiranovic will partner with one of Curtis Good, Alex Wilkinson or Bailey Wright. Heracles’ Jason Davidson is the likely left back.

Midfield has far more experience with Mile Jedinak and Mark Milligan pressing the opponents for possession with the veteran Marco Bresciano filling the role of playmaker, a role that Celtic’s Tom Rogic could also play.

Tommy Oar and Matthew Leckie can play on the wing whilst Tim Cahill will plow the lone furrow up front.

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05 WORLD CUP OAROne of the many Socceroos who have migrated to Europe, Oar moved to Holland in the summer of 2010 and made the breakthrough to become a Utrecht regular in the 2012/13 season.

As a natural winger, Oar isn’t afraid to take on his man and has the skill and ability to beat defenders. With Tim Cahill up front it’s also handy that he can whip in a cracking cross and isn’t half bad on delivering a free kick either.

He’s also willing to chance his arm from long range and is capable of the odd 30-yard corker.


In a group with Spain, Holland and Chile most other teams would be quaking in their boots – that isn’t the Australian way though, even if the odds are against them. Even if people give them no chance whatsoever the Aussies will stick two fingers up to adversity and meet the challenge head on with a fearless, never-say-die attitude.

They’ll need that attitude in all three games because they’re coming up against better sides than them. What they do have is a bit of the element of surprise and a daring approach to the game. They’ll need luck, resilience and to make the most of their set-piece plays as they don’t possess a lot of weapons that will hurt other teams. Tim Cahill will always be a handful for opposition defenders but if the defenders can shut down Oar and Leckie, it’s hard to see where chances will come from.

It’s also hard to see how their defence can resist the playmakers that Spain, Holland and Chile possess – Wilkshire at right back looks particularly vulnerable.

If the Aussies qualify from this group, they deserve a hero’s welcome when they return to Oz.

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They’ll fight hard, they’ll never quit and they’ll be in your face but the Aussies are finishing bottom of the group and going home.

world cup Brasil emblem 01

Danny Kewell (D-Good)
Owls Alive
TWITTER: @OwlsAlive or @DGood83

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