Oman that was Good: Socceroos Smash Red Warriors in Another Solid Asian Cup Display
January 14, 2015
Oman, what a performance, not by the Red Warriors but rather a superb Socceroos who delivered a second strong Asian Cup victory. The win was even more impressive than Australia’s opening 4-1 defeat of Kuwait and means the Aussies have secured safe passage to the quarter finals with a group match against Korea remaining. 4 goals 4 different scorers and a clean sheet… Game Two was great!
The Main Moments of the Match
The Socceroos stumbled early against Kuwait conceding the game’s first goal before showing their class and lightning almost struck twice against Oman. But Matt Ryan’s sublime save between the sticks in the opening minutes would be the most work he’d do all night. After a quarter of the encounter had past the home side starting turning the screws. With the men in red focusing their attentions on Tim Cahill from a corner, defender Trent Sainsbury was left unopposed and his header towards goal was helped in by Matt Mackay in the 27th minute. Moments later the lead was doubled, Robbie Kruse capitalised on a brilliant ball by Massimo Luongo before shooting past Wigan Athletic goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi.
Then on the stroke of half time came the match’s most confusing moment. Kruse’s curling cross was volleyed home by an unmarked Mark Milligan however the whistle was blown just as he struck the ball. The referee then pointed to the penalty spot giving having found a foul against Oman in the box. For some strange reason advantage hadn’t been played, although it wouldn’t matter as Milligan once again found the back of the net this time from 12 yards.
After the break Australia added another, to score 4 goals in successive games. Substitute Tom Juric pounced in the 70th minute finishing a stunning outside of the foot cross by Matthew Leckie. The scoring was finished, Oman were finished and shot stopper Matt Ryan remained unbeaten in goal.
More Massimo Magic as Luongo leaves us in a Spin
Massimo Luongo is fast becoming the Socceroos new shining star after another fine display. Having scored and earned man of the match honours against Kuwait all eyes were on the attacking midfielder and he was again one of Australia’s best. In just his seventh appearance Luongo was classy and creative behind the front 3 having a hand in 3 of the goals. But the Swindon Town player provided one of the game’s top highlights in setting up Robbie Kruse. After receiving the ball with the outside of his boot he then then lifted a perfectly placed pass into the path of his teammate taking out 3 Oman defenders along the way. In fact Luongo appears to be becoming so crucial to the team that he was given a rest in the second half with Australia firmly in control.
Kruse Beginning to find Top Speed
Having suffered a long term injury that saw him miss the World Cup it has taken Robbie Kruse a few performances in the Green and Gold to re-find his groove. But Bayer Leverkusen’s bit part player is showing signs he’s nearing his best. His darting runs and speed caused problems for Oman all night and crucially he took his confidence boosting goal well. Kruse also struck the post with a curling shot from outside the box in the opening half while he was robbed of a sweet assist for Milligan. The forward will be a dangerous prospect throughout the tournament if he plays in a similar fashion in the rest of Australia’s fixtures.
Australia’s dominant display was done without their regular skipper as Mile Jedinak continues to recover from an ankle injury picked up in the Socceroos Asian Cup opener. And while the Crystal Palace captain isn’t likely to feature in the remaining group stage match it’s nice to know the Aussies can play so impressively without him.
In the latest FIFA rankings Oman found themselves 7 places higher than Australia with the latter ranked number 100 in the world. Though the standings can often be misleading the Socceroos had a point to prove and they proved it, much to the delight of 50,000 spectators at ANZ Stadium and millions more fans across the country. Now to top the group.