I missed this game (too much football, too little time) but my mate Nunny watched it at the pub and had the following to say:
It was a fairly good performance by both teams. Australia held strong with solid and decisive defending and excellent man marking. Japan's excellent playmaking midfield skinned us repeatedly, but struggled to find openings going forwards. Japan had 5 good chances during the game and a few missed free kicks....
1. A run down the right and a perfectly weighted pass towards the side of the goal close to the goal line, a player ran on and kicked it first time towards the goal... Lucas Neill with a sliding deflection which put the ball into the side netting.
2. The only penetrating through ball of the game, a Japanese player running on cut the ball back dangerously. Luke Wilkshire used his body well to defended the ball from a player coming through to smack it home. The ball spilled wide to nobody.
3. Some Japanese dude won a header from a cross. Missed the goal though.
4. Some Japanese dude teed up Endo on top of the box. Luckily for us he banged it straight at Schwarzer's head - safely palmed over the bar. (geez he kicked it hard)
5. Three minutes from time the ball spilled out after a corner and fell to a Japanese player on the corner of the six yard box. His shot across goal would have gone in but bounced off his own player in the heavily populated goal mouth - just wide of the near post.
We had two chances, one of them good. The bad one first: someone kicked the ball forward to Cahill with two to beat, and excellent first touch beat one defender....then he appeared to trip himself up and pushed the ball too far ahead of himself...suck. The good: Kennedy came on with 10 mintues left to replace Cahill, he won the ball in the center circle and passed it out to the wing -you could see him then calling for the cross in the middle. The cross was perfect and he got a touch on a strongly contested header right in front of the goal. Well done boys. In the wise words of Pim Verbeek: "We don't need to win this game, Japan do, so the pressure is on them."
Oh, I almost forgot: Some Japan guy went up for a header just outside the box and we booted him in the shin. Yellow card. The whole pub was like "Ohhh what was that for"... the commentator even said it "was a harsh call for an obvious attempt at the ball" I laughed a bit inside and wondered if they were serious... it was ugly...we were nowhere near the ball and kicked the crap out of the poor guy. Luckily their shot went into the wall. Card well won.
As I said, I didn't watch the game, but two chances all match? I know a draw was a very good result away to Japan, but the Socceroos are starting to remind me of Adelaide United. It would be nice to be able to support at least one team that plays exciting football. I might have to dig up my old Barcelona shirt.