Australia’s clash with Japan in Osaka on Tuesday night will be the last chance for us to see the Socceroos in action before the AFC Asian Cup in January.
Ange Postecoglou has stated that the recent run of friendlies away from home has been designed to toughen up the side that will gain natural advantage from the cup being played at home.
There is no better test for the Socceroos than the Blue Samurai.
Who will ever forget the thrilling 3-1 victory at the 2006 World Cup that set up Australia’s amazing run in that tournament?
Or the AFC Asian Cup final in 2011, when Japan managed to turn the tables on Australia and win 1-0 in extra time?
[quote]Recent results may not have shown it, but the team has steadily improved, despite only notching up two wins in Postecoglou’s 11 games in charge.[/quote]
Recent results may not have shown it, but the team has steadily improved, despite only notching up two wins in Postecoglou’s 11 games in charge.
In that period the Socceroos have played well at times, but not been able to put together 90 minutes.
If the aim is to beat an in-form Japan at home, a full 90 minutes of quality football is a must.
Wins have perhaps not been the priority in recent times and it is easy to forget that Postecoglou has not really been at the helm for that long.
While the coach’s main aim in all of the warm up matches before the AFC Asian Cup is to determine combinations and his ultimate run-on side, however, the excuses stop in 52 days-time.
All eyes are on Ange on Tuesday night.
Come January 9 the team, and the Australian public, need goals.
With Tim Cahill overcoming a hip injury to play against the Blue Samurai, the Socceroos should have as much attacking potential as ever to put a few into the back of the net.
Cahill aside, there is enough quality in Australia’s line-up to get a result – Robbie Kruse, Matthew Leckie, Mile Jedinak and Matthew Spiranovic are all fit and have been in good form for their clubs.
The key for any team, of course, is how well they come together and the fixture against Japan presents the last real chance for the Socceroos to do that.
One thing is for sure, if they pass the test on Tuesday night in front a Yanmar Stadium full of screaming Blue Samurai fans, the future looks good.
Do you think the Socceroos can beat Japan in Osaka?