Socceroos see off Indonesia to book Asian Cup quarter-final spot – as it happened
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Here is Vince Rugari’s match report, which is exactly of the tone I thought it might be.
The Socceroos have ticked another box in their quest for a second Asian Cup crown but the big questions about their on-field identity remain frustratingly unresolved.
Those looking for the result got what they wanted: a 4-0 victory over Indonesia. But those looking for improvement on the ball would have come away disappointed. Unable to retain possession for much longer than a few passes, Australia’s constant turnovers kept inviting the world No.146-ranked minnows into the game, and a better team might have accepted the kind offer.
Ciao for now.
Their scorelines to date make their campaign look like smooth sailing. First it was 1-0 against India, then 1-0 against Syria, then 1-1 against Uzbekistan. Now 4-0 against Indonesia. And yet there is still nothing from any of those four performances that says this team will win this tournament. And that’s getting ahead of ourselves, because they will have to get past Saudi Arabia or South Korea in the quarter-finals first. They had four shots on target and four goals (Indonesia’s only shot on target was their 12th-minute own-goal). I mean, honestly. Anyway, onwards and upwards. They will know in two days who they play in their match this coming Saturday at 2.30am AEDT.
The Socceroos are through with a score that, if I’m honest, flatters Australia and does not recognise just how difficult Indonesia made this for a team 121 FIFA rankings higher.
Sometimes the tallest get first reach at the chocolates in the top cupboard, and when Goodwin sends in a free-kick after Amat is yellow-carded it’s the centre-back who rises the highest. Nice, to-the-point finish.
There will be four minutes off added time.
Australia 3-0 Indonesia after 90+1 minutes
Metcalfe offers a cute backheel on the edge of the area that finds Atkinson, who is midway through a lung-busting run to the byline. Once there, he delivers a cross. Irvine has a crack at it but his header is punched away by Ari and it’s Goodwin with the follow-up volley who makes it count.
Australia 3-0 Indonesia after 89 minutes
It’s not on target – sails wide of the near post. Australia’s shots-on-target tally still stands at one despite the fact they lead 2-0. I mean go figure.
Irvine concedes a free-kick for a tackle on Jenner and gets so uppity about it he chucks the ball back behind him. He’ll get carded if he does that. Pretty feisty out there.
In that vein, Goodwin replaces Bos and spends his first 60 seconds or so on the field talking to the referee.
Australia 2-0 Indonesia after 87 minutes
Rizky Ridho is on for Sayuri.
Meanwhile, Australia are working hard to keep their opponents from scything through the midfield. Irvine hasn’t stopped. A throw-in finds Boyle and the winger bends a beautiful ball in behind that drops in the path of Duke. It’s gilt-edged! It’s clear-cut! Duke has acres of space and a net only half-manned and he … skies his shot. Oh no. Arnold is standing next to Rene Muelensteen and they both concurrently bury their faces in their hands.
Australia 2-0 Indonesia after 81 minutes
He links up with Metcalfe, receives the ball on the half-turn and then makes his own space in Indonesia’s half. In the end it earns Australia a corner. Boyle takes it and the ball ping-pongs around the box before Irvine rises to meet the second ball and … the ball goes out for another corner. Boyle delivers the second as well, and it’s just as flat as the first. The third is the opposite: too high and too far, and a swarm of bodies chase it as the Indonesia-centric crowd make noise that does not sound like a happy noise but more like a “please give us a free-kick” noise.
Australia 2-0 Indonesia after 74 minutes
Walsh goes into the book next for tripping Bos. Two yellow cards apiece now and Australia have committed six fouls to Indonesia’s nine.
Jones is now arguing with the refereee about whether or not he can get treatment on the pitch for what appears to be a groin problem. That’s not confirmed, but it is the region clutching up.
As the conversations between Australia’s medical team and the fourth official continues, Atkinson is subbed on and Jones is told his night is over. Fair call by Arnold.
Australia 2-0 Indonesia after 69 minutes