Asian Cup

  • Australia, 0 v Jordan, 1
  • Thailand, 1 v India, 4
  • Syria, 0 v Palestine, 0


  • Melbourne City, 2 v Newcastle Jets, 1
  • Brisbane Roar, 2 v Perth Glory, 4


Well, we got it wrong. Perhaps buoyed by the confidence and “belief” of Graham Arnold, we did not expect a loss to a team ranked 68 places below Australia, notwithstanding the absence of Aaron Mooy, Daniel Arzani and new Aussie kid Martin Boyle, and the injured Mathew Leckie and Andrew Nabbout. But Australia looked stunned and unimaginative in dealing with a disciplined performance from a solid and structured Jordan team managed by Vital Borkelmans. Australia may have dominated possession, but Jordan scored the only goal to put them top of the Group B table and the Socceroos at the bottom after Palestine and Syria had a scoreless draw in the other group match. Australia meets Palestine on Friday.

Earlier in the day yesterday, Paul Sakkal for Fairfax posed three “tactical questions” for Arnold. It's somewhat academic now, but they were: How are Mooy and Jedinak replaced in midfield? What will the Socceroos' attack look like? and How will the Socceroos manage their opponents counter-attacks?

Emma Kemp for News Corp also wrote that the Socceroos could expect a “hostile reception” in the 16,000 seat Al-Ain stadium where the match was played, with “boisterous” Jordan fans being given tickets by their FA. Syria coach (and former Perth Glory coach), Bernd Stang said that his team's fans are “the most important weapon of our team”. An amazing statement in more ways than one.

In other Socceroos news, Graham Arnold has indicated that he is not too keen on Milos Degenek's reported move to $audi Arabia, especially what he sees as being a “fantastic six months” with Red Star Belgrade. Arnold is a little more circumspect on the question in the Fairfax version of the same story, noting that there are many reasons why players (and coaches for that matter) make particular decisions and “it's their life”. 

Asian Cup

Earlier yesterday also, AAP asked just how many people were watching the Asian Cup. Most of the rights appear tied-up in subscription TV (eg. Australia) while BeIN Sports is charging too large a fee for many public venues in the UAE ($1,148 per match). The organisers also received criticism because only 33,000 people turned up for the opening match between the UAE and Bahrain in a 43,000 seat stadium. 

Former Sydney FC, Adelaide United and Melbourne City player, Iain Ramsay, is due to start his 29th match for the Philippines national team when they play their opening match against South Korea tonight. There are 700,000 Filipino people leaving in the UAE and the team is expected to enjoy strong support. 

A-League matches

At Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Roar looked like they were cruising to a long-awaited second win of the season when they went into the break 2-0 up via an Adam Taggart brace, but then Daniel Bowles brought down Perth's Joel Chianese in a silly challenge inside the penalty box and that was enough for Perth Glory to bounce back to a 2-4 win. Perth's first two goals were penalties scored by Neil Kilkenny, helped by an Aaron Reardon own goal in the 85th minute and finished off by an Andy Keogh goal two minutes later. 

In Melbourne, an early goal to Roy O'Donovan was easily dealt with after Ronald Vargas was sent off with a second yellow card in the 26th minute. Riley McGree scored the penalty and Luke Brattan what was, ultimately, the winning goal against a 10-man Newcastle playing their third game in seven days. 

Western Sydney Wanderers

Tate Russell's dad, Ian, played rugby league with the Illawarra Steelers but that didn't stop 19-year-old Tate from playing football, and making an impressive debut “full of character and poise” against Melbourne Victory on Saturday. 

Tate Russell never saw his dad play rugby league as he was born in Ian's final year of playing, but father and son bonded over the round ball which Tate has played since he was four. Tate says Ian loves the game as much as he does, with dad at every game he plays. 

Markus Babbel believes there is light at the end of the tunnel for his team. While they lost to Melbourne Victory, he was pleased with the fight that they showed and said it could have gone the other way except for two missed set pieces (as well as other opportunities). Babbel said he was proud of the way the players performed. 

Western Melbourne Group

Western Melbourne Group's wish to bring Celtic captain, Scott Brown, to Australia as a marquee player has hit a snag as FFA will not commit some of the central pool of marquee funding for Brown's signing. Dominic Bossi reports that FFA is “keen” for Brown to join WMG but not keen enough to support through funding. Nonetheless, he reports that the deal is “very much alive”. Considering WMG has multiple individuals and families of billionaire backers, it shouldn't be an issue, should it?

Wellington Phoenix

Wellington Phoenix's Mandi has copped a three-match ban for kicking Vince Lia of Adelaide United while Lia lay on the ground in their match on Saturday. Mandi was originally shown a yellow card but it was upgraded to a red after the intervention of the VAR. 

We hesitate to even share this non-news, but it did make the NZ Herald so here goes .... Wellington Phoenix defender Steven Taylor has been labelled a “cheat” by two women who allege they have been wronged by him. 

Adelaide United

Adelaide United fans are as frustrated as Marco Kurz that there is no recognised striker available in the squad, “slamming the club on social media”. It appears that Adelaide United's mysterious Dutch-Chinese backers are not interested in opening the purse strings more during the transfer window. 

socceroos, #asiancup2019, 2019 asian cup, graham arnold, tate russell, a-league, western melbourne group, scott brown

You might also like: