Socceroos thank Langerak for win
Socceroos end their recent run of poor form, but it took at least two great saves from Mitch Langerak to defeat Canada 3-0 at Craven Cottage in London.PT1M31S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2vlrj 620 349 October 16, 2013
AUSTRALIA 3 (Josh Kennedy 1m, Dario Vidosic 52m, Mathew Leckie 79m) bt CANADA 0 at Craven Cottage, Fulham, London
When the desperate hook up with the dateless, someone usually gets lucky. On Wednesday morning it was Australia's turn.
Goalscorer Josh Kennedy climbs highest in an open first half at Craven Cottage. Photo: Reuters
|View Match Statistics|
|Players||Kennedy (1min), Vidosic (52min), Leckie (79min)||Goals|
Inept and spiritless as the Socceroos have been in conceding 16 goals in their last three internationals, in Canada they came up against a team in even worse shape and morale.
At least the Socceroos have stumbled across the line and into the World Cup: the Canucks are in even worse shape, having failed to make it to the final round of qualifying in their North and Central American regional zone and not even scoring in seven previous games.
For many on this side of the world it's getting harder to make the pre-dawn call to crawl out of bed to watch the national team, so embarrassing have they been in their recent losses: still, the Socceroos are the Socceroos, and at the very least watching the first game in the post-Osieck era had the promise of something new.
Australia's Mile Jedinak (centre) evades the challenge of Canada's David Edgar (left) and Julian de Guzman (right). Photo: Reuters
In the end there was plenty that was familiar, but some things that were different. Lucas Neill, despite the shellacking he has copped in recent days, was still there, wearing the armband, as was the almost equally maligned David Carney. Mile Jedinak and Matt McKay were in their regular places. Mark Bresciano (thankfully) was still the creative fulcrum but being used in a more forward position than in recent times under former coach Holger Osieck, where he makes a far more telling contribution.
Mitch Langerak and Matt Ryan were both given an opportunity in goal, a half each, while Rhys Williams got another chance, as did James Holland.
Jason Davidson came back from the wilderness, and there were runs for the likes of Matthew Leckie, who chimed in with his first international goal to put the Australians 3-0 up, and Dario Vidosic, who got the second goal which put the Socceroos at their ease.
Matthew Leckie (right) of Australia celebrates with captain Lucas Neill after scoring. Photo: Getty Images
Melbourne-born Jackson Irvine, who is a Celtic player on loan to SPL club Kilmarnock, came on late for his international debut, giving a glimpse of what might be the Socceroos' future.
But bad as the Australians have been of late, the Canadians have been worse, and in this game they were awful. Not for nothing have they now gone 12 games without a win.
It's a fillip for Aurelio Vidmar, who can boast a resounding win in his first game in charge of the national team, but whether he or, more likely, Ange Postecoglou, takes charge going forward, there wasn't much to learn from this victory over truly terrible opposition.
Socceroos score a much needed win over Canada
Josh Kennedy of Australia scores the opening goal. Photo: Getty Images
Still, a win is a win and all you can do is beat what's in front of you.
And after such a torrid month any good news is welcome for a team under a sort of pressure it has never experienced before.
The real work begins now. With a November friendly on the horizon, possibly against England at Wembley, there isn't much time. But at least the worst may be over. Those who keep the faith and continue to rise in the pre-dawn light will certainly hope so.