Australia: a Debut to Celebrate

By: Stephen Lars

Australia's first match in its route to the 2010 South African World Cup was a real surprise to most fans as the Aussies defeated Qatar 3-2. Many have stated that they need to be cautious and not go crazy about the first results in order to avoid future disappointments as it happened last year in the Asian Cup playoffs where the team was eliminated.

The team has overcome big obstacles such as having a new Coach (Pim Verbeek) who had to travel very long distances in order to be present at the trainings in Melbourne. This has made it even more difficult for Verbeek to get to know his players. But the fans keep hanging around and basically flooded the Telstra Dome stadium in Yellow color garments to encourage their team.

From the very beginning of the match more than 70,000 animated souls cheered for the Australian team while at the 11th minute forward Mark Kennedy scored a powerful goal in the Qatar's net (1-0). This goal was followed by a second from Tim Cahil (2-0) and a last one from Marc Bresciano (3-0) close to the end of the first half.

"I'm impressed", declared Jason Ballarino, one of the thousands of fans who wore the yellow shirt of the Socceroos. "To begin a competition is always difficult and besides, we did not know anything about Qatar. If we play thus we will be in South Africa".

At the end of the game Coach Verbeek was very pleased " Was a pleasant surprise. In the prior training to the game we had not been all ready. But the environment that has this team is impressive and the players took advantage of the opportunities" said Verbeek. This victory gave the Dutch Coach much confidence for their coming Asian adventure.

Additionally, he mentioned, "I was not in the Asian Cup with the team, so I prefer not to compare, but what happened today leaves me very calm for the commitments that are approaching because I see a very strong team".

The Qatar coach, the Uruguayan Jorge Fossati, shared his opinion. " When the analysis is done, is known that go to Australia is extremely complicated. The results of my rival in the Asian Cup were due to them coming off a long season. And today they played a lot better against us".

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