Category Archives: Soccer

Euro 2008

Apart from World Cup qualifiers Euro 2008 is also happening at the moment. Some notable results:

  • the host nations, Austria and Switzerland, both lost their opening games, to Croatia and the Czech Republic respectively, (Czech Republic then lost 3-1 to Portugal)
  • the Netherlands belted Italy, the current World Cup champions, 3-0,
  • Spain, despite being regular under-achievers, did the same to Russia 4-1,
  • the current Euro champions, Greece, went down 2-0 to Sweden in their opening game,
  • Germany looked strong in beating Poland 2-0, the 2 goals being scored by Polish-born Lukas Podolski.

Some games are being broadcast on SBS TV

Australia vs Iraq in Dubai

The socceroos had been riding their luck for a couple of matches and this time it ran out. Mark Schwarzer again had a good match except for one lapse when he was caught off his line. Emad Mohammed lobbed him from 30 metres, the ball coming off the underside of the woodwork.

Australia didn’t have the fire power up front to dent the Iraqi defence. It looks like the Australian coach, Verbeek, went to Dubai looking for a draw, by stacking the team with defensive players, but it didn’t work out. The one good outcome is that Australia is not so dominant in the group and needs to take a positive attitude to the final two matches.

There is a highlights package on youtube.

Asia Group World Cup qualification matches

The next FIFA World Cup will be held in South Africa in 2010. Australia is part of the Asia qualification zone. Our zone has 43 teams and has 4.5 places allocated for the finals in South Africa. The 0.5 means that the 5th team has to play off against the winner from the Oceania zone. The zone has already been through 2 qualifying rounds designed to result in 20 teams which have been formed into 5 groups of 4 teams. Australia is in group 1 which also includes Iraq, China and Qatar.

The FIFA website has a table of results for our group. So far Australia is leading the group with wins over Qatar in Melbourne 3-0, Iraq in Brisbane 1-0 and a draw with China in Kunming 0-0. This weekend Australia will play away to Iraq in Dubai. Next weekend it will be away to Qatar in Doha. The following weekend they will play China in Sydney, which is the match we are going to see.

The top 2 teams from each of the 5 groups go through to the next round which is made up of 2 groups of 5 teams. Within each group the 5 teams play each other, home and away. The top 2 teams from each group go to the finals in South Africa. The teams which came 3rd in the 2 groups play each other. The winner gets to play the top team from the Oceania zone, and the winner of that game also goes to South Africa.

Australia vs Iraq in Brisbane

We weren’t able to watch this match. It wasn’t broadcast on free-to-air TV and we were out anyway. From the reports the match went much like the Ghana match – single good goal scored by us just after half-time, opposition applied a lot of pressure in the second half but couldn’t put it past Mark Schwarzer in goals.