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“Crossing and physical power”: How much has Australia changed since 2018 and how does Peru’s rival play in the playoffs?

“Crossing and physical power”: How much has Australia changed since 2018 and how does Peru’s rival play in the playoffs?

“Crossing and physical power”: How much has Australia changed since 2018 and how does Peru’s rival play in the playoffs?

Flashbacks of 2018. Exactly four years ago, in Sochi, Australia got in the way of the peruvian national team, when being paired in the same group of the World-wide one of that year. Now the ‘Socceroos’, winners of the Asian playoff (2-1 over the United Arab Emirates) have met the ‘Blanquirroja’ again, this time in a playoff that will put their World Cup dream of Qatar 2022 at stake. June 13 in Doha, the country’s capital, one of the last

That time in Russia 2018, the ‘Blanquirroja’ managed to win 2-0 in the first phase match against the Australians, thanks to goals from André Carrillo and Paolo Guerrero. But many things have changed since then, not only in the national team, but also in the rival.

How much has Australia changed?

The ‘Socceroos’ are once again the protagonists in an intercontinental playoff. In the previous qualifying process (heading to Russia 2018), the Australian squad also had to fight for their World Cup ticket in this instance, after winning the Asian playoff against Syria. On that occasion, they managed to overcome Honduras (fourth place in Concacaf) with a global score of 3-1 after the round-trip matches.

Thus, the fifth World Cup classification in the history of Australia became a reality with Tim Cahill, their all-time goalscorer, shining with 11 wins on the way to the World Cup. Precisely he also participated in Russia 2018, but was relegated to the substitute bench.

Tim Cahill He did not play in the World Cup match against France or Denmark, but he did against Peru in the second half (he entered in the 53rd minute). A year later, the Australian legend hung up his boots and is no longer part of the ‘Socceroos’.

Unfortunately for Australia, Tim is not the only player from that squad to retire. In 2020, Mile Jedinak also followed the same path, who scored the only two goals for the team in the last World Cup, in addition to contributing with seven goals in the qualifying process for that tournament. In addition, midfielder Tom Rogic, from Celtic in Scotland, asked not to be considered for personal reasons. Those are the three important casualties of the ‘Socceroos’ at present.

Now, if Cahill and Jedinak were the scorers for the ‘Socceroos’ on the way to Russia 2018, now that responsibility -for Qatar 2022- was jamie maclarenwho was the top scorer for his team in the last Asian Qualifiers with seven signed goals.

Likewise, in the World Cup call, Australia then had three players playing in the five major European leagues: Mathew Leckie (Hertha Berlin) in the Bundesliga and Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town) with Mathew Ryan (Brighton) in the Premier League. However, in the current campus only goalkeeper Ryan and Ajdin Hrustic remain at the highest levelin the ranks of the Royal Society of Spain and in the Eintracht Frankfurt of Germany (champion of the Europa League), respectively.

Ajdin Hrustic scored Australia's winning goal over the United Arab Emirates |  Photo: EFE

One important fact is that Aaron Mooy He was the highest-priced player on that Australia squad at Russia 2018 with €10 million. Currently, the 31-year-old midfielder is still the Australian with the highest market value along with Mathew Ryan, but with five million euros less than four years ago.

As for the coach, the Dutchman Bert van Marwijk said goodbye after the defeat against Peru, which represented the total failure of the Oceanic in the World Cup, after only five months in charge of the Australian team. His place was taken by Arnold Graham, who to this day continues to guide the “Socceroos” towards Qatar 2022.

How does Australia play?

Many thousands of kilometers separate us from our country and Australia, but that does not prevent us from knowing how he plays and what proposal he manages on the field. This is an exhaustive analysis of the game of Peru’s rival in the playoffs.

System: The team that Graham Arnold manages today usually uses the traditional tactical system of 4-2-3-1, well defined on the field. Although, it is necessary to point out that in the Asian playoff against the United Arab Emirates, the Australian strategist decided to change to a 4-1-4-1 scheme.

“He switched to a 4-1-4-1 scheme, and put (Mathew) Leckie as his point guard, who usually runs down the left wing. Thinking about how the UAE plays, it seems to me that Arnold decided to put only (Aaron) Mooy as a branded midfielder to face Ramadan and Hamed (Emirates midfielders) because Salmin is a midfielder who does not go up much) ”considers Ienzo Duarte, a member of AlterFútbol, ​​a portal that focuses on analyzing and disseminating football from little-followed latitudes in our region such as Asia, Africa, Oceania and the Caribbean.

It is expected that in the playoff against the national team, the “Socceroos” will return to their traditional scheme and propose a more reserved strategy in the field, with the intention of neutralizing the Peruvian figures.

“It seems to me that against Peru he will be a little more defensive. I don’t know if (Jackson) Irvine has as much offensive vocation as against the Emirates. Unless the scoreboard demands it.”points out Ienzo.


Essence and virtues: As we have been saying, Australia is a compact and direct team. He maintains the same style – old-fashioned English – that has allowed him to qualify for the last four World Cups. They stand out in the set pieces, in the physical power of the players, the centers to the area and the verticality in their game.

“It is a slightly older English game than the one played now. Now everyone tries to play to have possession, but Australia’s, which we could see in the videos, was a fast, direct game, with many centers, a football with physical bulk, they win the second ball. They have a lot of dynamics, yes.”pointed out months before Jerry Tamashiro.

“In general terms, Australia continues to have the same scheme: direct play, crosses, stopped ball, physical power, and the occasional individual imbalance. There is not too much game of association. It’s more vertical, if anything.”Duarte added.

Australia's starting line-up in the Asian repechage |  Photo: AFP

It has already been made clear on several occasions that the ‘Socceroos’ tend to dominate on set pieces, and also on second plays (rebounds), which is how the second goal came, the victory over the UAE, signed by Adjin Hrustic. This is how they also won their previous friendly against Jordan (2-1), a game that they came back with two goals generated with their aerial strength.

“The virtues that I saw in him today (against the Emirates) were the safety of Ryan (the goalkeeper), the dynamics of the three midfielders: Mooy, Irvine and Hrustic, Boyle’s good second half on the right and the adjustment made by the DT in halftime so that Behich and Atkinson do not go up and do not win their backs, especially Atkinson, courtesy of Harib Abdallah “highlights Duarte.


Figures: Now, just because he doesn’t have much association in his game doesn’t mean the Socceros don’t have technique. In fact, “Australia has a lot of players in Europe. They are the base of the team, ”said Kanashiro at the time.

“There are several players with technical virtues, among which (Mathew) Leckie stands out, who overflows well and takes good crosses; Hrustic, who is a good offensive midfielder, (Aaron) Mooy in the defensive midfield”, indicates Duarte. “The offensive trident formed by Hrustic, Leckie and the striker -be it (Jamie) McLaren, (Mitchell) Duke or (Adam) Taggart- is what you have to watch out for”Add.

It is important to mention that the ‘Socceroos’ scorer in the last Qualifiers was MacLarenwho scored seven goals in nine games played, although the vast majority (5) converted them in Round 2. Duke, meanwhile, added five goals in general, with three goals celebrated in the final phase of the qualifier, one More than Maclaren.

Neither of them started against the Emirates, but rather Mathew Leckie, who took on the role of being Australia’s offensive reference. Of course, Jamie Maclaren was able to enter in the 72nd minute and in a short time he was able to demonstrate his great attacking capacity, almost scoring a goal in favor of his team.


Vulnerabilities: Although Australia can boast of being a goalscorer – they were the team that scored the most in their Qualifying group above Saudi Arabia and Japan with 15 goals in 10 games in the third round – they cannot boast of the same defensively.

Graham Arnold’s side conceded nine goals in the last round of the Asian Qualifiers and a large part of those goals were due to a fairly poor record, both inside the box and outside it. The ‘Socceroos’ are very vulnerable defensively: they easily let rivals into their area, they suffer a lot on the flanks and have some problems at the start.

Oversight in the Australian brand.  Emirates did a lot of damage down the left flank |  Photo: ESPN Capture

In fact, against the Emirates, the Australian wingers suffered a lot on the mark, especially Nathaniel Atkinson (RB), who found it quite difficult to stop the young Emirati, Harib Adallah. Precisely, the 19-year-old footballer did a lot of damage down that flank and thanks to a great individual play came the only goal for the UAE in the match.

“The wings leave a lot of room for the wingers to climb. When the UAE teamed up in midfield, he was able to hurt them. The centre-backs are strong but they don’t seem very technical, except in the air. I don’t think they play like that against Peru, but Mooy can only be beaten on the mark with associated play.”warns Ienzo Duarte.

Source: Elcomercio

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