End-to-End: Round 6

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Taking a look at all the weekend’s action, we investigate who had a thoroughly enjoyable weekend and who couldn’t wait for the sound of their Monday alarm.

As the Socceroos played their final hit-out before next year’s Asian Cup, minor premiers were decided in the W-League and title heavyweights battled it out in the Big Blue.

Losers
Unfortunately for all Australian football fans, the Socceroos are the feature team of this week’s losers section. Having plummeted to their all time low ranking of 94, the Socceroos played out the final match before the Asian Cup in a jam-packed stadium in Osaka, Japan. Since the World Cup, Australia’s performances have been far below par. However, with a solid week to prepare for this match, expectations were much higher. Ange Postecoglou was able to work on formation and partnerships within the squad, and during the first half against Japan, the Socceroos looked a much different side.

However, their good work was quickly undone in the second period as Japan turned up the tempo. A disastrous first goal from a corner where all the defenders were drawn to the front post leaving Yasuyuki Konno alone at the back post for an easy finish was made worse by a second goal defended just as poorly.

Since we entered the Asian Confederation in 2006, Australia has been regarded as one of Asia’s best sides; however, our current ranking of 94th is only good enough to be 11th in Asia. On recent form, it is hard to argue we deserve anything higher, but it will take a miracle from Postecoglou to produce the Asian Cup result expected by the Australian public without any more warm-up matches.

Winners
Aside from the promising opening 45 minutes, the only positive to take out of the game was Tim Cahill’s consolation goal. Japan would have breathed a collective sigh of relief when it was announced Ange was trying other options ahead of Timmy. Ever since that fateful day in Kaiserslautern, Cahill has been Japan’s Kryptonite. Without Cahill in the line-up, Australia looked devoid of any goal-scoring threats and will be hoping that the talisman can repeat his World Cup heroics in the Asian Cup.

With two rounds remaining in the W-League, the Perth Glory women’s team have been rewarded for their complete dominance with the minor premiership. In truth, the trophy could have been handed out weeks ago with Perth clearly the best team. Regardless, the minor premiership was wrapped up in style with a 5-0 thumping of the Western Sydney Wanderers. Striker Kate Gill amongst the goals once again, now with 11 goals for the season to lead all scorers.

After a tough start to the season, the Brisbane Roar are in the winner’s section for a change. The Roar endured the worst ever start to an A-League season to bounce back with a 4-0 drubbing of a poor Newcastle Jets. The ‘slippery fish’ Henrique had a field day as the Jets defence fell to pieces. Skipper Kew Jaliens in particular looked as though he wanted to be on his couch at home rather than play. While one result against a poor outfit is nothing to build a season on, it is certainly a step in the right direction for the defending champions.

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