An enticing week for Australian football continues tonight as the Socceroos take on Japan in the EAFF Cup.
Holger Osieck’s Australia side were saved from defeat against an attack-minded South Korean side on Saturday,by Goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic who pulled off a number of spectacular stops to keep Korea at bay in an otherwise lacklustre performance.
After visits from 2 giants of English football, Liverpool and Manchester United, the EAFF dropped to third in most fans minds and the tepid performance in Seoul will not have done much to change that.
However Brisbane Roar’s Jade North implored fans not to judge to harshly after the team’s opening game, telling Fox Sports:
“Defensively we were solid and they were starting to run out of ideas in the second half. We have come away from that first game 0-0 and in any tournament you would take a draw and this sets us up perfectly now.
“Ninety per cent of the boys are from the A-League and if we get a win against Japan, all of a sudden we could win this little tournament and then all of a sudden everyone changes their opinion of us.”
The side were without some of their biggest names as Lucas Neil, Mark Schwarzer and Tim Cahill were all refused release by thier clubs, forcing Osieck to select a more experimental side.
Statistics wise Japan haven’t won in their last five games while the Aussies are unbeaten. The Blue Samurai hold the edge in head-to-head clashes having won 3 and drawn 2 of the 8 games played.
The two teams met last month in a World Cup qualifier Saitama and shared the spoils 1-1.
Their last outing was a 3-3 with China in the tournament’s opening game.