Kruse, Bresciano play to the whistle and strike all the right notes to set up a victory they had to have

It’s the first rule boys and girls are taught when they begin playing football in the under sevens: play to the whistle. Jordan didn’t, Australia did.
杭州桑拿

And that’s why the Jordanians now require a miracle to qualify directly for the World Cup in Brazil next year, and the Socceroos remain in charge of their own destiny as warm favourites to scoop second spot in Asian Group B.

Jordan’s elementary error early in the first half, when they stopped playing, expecting a free kick to be awarded to Australia when Luke Wilkshire was brought down, paved the way for their undoing.

While the assistant referee flagged furiously, the man in the middle, Singaporean Abdul Bashir, waved play on.

Robbie Kruse kept going, picked up the ball and kept his cool on the edge of the penalty area when the temptation must have been to deliver a cross early. He delayed and delayed – until Mark Bresciano made the run to accept a well-weighted pass close to goal. The shaven-headed Bresciano, a man who lets his deeds speak for him, gleefully drove home to set the Socceroos on their way.

Tim Cahill assured Australia of three precious points with a second-half header before Kruse and skipper Lucas Neill – with his first goal in national-team colours after nearly a decade and a half of trying – completed a rout.

That Bresciano and Kruse took centre stage on a night when the Socceroos showed much of their old mojo was apt.

Bresciano stood out in his creative midfield role, but Kruse was his equal with his pace, quick feet and willingness to run at defenders directly. The former’s invention, deft touch and ability to find a pass make him a vital component in a squad which has few experienced alternatives in this role.

Tommy Rogic, once of the Mariners, now of Celtic, is an option but at 20 he may not yet be ready for such responsibility although coach Holger Osieck was happy to give him the last 10 minutes when this game was done and dusted. The East Asian Cup in July should prove the perfect opportunity to give him a chance to show what he can do in this grade.

Dario Vidosic has played in the creative role for Adelaide and Brisbane in the A-League as well as for several German sides, but has yet to convince at international level. So Bresciano, at 33, remains the go-to man and is likely to be so in the short-term future.

Australia know if they beat Iraq in Sydney next Tuesday night, they can pack their bags and get ready to samba at what will surely be soccer’s greatest ever Carnivale in Rio, Sao Paolo and points north, south, east and west next June and July.

For Jordan to make it they will need to beat rivals Oman in Amman on the same day by a massive margin, and hope Australia lose at home to the Iraqis.

While the latter is a possibility that cannot be discounted – although on this form and in this kind of mood it is difficult to imagine the Socceroos losing in such an encounter – it is difficult to see the Jordanians, with a horror goal difference courtesy of their 6-0 loss to Japan, doing enough to turn things around even if they get the chance. The only other way Australia would miss out now is if they failed to beat Iraq and Oman won in Jordan.

The Socceroos came into this sequence of matches in the doldrums. But it seems that fighting draw in Japan rekindled the public’s affection for the team and galvanised the players.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

Posted in 杭州龙凤