Last night our international quartet came up against Iraq in an at-times heated clash as the Olyroos look to qualify for Tokyo 2020. In an all too familiar story for Australian teams in Asia, the boys struggled to get the level of physicality right with the Iraqis throwing themselves to the ground as soon as any player approached and were able to pinch a point.
Let's look at how our city representatives went:
Thomas Glover; Glover was given the responsibility of starting the match for the Olyroos and had a more than solid performance with many chances nullified with his eagerness to attack an overhead cross and his ability to read the play and punch the ball away. There were a few nervous moments when he was asked to sweep up behind the back four as well as coming out of his box. The goal that he conceded was nothing short of a special finish with the ball clipping the inside of the post just out of reach of Glover who was at full stretch trying to prevent it from finding the back of the net. Overall we saw glimpses of the performances he has been putting in for City.
Connor Metcalfe; Connor also started the game and looked bright in his 75 minutes on the pitch, Metcalfe was playing in a midfield role that he has become accustomed to this season at city with a license to roam forward and try to create chances, this game shows how important having someone as solid as Josh Brillante is to a midfield trio with Baccus struggling to screen the back four meaning that the whole midfield was working harder both ways. A good performance from Connor and we hope to see more of the attacking flair that he has shown for City in this tournament.
Ramy Najjarine; Ramy was one of the unused substitutes on the bench for this clash, with the lack of clear cut chances created by the attacking trio he could have been a useful change. Hopefully, he gets his chance at some point in this competition and takes it with both hands.
Denis Genreau; Denis was also selected on the bench for this game and was also an unused substitution. As a creative midfielder it could have been his chance to come on and make a difference with little time left on the clock but alas Arnold decided to stick with the midfield trio that had been on since Metcalfe's withdrawal in the 75th minute. With more football coming thick and fast in this tournament we hope to see Denis get his chance to show what he has got.
Iraq 1 - 1 Australia
Mohammed Qasem 77' Reno Piscopo 62'