Was it jet-lag? Was it because they team hadn’t seen each other for some time? Or perhaps it was because so many of the players are at different stages of their respective club seasons? Either way, it was best the Qantas Socceroos got the performance out of the way now.
We didn’t see much of Australia in Copenhagen. For the most part, Holger Osieck’s side seemed slightly lethargic and lacking in their usual hard-edged competitiveness.
For the most part, they were even quite satisfied to let their hosts have the ball for the majority of the time – a change from the performances Osieck usually demands of his players.
But then all those are reasons why we play international friendlies. That slower counter-attacking style, which looked so uncharacteristic against Denmark, is now doubt how the team will have to play against Oman in the searing heat of Muscat.
We know Australian players can play at high intensity, so this was a chance to practice their structure and patience.
And there were some positives for Osieck. Harry Kewell looked very sharp, despite the coach’s initial concerns over his fitness due to an early ending Hyundai A-league season, and his movement with Victory teammate Archie Thompson provided an interesting attacking alternative for Australia.
Mark Bresciano again proved why he is so important to Osieck's side as the creative fulcrum in the centre of the park. Alex Brosque maintained his impressive development, as did Matt McKay.
Even the goals came from individual errors, rather than tactical mistakes or structural errors. Osieck won’t be happy conceding from a set piece but at least that’s a process that can be easily identified and worked upon.
The negatives? Mile Jedinak didn’t really apply enough pressure as the defensive midfielder, while both Spiranovic and Wilkshire looked a little clumsy at times.
So despite losing both Osieck and captain Lucas Neill said after the game they were happy with the performance. As Australia build towards the important FIFA World Cup qualifiers, the game was always about the performance rather than the result.
Goals are the result of playing well, not the measure of it, and the Socceroos did enough against Denmark to show they can very confident of progressing through their Asian qualifying campaign.