The Qantas Socceroos got away with one against Iraq, but just how good were they?
Mark Schwarzer The keeper didn’t have a difficult night at the office, but he did look strangely uncertain on a couple of occasions. Made a crucial save late on and there was nothing he could have done to stop the goal. Rating 7
Matt Spiranovic Solid but didn’t really do anything of note either. He looked somewhat unsure of himself on the ball and played very defensively. Had a free header that he sent wide of the mark that he should have put on target and tried to cover Lucas
Neill for the goals to no avail. Rating 6
Lucas Neill It was a mixed bag for the Socceroos skipper, he made a vital early challenge to deny Iraq a real goalscoring opportunity and times it right in the box and even threatened in attack, sending a rocket just over the bar, but he also played a role in Iraq’s goal, pushing well up the ground and unable to get back to his man. Rating 6.5
Luke Wilkshire It’s fair to say it was not his best performance, he got into all the right areas but his crosses seldom found their mark and he struggled to make an impact on the game as a result. A hard-working performance. Rating 6
Matt McKayThe former Roar man really looked the goods when he strode forward with the ball at his feet and was dangerous with it, his passing game was on song and although his crosses did not always find their mark he was one of the Socceroos best. Rating 7
Carl ValeriA yellow card means he will miss the next match and to be honest he worked hard but struggled to have an impact, he needs to do more within the current setup to keep his place, he just seems to lack that X-factor that he used to possess. Rating 5
Brett HolmanHad the free reign to roam wherever he so chose and did not take advantage of it. He didn’t run at defenders, gave away some silly fouls and all too often coughed up possession. Where has his club form gone when he is on national duty? Rating 4
Mile Jedinak Started the game exceptionally well but as the game wore on he was more and more on the periphery, started in place of Mark Bresciano and didn’t have the attacking impetus of that man, but he did play quite well in defence as well. Rating 6.5
Tim Cahill Super Tim, Super Tim, Super Tim…. so often the hero for the Socceroos and cometh the hour, the man rose again, high above the congested pack in the penalty area, slamming home his header into the corner of the net to the delight of Aussie fans, but he was our biggest threat all night, unleashing the only shot on target of the first half and constantly troubling the Iraqis in a great performance. Rating 9
Alex Brosque Not the impact one would have hoped from Brosque who in fairness didn’t get the service he needed and was often hacked down. He provided a target up front but did little more than that. Rating 6
Robbie Kruse The speedy Kruse caused plenty of headaches for the Iraq defence and he was one of our best players, unfortunately his finishing really let him down. McKay teed him up a beauty and he squandered it, but his runs were the reason he had so many chances, turned over the ball that led to Iraq’s goal as well. Rating 7.5
Archie Thompson It took Holger long enough to unleash Archie from the shackles of the bench but when he did it worked. Always busy, Archie looked a threat from the moment he got on the field and delivered the match-winner. It was a cameo, but a very valuable one. Rating 8
Tommy Oar Like Archie his introduction was long overdue and in just his fourth match for the Socceroos Oar delivered his cross on a platter to Thompson, who made no mistake with the finish. A real player of the future. Rating 7
James Holland Played just two minutes but it was great to see him in the national fold. No Rating.