Australia, Cameroon hopes hit after 1-1 draw
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 23, 2017,
Jun 23, 2017, 15:22
Socceroos skipper Mark Milligan said he came down on the side of slower football.
"We're aware of what they can bring".
"We have a programme, we train at a given time and when you arrive at the hotel and don't have dinner until 10 o'clock in the evening, it's really unpleasant", he said. Andre-Frank Zambo Aguissa managed to beat Milos Degenek on the end of a through ball and chipped the ball inside the net to score his first worldwide goal.
When they finally did find their feet, they looked by far the more risky team. Toward the end of the game he was replaced by Tim Cahill coming on for his 99th cap and looking to find the spark that was missing from the Socceroos' play, for all their command of the ball at times.
The African champions ended the first half with a succession of corners and then opened the scoring with the last kick before the break.
Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa did not compete at the Cup of Nations in January and was only given his first cap in March.
The Socceroos defender was found wanting for the opener, when Zambo Anguissa beat him to a long ball and dinked an effort over rushing goalkeeper Mat Ryan.
It was no less than the African champions deserved.
Cameroon certainly didn't lack for spirit either. Postecoglou has come under intense scrutiny for his gamble with a 3-2-4-1 formation that has failed to convince the broader public, pundits and punters alike, this time his tactics weren't exclusively the focus.
The stalemate with Cameroon was consistent with Australia's recent form. These changes gave Australia momentum going forward particularly in the first half with Gersbach combining well with Rogic down the left flank and Kruse combining well with Leckie on the right.
This time, he drove at goal himself and was fouled by Mabouka, enabling Milligan to convert the penalty and keep Australia's hopes of progress alive.
Speaking ahead of Australia's second outing at the Confederations Cup 2017 against Cameroon, head coach Ange Postecoglou claimed he was "over the moon" that there was a polarised debate back home over his tactics with the national team.
"We didn't start well, but we finished strongly so we take confidence from the way we finished the match", said Milligan. The challenge for the Socceroos is to bounce back from an opening 3-2 defeat against Germany, a match marked by a disastrous opening 45 minutes and conceding goals early in each period.