Well, another game and another defeat, once again without scoring. There wasn't all that much new, at least results wise as Canada made it to a year without winning since that game in Honduras.
Hope didn't even really last long in this one as Australia scored after 27 seconds, some awkward play down their right wing saw the ball eventually chipped into the box, Joshua Kennedy attacked the ball from the left, Nick Ledgerwood didn't track his run and Doneil Henry didn't seem to realise he was coming and thus he got an open header about 6 yards out and nodded it home past a motionless Milan Borjan, just inside the post.
The 2nd goal, just after half time was a bit unlucky as after a corner was cleared, Canada's defenders pushed out and when the ball was knocked back in, it certainly seemed like Dario Vidosic was offside as he deflected it past Borjan and in.
The 3rd goal was back to poor defending, it was laughably simple, a cross was knocked in and Mathew Leckie simply outjumped Adam Straith to head home from about 6 yards out. Australia could have scored more in the 2nd half if they'd really been trying as Canada looked very sloppy at the back after all the second half substitutions left them with a very young team out there.
But really, the result doesn't matter, that's what people said beforehand, it was about seeing what Canada looked like under Benito Floro, signs of hope and all that good stuff, and in that respect it really wasn't that bad. In the first half, the first 30 seconds aside, Canada looked the better team, lined up in a 4-4-2, Simeon Jackson and Tosaint Ricketts playing wide with Iain Hume and Dwayne de Rosario up front.
David Edgar was played in central midfield alongside Julian de Guzman and he looked very good out there, in both directions, doing a good job defensively as well as providing the 'assist' for all of Canad's best chances. The first was from a free kick about 5 minutes in, a routine that had obviously been worked on in training. from about 40 yards out, the ball was knocked to the far post, at the top of the 18 yard box. Edgar rose and headed it back across the box, to the edge of the 6 yard box where Simeon Jackson met it with a fierce volley that was well saved. Later, sent down the right wing, he got a cross in that fell just behind Dwayne de Rosario who didn't really time his run well at all. After that, he put in a delicious cross to an unmarked Tosaint Ricketts who hammered his header just under the bar but right at the goalie and thus his header was saved.
In that first half, when Canada had their first team out there, about as experienced an eleven as they could possibly put together, they didn't look bad at all, there was more of an emphasis on passing through midfield than we've often seen, which is a nice development. It's all about the future of course, it's going to take a while for what Floro's trying to do to set in. Again post game he mentioned the challenges involved in bringing the youngsters along, about needing more time and more camps, and that from the under 17's upwards there is a lot of improvement needed. It's when the younger players were brought in, those that will actually be able to influence the future that it all went wrong. Starting with Julian de Guzman being replaced by Kyle Bekker in the first half, followed at different times in the second half by the introduction of Ashtone Morgan, Stefan Cebara, Jonathan Osorio, Russell Tiebert and Samuel Piette, Canada got steadily younger. As that happened they got proportionally worse, while the first half looked good in a very Canadian way that never quite convinced you they were going to score, the second half was a turgid performance that just never got going and Australia cruised home. After 2 consecutive 6-0 defeats and parting ways with Holger Osieck, a match with Canada was just what The Flying Doctors ordered for the Socceroos.
It's been a year of rebuild after the previous campaign imploded so spectacularly, and so far it doesn't really seem like there's been a lot of progress made. Benito Floro has of course only been in charge for a few months, and two training camps, it would be harsh to expect too much, but this is going to be a loooooong process. It'd be nice if they could at least score a goal or two to keep us all going though.