Wed, Jun 13, 11:52am by Staff Writer
The Socceroos will head to the FIFA World Cup in Russia full of confidence, after a scrappy 2-1 win against Hungary on Sunday morning.
They remain big outsiders in the outright market at $326 at Sportsbet, but will have an opportunity to progress through group C as they will face France, Peru and Denmark over the next fortnight.
The match in Budapest was not the best spectacle for football fans, with the Socceroos lethargic in the first half at the Groupama Arena.
Young gun Daniel Arzani broke the deadlock in the 74th minute with a fortunate goal, after goalkeeper Denes Dibusz fumbled the ball over the line.
A Trent Sainsbury own goal in the dying stages of regular time looked to end the match in a draw.
Late drama followed, with Hungarian defender Tamas Kadar also scoring an own goal, in the 92nd minute.
The first half was disappointing by the Socceroos, with coach Bert van Marwijk conceding his side lacked patience and passing accuracy to trouble the Hungarians.
Goalkepper Mat Ryan was the star of the first half, keeping the scores level with a trio of crucial saves.
Defenders Mark Milligan and Trent Sainsbury had a disappointing performance in Hungary, clumsily giving away possession with poor passing on numerous occasions.
Australia’s better players during the match came from the midfield group, although they too turned over possession far too easily.
Aaron Mooy was uncharacteristically loose with possession, but excelled alongside Mile Jedinak in the second half.
Australia created few chances in the first half, which meant that striker Andrew Nabbout was starved of opportunity.
The second half substitutes made all the difference for the Socceroos, with Mile Jedinak, Jackson Irvine and Daniel Arzani exceptional in limited game time.
The Socceroos embark on their fourth World Cup with successive friendly victories in the lead up to the tournament, with their first match against France on Saturday night.
Les Bleus are a powerful squad, with no weaknesses across the park.
The Socceroos are $14 outsiders to beat them at Sportsbet, with the French paying $1.22. The draw is $6.50.
The half-time/full-time market favours France at $1.83, with a Draw/France result the next best at $3.75.
The over/under goals is set at 2.5, with the French attack featuring a number of Europe’s supremely talented strikers. Scoring goals may be the Socceroos’ problem in Russia, with a number of their strikers struggling in the lead up to the tournament.
France $1.22 Draw $6.50 Australia $14
Eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt is heading down under to trial with the A-League’s Central Coast Mariners ahead of the 2018-19…
PREVIEW: Bledisloe Cup Game 1 Australia v New Zealand Date and Time: Saturday August 18, 7:45pm AEST Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney TV: Channel 10, Fox…
Richmond’s Jack Riewoldt has made a late charge to claim his third Coleman Medal and first since 2012 after a 10-goal haul…